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Part II Korean Nationalism And Postcolonial Exhibitions

In the process of social engineering in postcolonial Korea, the state regulated colonial memory, retrieved anti-colonial nationalism and actively mobilized the discourse of the Korean nation based on shared historical experience and ancestry.1 The national imagining of Korea was, however, historically situated within interactive historical forces of capitalism and modernity under Japanese colonialism. For instance, as previous chapters have highlighted, it developed in tension with colonial representations of progress. Consistent with this thesis, colonial governmentality of culture, which brought together disciplinary and exhibitionary techniques, had important consequences for the formation of postcolonial national museums and public spaces. Part II explores the contradictory relations of Korean nationalism with its colonial past. It continues to look at the exhibitionary institutions as a crucial locus for the production of national subjectivity. Below is a sketch of the state’s representation practices of the nation in the earlier postcolonial period before the 1980s, which marked the resurgence of colonial memory with renewed political significances.