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대한제국기 극장에 대한 인식 - The Perception of Theaters during the Great Han Empire Period

By Woonwha Ju, Yonsei University / CKS Post Doc and Visiting Scholars Colloquium Series

Tuesday, January 25, 2011
12:00 PM
11377 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

20세기 초 서울에 등장한 실내극장은 기존의 공연관람 모습을 바꾸었다. 공연무대의 변화는 단순한 물리적 공간의 변화만을 의미하지 않았다. 극장은 누구에게나 열린 공간이었지만 그 이면에는 경제적인 차등이 존재하고 있었다. 이전의 가설무대나 공원처럼 누구에게나 접근가능했던 공간이 아니라 실질적인 구매력을 가진 관객에게 제한된 공간이었다. 따라서 극장은 상층문화의 장으로 인식되었고 실제로 많은 고위관료들이 극장을 사교의 장으로 사용하였다. 그러나 극장의 개방성은 비록 경제적 차등이 있다 하더라도 당시 관념으로는 받아들이기 힘들었으며 따라서 극장은 여론의 비난을 받기도 하였다. 극장에 대한 비난은 공연내용에 대한 비난과도 연결되었다. 협률사 폐지이후 연희개량에 대한 목소리가 높아지면서 연희개량를 표방하며 극장들이 등장하였지만 새로운 극장들의 공연도 대중의 기대에는 미치지 못하였다. 대한제국기 극장은 근대적 변화를 일반대중들이 가장 직접적으로 체험할 수 있었던 공간이었다. 그렇기 때문에 이 시기 극장에 대한 인식은 ‘근대’를 인식하는 시선을 반영할 뿐 아니라 일반대중들이 받아들이는 새로운 시대에 대한 모습의 단면을 보여주고 있다고 생각한다.

In the early 20th century, the established form of viewing performances changed for indoor theaters that had appeared in Seoul. The change in the performing stage did not simply equate to a change in physical space. Although theaters were a space that was open to anyone, there existed underlying economic distinctions. These were not spaces that anyone could access like previous make-shift stages or public parks. They were spaces that were restricted to spectators that had effective purchasing power. Therefore, theaters became perceived as venues of high culture, and many high officials actually used theaters as places to socialize. However, in terms of the theater’s openness, even if it could be said that there were economic distinctions, it was a difficult notion to accept at the time. As a result, the theater also received public criticism. The criticism of the theater also became connected with the content of the performance. After the closure of the Hyŏmnyulsa (the first modern theater in Korea), there were louder cries for better theater performances, and it appeared that theaters were making improvements in traditional performances. However, as new theaters appeared, the performances of these new theaters still could not match the expectations of the masses. The theaters of the Great Han Empire period were spaces where the general populace could most directly experience the changes brought about by modernity. Because of this, the perceptions of the theater in this period not only reflected how the public viewed “modernity” but also reveals one side of how the general public understood this new age.

Woonwha Ju is a Ph.D student in Korean History at Yonsei University. Her research topic focuses on the culture policy of the Japanese Empire and the establishment and expansion of cultural space in the era from the Great Han Empire to the 1920s. She is also interested in the relationship between cultural space and modern politics.


This event is open to the public. This lecture will be in Korean.

Cost : Free

Sejung Kim
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