Lesson Plan:Understanding Korean modern art through "Bull” and “White Cow”by Lee Jung-seop (1916-1956), Korean Artist For grade 6th – 8th (Middle school)
As art educator Terry Barrett puts it, “A work of art is always about something, unlike a tree, rock, or other simple object, because it is an expressive, man-made object. Therefore, unlike trees and rocks, works of art require interpretation.”
Seekers seeking to form interpretations approach works of art through (often implicit) open-ended questions. What is this piece about? What is its significance (to us, in this or that situation)?
For example, students can ask themselves further questions about a question by answering their own open-ended questions.
Q 1: How does the bull and Korean relate to these two characters? ---> Answer: Bulls help in farming and were common animals in Korean villages at that time. The reason why artist Lee Jung-seop often featured bulls in his paintings was that he thought that the friendly, diligent, and good-natured cows that can be seen everywhere in Korea match well with Koreans.
Things to research: Are there any anecdotes or interviews with Lee Jung-seop about cows? Do you have any data on what the cow symbolizes in Korean art history during the Japanese colonial period? Among Lee Jung-seop's works, collect works featuring cows. What animals do Koreans like? What are Korean characters? Why did the Japanese prohibit the exhibition of Lee Jung-seop's cow painting during the Japanese occupation?
Myungja Anna Koh