Professor J.P. Park

Featured Publication


A New Middle Kingdom - J.P. Park

A New Middle Kingdom: Painting and Cultural Politics in Late Chosŏn Korea (1700―1850) 

Historians have claimed that when social stability returned to Korea after devastating invasions by the Japanese and Manchus around the turn of the seventeenth century, the late Chosŏn dynasty was a period of unprecedented economic and cultural renaissance, in which prosperity manifested itself in new programs and styles of visual art. A New Middle Kingdom questions this belief, claiming instead that true-view landscape and genre paintings were likely adopted to propagandize social harmony under Chosŏn rule and to justify the status, wealth, and land grabs of the ruling class. This book also documents the popularity of art books from China and their misunderstanding by Koreans and, most controversially, Korean enthusiasm for artistic programs from Edo Japan, thus challenging academic stereotypes and nationalistic tendencies in the scholarship about the Chosŏn period. As the first truly interdisciplinary study of Korean art, A New Middle Kingdom points to realities of late Chosŏn society that its visual art seemed to hide and deny.



  • Early Modern Chinese Visual Culture
  • Korean Art history
  • Post-Globalization in Contemporary Art

A New Middle Kingdom: Painting and Cultural Politics in Late Chosŏn Korea (1700–1850). Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2018.

A Companion to Korean Art History. Chichester, UK: Jon Wiley & Sons, 2020.                        

Art by the Book: Painting Manuals and the Leisure Life in Late Ming China (1550–1644). Seattle & London: University of Washington Press, 2012.

Keeping It Real!: Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation. Seoul: Workroom, 2012.

Journal Articles:

“The Artist was Present: Documentation, Reconstruction, and Interpretation in Chinese Performance Art,” Third Text 30, 1-2 (2016): 100–116.

“The Anxiety of Influence: (Mis)reading Chinese Art in Late Chosŏn Korea (1650–1800)," Art Bulletin 97, no. 3 (September 2015): 301–322.

“Merging to Emerge: Elite Insecurity, Collective Supports, and Paratextual Anthologies in Early Modern China,” East Asian Publishing and Society 5, no. 1 (2015): 1–31.                                  

“Classic or Cliché? The Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting in Modern Context,” Orientations 46, no. 5 (2014): 96–102.

“Koreans are White? Art, Nation, and Post-Globalization,” Third Text 27, no. 4 (2013): 510-524.                                                                                         

“似曾相识燕归来—20世纪80年代与21世纪头10年中国艺术 [Déjà vu all over again? Parallels Between Chinese Art of the 1980s and 2010s],” 美术月刊 (June 2013): 62–65.

“The Art of Being Artistic: Painting Manuals of Late Ming China (1550–1644) and the Negotiation of Taste.” Artibus Asiae 71, no.3 (2011): 5–54.

“Max Loehr, James Cahill, and the Flying Dragon: A Moment in Chinese Art History,” (co-authored with James Cahill) Orientations (September 2011): 99–104.

“The Cult of Origin: Identity Politics and Cultural Capital in Contemporary Chinese Art,” Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art 9, no. 4 (2010): 63–72.

“Instrument as Device: Representation of the Qin Zither in Late Ming Visual Culture.” Music in Art: International Journal of Music Iconography 33, no.1/2 (2008): 136–148. 

“The Publisher’s Dilemma: The Cultural Discourse of Book Illustration in Late Ming China.” Chinese Historical Review 26, no.1 (Spring, 2008): 25–49.

“Nostalgia for Homeland and Lamentation over Lost Power: Oxherd and Weaver in Dokhung-ni.” Orientations 35, no.5 (July 2004): 32–38.

Book Chapters:

“Real History? Rethinking True-view Landscape and Genre Paintings of Late Chosŏn Korea,” Reconsidering Korean Art: Identity and Aesthetics (Conference Proceedings, Keimyung University, 2018), 131–158.

“Rescuing Art History from the Nation: Late Chosŏn between Europe and Edo Japan, Pathways to Korean Art History (Conference Proceedings, UCLA, 2017), 38–52.

“Print as Nexus: Art, Print, and Cultural Discourse in Early Modern China,” in A Companion to Chinese Art. eds. Martin Powers and Katherine Tsiang (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Press, 2016), 73–90.

“What is “Korean” about Contemporary Korean Art? Cultural Differentiation and the Rhetoric of Identity.” KSAA Biennial Conference Proceedings, November 2011

“Hong-seon Jang,” Catalogue Essay. David Smith Gallery. 2012.

“De-influencing Late Chosŏn (1700–1850): Open and Closed Discourses on Early Modern Korean Art.” Global Korea: Old and New (Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial Conference of KSAA, July, 2009): 27–38.

“Photography in Korea,” in Encyclopedia of Twentieth-century Photography. New York: Routledge, 2005.