160  ·  Representative Documents:  Digital Collections
University of Washington
Korean Literature 1945–1950
http://content.lib.washington.edu/koreanweb/index.html
::: Between Liberation Space and Time of Need, 1945-1950 :::
http://content.lib.washington.edu/koreanweb/index.html[8/9/11 4:25:27 PM]
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The closing of World War II on August 15, 1945 liberated Koreans from thirty-six years of
Japanese occupancy. Koreans were overjoyed by their new freedom, but soon faced
harsh reality. This was not exceptional for many artists, intellects and publishers of post-
war Korea, who collaborated without asking for monetary compensation. Despite the lack
of material resources, art and literature began to thrive as a result of the heart-felt
friendship of various artists and intellects, until the outbreak of the Korean War on June
25, 1950. This duration of time (Aug.15, 1945 - Jun. 25, 1950) is known as the liberation
space, a temporal space of blossoming post-World War Korean art and literature where
the production of art was for art’s sake and conflicting ideologies could not hinder their
friendship.
Nor did poor material conditions deter their zeal for creating an artistic and intellectual
space. Lacking sufficient printing and binding tools and advanced technologies,
publications from the liberation space seem rather meager. The paper quality is crude,
printing and binding qualities are substandard, and preservation had been overlooked.
However, the artistic quality of these publications displays the unprecedented uniqueness
of the Korean literature of that particular period. The publications displayed in this
exhibition are not only textual celebrations but also the pictorial expression of beauty by
Read Exhibit Essay
Exhibit Catalog PDF (3.14MB)
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