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Teaching Faculty

Faculty & Staff - Teaching Faculty

Prof. LEE Yongwoo

Prof. LEE Yongwoo

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. McGill University (Department of Art History & Communication Studies, Communication, Critical/ Cultural Studies)
M.A. Seoul National University (Department of Communication studies, Media & Cultural Studies)

About Prof. LEE Yongwoo

Yongwoo Lee is Assistant Professor in Cultural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research and teaching interests focus on media and cultural studies in East Asia, contemporary Asian visual art and criticism, visual/material and popular culture in East Asia and Sensorial modernity; Cultural history of collective memory and trauma in East Asia, film theory and Global Aesthetic of East Asian cinema, sound studies, popular music & critical musicology, critical theory and intellectual history of wartime Japan and postwar Korea, representation of animal others in the East Asian media, and post/colonial historiography. 


Before coming to CUHK, Professor Lee was Research Associate Professor at Critical Global Studies Institute at Sogang University (2020-2021), Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow at New York University in the Department of East Asian Studies (2015-2018), and an affiliated fellow at Leiden University’s International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Netherlands, and ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore (2014-2015). Prior to that, he was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow of Society for the Humanities at Cornell University (2010-2012) and Research fellow (特別研究員)in Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies at the University of Tokyo as a recipient of the Japan-Korea Cultural Foundation Fellowship(2006-2007).


He has published on Contemporary East Asian Art, visual culture and criticism, media & popular culture in East Asia, the discourse of cultural modernity and postcolonialism in a number of edited books, journals and catalogs including Superhumanity (University of Minnesota, 2018), 2 Oder 3 Tiger: Koloniale Geschichten, Medien Und Moderne(Matthes & Seitz Berlin, 2017), Suki Seokyeong Kang : Black Mat Oriole(ROMA publications, 2019), Divided We Stand: 9th Busan Biennale 2018(Sternberg Press, 2019), MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2020: Haegue Yang―O₂ & H₂O (Hyunshil Publishing, 2020), Jane Jin Kaisen: Community of Parting(Archive Books, 2020), Golden Era of the 1960s-1970s Cambodian Lost Rock and Roll (Hyunshil Book 2021), Hyundae Munhak(現代文學, 2017), Asian Cinema Journal and e-flux. He is currently revising two book manuscripts, (1) Embedded Voices in Between Empires: The Cultural Formation of Korean Popular Music in Modern Times, which explores the historical trajectory of colonial mentalities and the genealogy of cultural modernities and Americanization in South Korea by recontextualizing popular music as a narrative of collective memories and mass trauma; and (2) Asian Divas: The Voices of Acoustic Modernities in Asia. His new book project aims to explore multifarious ways in which colonialism, Americanism, and Cold War fascism in East Asia shape modern Korean society and material culture and how postwar cultural forms and their representations were shaped and invented by various hegemonies--dictatorial governance, the implicit Japanese colonial legacy, and American military rule during the Cold War era chief among them--by examining South Korean popular songs, female performers and Cold War propaganda films in the 1960s and 1970s.


As a curator and artistic researcher, Prof. Lee served as Senior Researcher at the Asia Culture Institute, Asia Culture Center of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea (2013-2014). He has been engaged in various curatorial project as a curator closely related to his research topic, such as <Asian Diva: The Muse and The Monster> (Buk-Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, co-curated, 2017), <the 1st Anren Biennale: Today’s Yesterday> (Anren, China, guest curator, 2017), Para Site’s <Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs> (Hong Kong, Manila and Bangkok, guest curator, 2016-2017), and <Robert Mapplethorpe : More Life> (Kukje Gallery, Seoul and Busan, 2021)and <Naming the Nameless> (Seoul Museum of Art, SeMA Bunker, Seoul, 2021)

