Kyunghee Pyun’s Research on Dandyism Receives Recognition at Symposium

Kyunghee PyunProfessor Kyunghee Pyun’s research into hybrid dandyism across history is finding broad recognition in academia and museums around the world.

In mid-October, Pyun, Art History and Museum Professions and History of Art, presented during a symposium at London’s V&A Museum. The symposium, held in conjunction with the exhibition Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear, invited some 20 scholars to discuss themes of undress, overdress, and redress of menswear. Topics ranged from how ancient nudes were perceived in the 18th century to contemporary fashion by major designers.

While the exhibition Fashioning Masculinities itself focused on menswear of Western Europe from the 1800s to the 2000s, Pyun’s paper was recognized for its global perspective of the intersection of masculinity, modernity, colonialism, and gendered consumption.

The paper, “Hybrid Dandyism and Construction of Masculinity in Modern Fashion: Ko Hui-dong (1885–1965) and Lee Quede (1913–1965)” also received praise from Sarah Cheang, dress historian and professor at the Royal College of Art, who remarked on its insightful reading of fashionable menswear and hybrid dandyism in the artistic milieu of modern Korea.

Seven presenters sit on a stage
Pyun at the V&A symposium. She is second from the right, holding the microphone.

Lee Quede’s self-portraiture, which Pyun discusses, is currently on display at Los Angeles County Museum as part of a special exhibition, The Space in Between: The Modern in Korean Art, through February 19, 2023.

“Analysis of dresses in portraiture by modern artists addresses questions of acculturation, adaptability, construction of selfhood, and symbolic capital for modernized masculinity versus indigenous emasculation in economic history of gendered labor and consumption,” said Pyun.

The symposium is being considered as a publication project.

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