SOAS University of London

Centre of Korean Studies

Workshop on Chǒng Sǒn, an 18th century painter of the Chosǒn Kingdom


Date: 19 February 2014Time: 2:00 PM

Finishes: 19 February 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: E17

Type of Event: Workshop


This afternoon workshop offers an exploration of Chǒng Sǒn鄭敾 (1676-1759), pen-name Kyǒmjae謙齋, one of the most significant painters of the Chosǒn Kingdom (1392-1910). The afternoon takes the form of a lecture and a viewing of a little-known album in the SOAS Special Collections, attributed to Chǒng Sǒn, led by Dr Park Jeong-ae, a well-known scholar of Chosǒn painting. The album has never been studied in depth and the workshop presents an exciting opportunity to learn about this work and Chǒng Sǒn’s contribution to Chosǒn painting.


2:00PMIntroduction by Charlotte Horlyck
2:15-3:45PMLecture and Q&A:  “Chǒng Sǒn and the Kyǒmjae Hwajǒp album in the SOAS Special Collections” by Dr Park Jeong-ae
3:45-4:00PMCoffee Break
4:00-5:00PMViewing of the album in the SOAS Special Collection Room (inside SOAS Library) led by Dr Park Jeong-ae

Summary of Talk

Chǒng Sǒn 鄭敾 (1676-1759), pen-name Kyǒmjae 謙齋,  was one of the most significant painters of the Chosǒn Kingdom (1392-1910). He is best known as the creator of the painting style known as true-view landscape painting眞景山水畵 which became popular in the eighteenth century. He came from an impoverished yangban family, and lost his parents at a young age. At the age of 41 (1716) he entered government service, and during his career he held various positions in the central and local government. However, he became more successful as a painter than as an official. His paintings were popular not only among Chosǒn literati and officials, but also in Qing China. He inspired local painters, many of whom followed his style, and his influence continues till today. Chǒng Sǒn travelled extensively around the Korean peninsula as reflected in his many works of scenic places of Chosǒn, in particular the Diamond Mountains. He also produced landscape paintings that took their subject matters from literary themes觀念山水畵, as well as paintings of flowers and insects花卉草蟲圖 and characters from famous fables  故事人物畵.

Many works by Chǒng Sǒn have survived in Korea and in other countries. However, the album titled Kyǒmjae Hwajǒp  謙齋畵帖 in the SOAS Library deserves special attention as it offers important insight into Chosǒn painterly styles at the early stage of Chǒng Sǒn’s career, as well as Chǒng Sǒn’s influence on later generations. The album takes its title from the pen-name of Chǒng Sǒn. It comprises six leaves with true-view landscape paintings, three leaves with literary themes and one leaf with a painting of deer. The ninth album leaf bears a seal that is believed to be that of Chǒng Sǒn and the date 1726 (when he was 51 years old).

Speaker's Biography

Dr Park Jeong-ae received her MA in 2000 from Hongik University, Seoul, followed by a PhD in 2011 from the Academy of Korean Studies, Seoul. She wrote her doctoral thesis on true-view paintings of the Kwansǒ and Kwanbuk regions of the Chosǒn dynasty. Between 2002 and 2004 she worked as a curator at Hwajǒng Museum in Seoul. She lectures and runs courses on Korean art at Sang-ji University, Myeong-ji University, Chung-ang University, Korea National University of Arts among other institutions. She has published extensively on Chosǒn paintings, and some her recent books and articles are listed below.

  • Seoul Landscape Paintings in the Joseon Dynasty 아름다운 옛 서울, Borim ch’ulpansa, 2006.
  • “A Study on Jeong Su-yeong’s Landscape Painting” 之又齋 鄭遂榮의 山水畵 연구, Misulsahak yǒn'gu  235 (2002): 87-123.
  • “A Study on Paintings of Scenic Spots of Gwanseo Province in the late Joseon Dynasty” 朝鮮後期 關西名勝圖 연구, Misulsahak yǒn’gu  258 (2008): 105-139.
  • “Formation and Influence of Woodblock Prints of Real-view Landscape of China during the 17th and 18th Centuries” 17-18세기 중국 山水版畵의 형성과 그 영향, Chǒngshin munhwa yǒn’gu 113 (2008): 131-162.
  • “A Study on the Interest and Viewpoint of Paintings and Calligraphy of Yeonkyungjae Seong Hae-eung: ‘Seogwajapzi’” 硏經齋 成海應의 書畵趣味와 書畵觀 연구 -「書畵雜識」를 중심으로, Chindan hakbo 115 (2012): 141-176.
  • “A Study of Paintings of Scenic Spots of Gwanbuk in the Late Joseon Period: Focused on the Nam Gu-man Style” 朝鮮 後半期 關北名勝圖 연구 –南九萬題 계열을 중심으로, Misulsahak yǒn’gu 278 (2013): 61-95.


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