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    • Media and Cultural Studies in East Asia
    • Contemporary Asian Visual Art and Criticism
    • Material and Popular Culture in East Asia and Sensorial Modernity
    • Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies
    • Sound Studies, Popular Music studies
    • Media History and Theory
    • Global Aesthetic of East Asian Cinema
    • Post/colonial Historiography
    • Critical theory and Intellectual history
    • Representation of animal Others in the East Asian media
    1. Recent  Postcolonial Mediascapes and Sensorial Modernities in East Asia
    2. 2020   Seoul Museum of Art, Exhibition Program Design Research, Seoul, Korea as Senior Researcher, conducting researches about
      (1) Expansion of Asian Modern and Contemporary Art Research through Trans-Locality
      (2) Establishment of Asian Trans-Regional Solidarity Network for Future Society, Cities,
      Environment and Ecology in Asia
      Research Project Grant from Seoul Metropolitan City Council
    3. 2016-2017   Asia Culture Center, Archive and Research sector, Asia Culture Institute, Gwangju, Korea, Project title: Cultural Formation of Southeast Asian Popular Music from 1960s-1980s Focusing on the Cases of Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar as Senior Researcher, actualized in LAGU – LAGU: Indonesia Pop Music Collection Special Exhibition
    4. 2014-2015 Postwar Mediascape and the Acoustic Modernities in East Asia, IIAS-ISEAS Fellowship
    1. Yongwoo Lee. 2022. “On the Unreachable Abject Territoriality: The Non-Sedentary, Organic Spatiality and Pure Memory in Choi Chan Sook’s Artworks,” <Korea Artist Prize 2021> ed. Hong Leeji, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea, pp.213-227. (English and Korean)
    2. Yongwoo Lee, 2022, “Fables and Gazes: Allegories, Gazes as Non-Human, and Transversal Poiesis in CHO Eunji’s artwork,” <Gyeonggi Artists Highlights 2021, Vast and Slow exhibition>, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Korea, pp.228-255. (English and Korean)
    3. Yongwoo Lee. 2021. “The Return of the Voices of Silence: Cambodian Rock & Roll as Unarchived Histories in Asia,” Golden Era of the 1960s-1970s Cambodian Lost Rock and Roll, Hyunshil Book Publisher, Seoul, South Korea pp. 17-40. (in Korean)
    4. Yongwoo Lee. 2021. “Melancholic Reflux: Air and Water of Haegue Yang,” National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Hyunshil Book Publisher, Seoul, South Korea, pp.94-111. (in English and Korean)
    5. Yongwoo Lee. 2020. “Re-membering Absence: Memory, Trauma and Spectral Imagination in Jane Jin Kaisen’s Artworks, Community of Parting, Archive Books, Berlin /Billedkunstskolernes Forlag, Copenhagen. pp.336-351. (in English and Danish)
    6. Yongwoo Lee.2019. “Reterritorializing Painting: Suki Seokyeong Kang’s affective spatio-temporality,” Black Mat Oriole, ICA University of Pennsylvania, ROMA publications pp.136-161 (in English)
    7. Yongwoo Lee. 2019. “Colonial Phantasm and the Debris of Prosthetic Modernity,” The Busan Biennale 2018: Divided We Stand (with Boris Groys and Nina Power), edited by Jörg Heiser, Sternberg Press, pp.25-36. and pp.433-449. (in English and Korean)
    8. Yongwoo Lee. 2018. “The Return of the Have-Lived Things: The Non-Human, the Animal and the Ever-present memory in Postcolonial Korea,” Superhumanity, University of Minnesota Press, pp. 419-426. (English)
    9. Yongwoo Lee.2017. “Taxidermie der Zeit: Tiger als Chronotopen fortdauernder Kolonialität in Korea”, 2 Oder 3 Tiger: Koloniale Geschichten, Medien Und Moderne, edt. Anselm Franke & Hyunjin Kim, Matthes & Seitz Berlin, December 2017, pp. 206-229. (in German), available online publication in English, Yongwoo Lee, “Taxidermy of Time: Tigers as chronotope of continual coloniality in Korea,” House of World Cultures (Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Germany), edt. Anselm Franke
