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Consuming Korean Tradition in Early and Late ModernityCommodification, Tourism, and Performance$

Laurel Kendall

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833930

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833930.001.0001

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(p.19) Part I Modernity as Spectacle/Spectacular Korea

(p.19) Part I Modernity as Spectacle/Spectacular Korea

Consuming Korean Tradition in Early and Late Modernity
University of Hawai'i Press

Keywords:   Korean culture, colonial Korea, department store, dining facilities, consumption, urban life, urban space

Keywords:   Lotte World, shopping malls, theme parks, Korean consumers, miniature models

(p.20) The spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images

.—Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle

Modernity has been described as a quintessentially visual experience that invites its subject to gaze a series of organized and orchestrated images and, by so doing, to experience a new sense of self in relation to known and unknown worlds (Berman 1983; Debord 1983). Modern visual experiences include the department store, the motion picture, the museum, the World’s Fair, the flaneur’s journey through the city, the tourist itinerary, and conventions of landscape and portrait photography (Bennet 1988; E. Edwards, Gosden, and Phillips 2006b; Mitchell 1989; Urry 1990). Katarzyna Cwiertka’s chapter on the colonial department store describes Korean encounters with this spectacular urban space. At Lotte World in contemporary Seoul, South Koreans have mastered and transcended the spectacular form. Timothy Tangherlini shows us that this constellation not only embraces the department store, the megamall, and the theme park but also permits the visitor to gaze at both playful and sober representations of the Korean past, never far from the recognition that all is simulation.