If you visit “Traces of Life: Seen Through Korean Eyes, 1945-1992,” the exhibition on display from Feb. 6 to May 26 at the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, your mind will be filled with questions of realism’s relevance and photography’s ability to portray truth.
The exhibit focuses on Korean modern photography and history. Cabbages used for kimchi lying on the ground, a girl making her way up an alley with a dog, and a merchant carrying a large stock of the most indispensable items of dress in old Korea are just a few examples.
The tension between art, politics, and history, along with the question of realism, comes into play in the exhibit. Curator of Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies Patrick Dowdey differentiates “life realism” and “social realism” in order to set them apart from more