    10. Yongwoo Lee. 2017. “The Mega Event and Epistemological Topos of East Asia: Focusing on 64 Tokyo Olympic and 88 Seoul Olympic Games’ theme song as Imperial mimicry and collaboration,” Hyundae Munhak (現代文學, No. 750), (Seoul: Hyundae Munhak) June 2017 pp. 322-340. (in Korean)
    11. Yongwoo Lee.2017. The Immortality of Digital Text, and Archive as Future Memory, Hyundae Munhak (現代文學, No. 748), (Seoul: Hyundae Munhak) April 2017.pp.243-256 (in Korean)
    12. Yongwoo Lee, 2013. “Imperfectible Narrative in Colonial Melancholia: Gendered Sovereignty and the Technology of Colonial Subjects in Wartime Korean Propaganda Film” October 2013, Asian Cinema (Intellect Pub), pp.223-237 (in English)
    • Selected Catalogue Text and Art Critique
    1. Yongwoo Lee, 2022, “More Life, Robert Mapplethorpe(s),” <Robert Mapplethorpe: More Life>, ed. Yongwoo Lee, Seoul: Kukje Gallery, Korea, pp.6-27. (English and Korean)
    2. Yongwoo Lee. 2021. “Reflux originated from the Air and Water,” <美術手帖(Bijutsytecho)>, BTCompany, Tokyo, Japan, March, 2021 (in Japanese)
    3. Yongwoo Lee. 2021. “Asian Divas and Voices of Modernity”, English-Chinese bilingual Journal, #2 issue of Constellation of Intimacies, digital Journal of Times Museum in Guangdong, China (in English and Chinese)
    4. Yongwoo Lee. 2020. “A World of Parallel Universes: Koo Jeong A’s 02022020 Exhibition,), the Artro: Platform for Contemporary Korean Art (in English)
    5. Yongwoo Lee. 2019. “Parallel Space of Abjection and Co-existence: Critical Essay on <Dear Amazon> and <Gabriel Rico’s The Stone, The Branch, and The Golden Geometry>,” <Art in Culture>, aMart Publications, Seoul, South Korea September, 2019 (in Korean)
    6. Yongwoo Lee.2019. “Beyond the Imperial Gazes: Watching the world through Asian Perspective”, Critical Essay on curatorial methodology in Asia and the exhibition <Awakening: Art in Society in Asia 1960s-1990s>, <Art in Asia>, Fall issue, Seoul, South Korea (in English)
    7. Yongwoo Lee.2019. “The Art of IM Heung-soon (republished),” Towards Mysterious Realities, The Cube project space pp. 204-207. (in English and Chinese) / Yongwoo Lee. 2015. “A Ventriloquist of Remembering and Oblivion: The Art of IM Heung-soon,” Artist File 2015 Next Door: Contemporary Art in Japan and Korea, The National Art Center, Tokyo and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, published by the National Art Center, Tokyo. pp.36-48. (in English, Korean and Japanese)
    8. Yongwoo Lee. 2017. “Divas, Psychedelia and the Cosmos: An Origin of Unconsciousness in Postwar Asia in the 1960s and 70s,” Asian Diva: The Muse and The Monster, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, published by Seoul Museum of Art. pp. 18-33. (in English and Korean)
    • Creative, Curatorial and Consultant Works
    1. Curator, <Colors of Yoo Youngkuk> (Kukje Gallery, Seoul, 2022)
    2. Curator, <Asian Diva: The Muse and The Monster> (Buk-Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, co-curated, 2017
    3. Curator, <the 1st Anren Biennale: Today’s Yesterday> (Anren, China, guest curator, 2017)
    4. Curator, Para Site’s <Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs> (Hong Kong, Manila and Bangkok, guest curator, 2016-2017)
    5. Curator, <Robert Mapplethorpe: More Life> (Kukje Gallery, Seoul and Busan, 2021)
    6. Curator, <Naming the Nameless> (Seoul Museum of Art, SeMA Bunker, Seoul, 2021)
    • Virtual Exhibition Link
    1. <Colors of Yoo Youngkuk> at Kukje Gallery, Seoul, 2022.
    2. <Robert Mapplethorpe: More Life> at Kukje Gallery, Seoul/Busan, Korea. 2021.
    3. <Naming the Nameless The Portraits of Forced Laborers> at Seoul Museum of Art, SeMA Bunker, Seoul, 2021