Rethinking the Amatuer – Field Research on Amatuer in Korea (2009)


During my three months stay in Korea in 2009, I conduct a research on the empowerment of the amateur within cultural productions in Korea, with a perspective on global phenomena of amateurism in their relationship to modernity in the country. I conveyed my research through a combination of interviews and an active participation in academic platforms as well as being a part of  cultural scenes in Seoul. I conducted a research by interviewing scholars, art critics, curators, artists, and other cultural producers. I collected nearly 40 voices from these diverse fields of contemporary culture in Korea.

Some quotes extracted from interviews

“Briefly I said that Professionalism means considering human being as capital 
and amateurism means reconsidering existence and time as human beings. It’s like conservatism and progressivism how to consider the time and existence.” Minouk Lim, artist

“A notion of amateur in Korean context is not so much about self-educated, but more focused on culturally productive person. Ten years ago, it was more like about art and cultural production, and distinguish person. We do not emphasize that anymore.  Now, we focus on ‘I’ to ‘we’. After all without caring, we cannot produce any creativity.” Prof. Hyejung Chohan, Yonsei Uni.