The Cult of Su Shi 蘇軾 in the 19th Century: A Sino-Korean Perspective

The Cult of Su Shi 蘇軾 in the 19th Century: A Sino-Korean Perspective

Jeongsoo Shin - Assistant Professor, Korean Classics and Global Communication, Academy of Korean Studies

Monday, April 27, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Via Zoom See map

The cult of Su Shi (1037-1101) began in the late 1770s, when Weng Fanggang (1733-1818) ritualized the annual birthday ceremony for Su on the nineteenth of the twelfth lunar month. Weng often invited to these ceremonies members of Chosŏn delegations to Beijing; among them were Park Chega (1750-1815), Kim Chŏnghi (1786-1856), and Sin Wi (1769-1847). Soon thereafter the ritual took place in many places simultaneously in China and Korea, and became a cultural hallmark of the era. Su Shi was commemorated in various ways; naming studios after him, collecting his literary and calligraphic works, painting portraits of him, and imitating his appreciation of stones. In this presentation, I examine how their collective antiquarian celebrations of the great poet developed into transnational collaborations and border-crossing friendship in the context of nineteenth-century Sino-Korea. 

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Jeongsoo Shin received his Ph.D in pre-modern Korean and Chinese literature from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2011. He studies garden culture in Korea and China, and is currently focused on miniature rocks, an aesthetic object appreciated among literati. With an eye to national borders, regional identity, and modes of circulation, Professor Shin scrutinizes the emergence of Korean connoisseurship of rocks, which culminated in the nineteenth century as a result of the interaction between indigenous Korean culture and Chinese influence. His research contributes to an understanding of Sino-Korean cultural exchange, East Asian material culture, the relationship between man and natural objects, and man in the realm of nature.

China, Korea