Development and Design

Development and Design



Development and Design


The Konggan magazine was created to introduce Korean culture, arts, and folklore into the world scene. The author’s vision was to bring out architecture from the technical field into the world of art that would be a representative of Korean culture and past and as well as contemporary Korea. This was instrumental in shaping an identity for Korea and distinguishing it from the rest of the world. Having read the article, I strongly agree that the Korean culture needed to be re-introduced into the world.


I believe without the magazine, we would not recognize the Koreans other than with their physical attributes. They needed a culture and a heritage that the world would see and recognize as Korean. I find that the magazine was a key instrument in achieving this. The writer, Sugun believed in removing the technicality in architecture and bringing in Korean art. This was ingenious as it helped shaped the Korean identity. Very few people would use this tactic when trying to shape a culture. Konggan used the Korean history and past to bring it back alive through different ways. The first was to restore history and culture the through broadening the heritage, forgotten arts and crafts, vanishing folklore among others.

Secondly, it was through connecting the past with the present through modernizing tradition and keeping it alive. Konggan was to keep tradition alive through shunning away any debates on authenticity. Contemporary Korean culture was seen to be a mixture of Japanese, Chinese and western culture. According to Sugun, there was nothing like “Koreanness”, as long as Korea had not yet captured its past and defined its future. I consider that particular statement to be untrue. Granted, Korea was in the process of redefining its culture, however, it does not mean that Koreans did not have an identity. It did not have to be culture but they still had an identity. Projecting that there was no feel of “Koreanness” is misplaced and out of order. The Korean culture was still restructuring and being reintroduced; hence it still had cultural elements from other places.

The author would use Chinese to conduct his presentations so that people would understand more. That seems absurd. Would it not be prudent to use your own language when you are trying to introduce it to people? Reordering the culture through the arts and crafts was a brilliant idea. People can now identify Korean craft like tiles, or buildings and songs. Sugun’s main idea was sensibility of the Korean culture and hence insisted that while trying to bring out the culture, the inner Korean spirit is what should be focused on instead of outer forms that could easily be forgotten. I find that approach very calculating and informed as it is what helped achieve the goal. The idea was to repackage Korean culture and national aesthetics as fresh, spontaneous, and simple.


I do not think it would have been possible to reintroduce Korean aesthetics and designs as part of their culture without the magazine. Konggan brought out a communality of Korean culture and brought together the aesthetics parts of it to form national culture. Sugun is a true inspiration to humankind. His devotion for his culture should teach us to appreciate our cultures and take pride in them. I believe culture defines a man’s identity. We can now identify Korean when we see it thanks to the author, Sugun for his love and commitment to the process.

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