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  • P-ISSN1229-0076
  • E-ISSN2773-9351

Binding Perceptions: Images of Korea in Japanese Colonial Documentary Photography

The Review of Korean Studies, (P)1229-0076; (E)2773-9351
2019, v.22 no.1, pp.233-258
https://doi.org/10.25024/review.2019.22.1.008
이헬렌 (연세대학교)
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Abstract

This paper examines imperial Japanese photography from the late 19th century to the 1930s, with particular focus on the state-sponsored documentary photography of Korea, which served to visually legitimize Japan’s colonial expansion. By engaging with the GGK’s documentary collection, I explore which photographic images were permitted to circulate in the media and, more importantly, how those images exerted power in ways that subjugated the colonized and legitimized the colonial hierarchy. If the colonial photography established and reified its power through irresistible and “transparent” photographic images, this paper’s aim is to strip off that power by opening up the images to multivalence. As such, one of the primary concerns of this paper is to investigate the widely presumed transparency or validity of photography, especially in its use as historical evidence or as historical reference for understanding the colonial past.

keywords
Japanese colonial photography documentary photography visual representations of colonial relations colonial Korea in Japanese photography visual culture

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The Review of Korean Studies