Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities
2010—2011 Forum on Virtuality
History of Art, Philosophy, East Asian Languages and Civilizations
The Virtual Aesthetic Experience of the Scholary Elite in the Joseon Dynasty as seen through Hanok
This project examines hanok as a spatial intersection of Neo-Confucian philosophy and aesthetics on the Korean Peninsula. Hanok, which are vernacular wooden structures developed during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), emerged in an era where the ruling ideology shifted from Buddhism to Neo-Confucianism. Despite preconceived contemporary notions of what virtual space is, we already see experimentation with creating alternative spatial experiences within a hanok through the use of philosophy and aesthetics. Through visual and spatial analysis of hanok, and textual analysis of Neo-Confucian philosophy from the Song Dynasty in China and the Joseon Dynasty in Korea, I aim to elucidate the aesthetic taste of the elite, and present a better understanding of what is now a virtual aesthetic experience in the physical space of a hanok.