J.P. Park

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AsSOCIATE Professor
Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

 225 Arts Building
 Curriculum Vitae
Academia website

Biography/EducationResearch/TeachingSelected PublicationsBooks

J.P. Park’s research interests touch upon a wide spectrum of art historical materials ranging from ancient tombs in North Korea to contemporary art in China. His first book, Art by the Book: Painting Manuals and the Leisure Life in Late Ming China (University of Washington Press, 2012) discusses how the genre of “how-to-paint” books can be productively examined as a key element in the larger cultural matrix of the early modern China, not only in terms of the knowledge and practice of art, but also as a register of social changes, gender issues, fashion, leisure, and conflicts of taste. He has also authored an exhibition catalogue, Keeping It Real: Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation (Workroom, 2012), wherein he illuminates the concept of “post- globalism” as an alternative channel of historical analysis. His latest book is on early modern Korean art, A New Middle Kingdom: Chinese Art and Cultural Politics in Late Chosŏn Korea (1700–1850) (University of Washington Press, 2018). He is preparing another manuscript, tentatively titled, Presence in Absence: Documents, Forgeries, and Myth-making in Chinese Art.


2000 B.A., Seoul National University

2002 M.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

2005 Graduate Research Student, Peking University

2007 Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Research Interests

Early Modern Chinese Art
Print Culture in China
Art of Late Chosŏn Korea (1650–1850)
Artistic Exchange between China, Japan, and Korea
Post-Globalization /Multi-culturalism in Contemporary East Asian Art

Courses Offered Undergraduate Level

Introduction to Asian Art History
China: Art, Literature, and Society
History of Korean Art
The Art of Buddhism: Concepts, Rhetoric, and Representations
Art and Politics: Class and Power in Chinese Art
Art and Humanities: Masterpieces of Western Art

Graduate Level

Between the Past and the Present: Visual Culture in Contemporary East Asia
Mapping East & West: Art, Nation, and Cultural Identity
Learning to Draw: Printing and Painting in Early Modern China


Presence in Absence: Documents, Forgeries, and Myth-making in Chinese Art (In Progress)

Co-Editor (with Prof. Ju-Hyung Rhi, Seoul National University), A Companion to Korean Art History. London and New York: Wiley-Blackwell. (forthcoming 2018)

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

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

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


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

“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.

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

“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. [Refereed]

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

“似曾相识燕归来—20世纪80年代与21世纪头10年中国艺术,” 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. [Refereed]

“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, [Refereed]

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

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

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

ArtbytheBookArt by the Book: Painting Manuals and the Leisure Life in Late Ming China
2012, University of Washington Press
J.P. Park, author

Sometime before 1579, Zhou Lujing, a professional writer living in a bustling commercial town in southeastern China, published a series of lavishly illustrated books, which constituted the first multigenre painting manuals in Chinese history. Their popularity was immediate and their contents and format were widely reprinted and disseminated in a number of contemporary publications. Focusing on Zhou’s work,Art by the Book describes how such publications accommodated the cultural taste and demands of the general public, and shows how painting manuals functioned as a form in which everything from icons of popular culture to graphic or literary cliche was presented to both gratify and shape the sensibilities of a growing reading public. As a special commodity of early modern China, when cultural standing was measured by a person’s command of literati taste and lore, painting manuals provided nonelite readers with a device for enhancing social capital.

J. P. Park builds on important recent research on social status, economic development, and print publishing in late imperial China to show how a world of social meaning is evident in the literary subgenre of painting manuals, and provides insight into the links between art history, print culture, and social history.

KeepingItRealKeeping it Real: Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation
2012, Workroom
J.P. Park, author

This exhibition catalog comments on the contemporary state of South Korean art by offering a unique and unprecedented opportunity to experience new art forms pioneered by emerging Korean artists working in Seoul, New York, and Europe. The artists in this exhibition lead us into a mysterious, ironic, and hybrid reality, a reality that completely challenges our perceptions of the world as we are conditioned to think about it. The works on view are a series of dialogues that illuminate conjunctures between real life and fantasy which present objects and human behaviors through a creative and conceptual kaleidoscope. The virtual reality in their art—a hyper-­reality materialized in scientific, technological, and global idioms—unerringly subverts our intellectual, experienced, and intuitive knowledge about art and society. These artists belong to a new generation, born since the tumultuous social and political phase of modern Korean society subdued; without the Cold War, without riot police, yet possessing access to the larger world via the internet, opportunities to travel abroad, and products promoted locally by global corporations. The exhibition features photography, video, site-­specific installation, and sculpture and includes the work of eight artists including: Kyung Woo Han, Yong-ho Ji, Yeondoo Jung, Shin-il Kim, Sun K. Kwak, Hyungkoo Lee, Jaye Rhee, and Kiwoun Shin.

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