Portraits of Young Adults in Korea
January 13, 2023-May 31, 2023
Location: Asia Collection
Contemporary Korean society can be described as "in rapid transformation." Generation after generation, young adults in Korea have experienced different phases of economic development and a diverse spectrum of views in the pursuit of rights. Their lifestyles during each era cannot be considered identical; however, their thoughts and contemplations about life share a common essence. It is something unaffected by time. This exhibit on "Portraits of Young Adults in Korea" focuses on their consistency.
All young adults have the physical strength and mentality to create a broad range of emotions, swinging between both extremities of rejoicing and fury. This feature of human nature is given to everyone during their youth. Thus, society's interest in the so-called "New Generation," Young Adults," and "Youth" repeats itself throughout our history.
People have documented young adults with poems, essays, papers, and reports, and the creators of these records were either the young adults themselves or those who lived at that time, or earlier than them. This exhibition, based on the holdings of the UH Library Korea Collection, introduces books that portray young adults in Korea through what they have left behind.
Case 1. Depicting Themselves: The young adults have praised or were sick at heart about who they are and the society they belong to. And the narratives they had, either way, were vigorous. This case includes young authors’ poems, novels, autobiographical reminiscences, self-evaluation reports, and social chastisement essays.
Case 2. Attempts to define: People start with the question, “Why are you like that?” This question has been analyzed continuously. People have studied young adults, considering their social influence as a subculture that soon will be transformed into major prominence. Also, People have wanted to analyze the status quo and the causes of phenomena that they created, in order to find problems and to predict the future. This is our history of repetition over time. So here are some examples of society’s interest; these books are the studies of young adults as a research subject.
Case 3. Time of learning: In Korea, where it is prevalent for some people to express a passion for study and others an obsession with the status of the school one attends, young people have been thinking about the fundamental meaning of study, especially at universities. Just coming out of their teenage years, they contemplate why they should learn.
Created by: Yeajin Park, Korea Foundation Intern