Proceedings of the 15th CEESOK International Conference of Korean Studies "New Trends in Korean Studies"
Prodeedings of the 15th CEESOK International Conference on Korean Studies "New Trends in Korean Studies"
During the XXth century South Koreans art has being developing under the influence of Western art movements, first modernism and later postmodernism. Korean artists began to study western avant guard mevements in 1950s on a full scale. In 1960s they started to face the need to resolve the issue of finding national in arts, they started to combine traditional aesthetics with Western technology.
In the 1990s, after Koreans were allowed to visit foreigh contries, some artists went to study in the West, where they were swept by the wave of conceptual art and the ideas of postmodernism. This generation has brought Korean art to the world level. Over the past two decades, South Korea has made a breakthrough in the field of contemporary art, the country became one of the centers of Asian contemporary art. South Korean art is successfully integrated into the global art world. Artists speak on the general topics of the world art, such as, for example, the criticism of the consumer society and the prevailing stereotypes and people in today's global world. In this paper, taking as example ouvre of the most influential Korean artists we will see how today an issue expressing national ideas and aesthetics in arts is solved and what are the distinctive features of contemporary South Korean art.
It is obvious that no study of literature can be done in isolation from other disciplines, especially social sciences. Discussing the literary text in the class involves contextualizing it, telling about its author, the historical period it was written in or about, the philosophical thoughts and socio-political climate of that period, etc. Depending on the dominant themes in the text, the literature teacher delves into aspects of history, philosophy, psychology and science. In Moscow State Linguistic University we teach future translators who should not only read and understand but also translate literary texts correctly from Korean into Russian, and the very important thing our students should be acquainted with is the cultural code underlying the literary texts in Korean. We also must take into consideration the differences between Korean and Russian cultural codes as well as between South Korean and North Korean ones.
First of all we should say that the concept of “cultural code” itself is a matter of discussion. The term “code” as used in semiotics evinces a fundamental ambiguity inherited from the lexical meaning of the word. R. Jacobson was one of the first semioticians to adopt the term “code” from communication theory. In 1953 reflecting on the correlation between culture and language he declared: “The most essential problem for speech analysis is that of the code common to both sender and receiver and underlying the exchange of messages”. Developing this thought Eco stated that communication, including the processes of “signification” and “interpretation”, is made possible by the existence of codes.
For working interpreters (translators) and language & literature teachers it would be logical to understand “cultural code” as a multilevel dynamic system letting to see, interpret and translate into other languages the meaning inherent in the message addressed to the carrier of such a code. As the levels available for familiarization to the non-carriers of the code could be identified: 1) the common knowledge about the world, including natural objects and cultural objects, 2) the mentality as a way of perceiving the world and ourselves in it on the basis of some values and what else, 3) the linguistic picture of the world implying the existence of certain “concepts”, 4) the involvement into various discourses 5) collective memory, etc. So it becomes clear that the condition for more or less complete understanding of the text of the foreign cultural code is primarily the widening of the interpreter’s “semantic horizon” (the term by G. Gadamer) up to the extent in which it can “fuse” with the “semantic horizon” of the text. The identification of the above-mentioned levels and the connections between them turned out to be very intricate task itself.
In the presentation I am going to show how we work with our students at deciphering Korean cultural code when reading and translating prosaic and highly metaphorical poetic texts, giving as examples some passages from the texts which are remarkable in terms of implicit content.