International Journal of Art & Design Education

An Autoethnographical Study of Culture, Power, Identity and Art Education in Post-Colonial South Korea

Volume 36.1   2017



This article reflects my experiences of learning art in the 1970s and 1980s and my teaching career in school art education in twenty-first century South Korea. This autobiographical reflection shows how I have struggled with my identity as an art teacher in the post-colonial context of Western influences on Korean society since World War II. There has been greater tension and a greater struggle for different values, practices and identities when new values and practices have been introduced into the particular socio-cultural context of South Korea. My struggles with particular kinds of pedagogic identity valued within the rapidly changing political, economic and cultural context of Western influences on Korean art education demonstrate the hidden structural mechanism of the relationship between culture, power and identity in the post-colonial world of globalisation. This study as an autoethnographical research provides critical insights into how identities are produced by pedagogic discourses and practices of art education that are constructed through the specific systems of practice and language which transmit and regulate such identities and values.