• Contemporary Cinema Research Institute

The NRF Collaborative Research Grant 2015~2018

Korean Cinemas and Urban Cultural Space in Glocal Era: 1980~2007


Principal Director
Pih, Jong-Ho
(Professor, Hanyang University, Korea)



Aims and Research Themes



This research project examines urban cultural spaces represented in the Korean cinema during the period from 1980 to 2007 which is called the Korean New Wave and populated by a new generation of filmmakers.

Based on the concept of ‘spatial turn’ in urban sociology, this project begins with a question that both the globalization and localization of the Korean cinema, the changes in all the areas of the Korean cinema industry from the production, distribution, and exhibition was simultaneously the results of the paradigm shift to spatiality, like simultaneity, fragmenting, or networked space, in Korean society.




Chung, Tae-soo 
(Professor, Hanyang University, Korea)

Han, Sang-Eon 
(Professor, Hanyang University, Korea)

Han, Young-Hyeon 
(Professor, Semyung University, Korea)

Jang, Woo-Jin 
(Professor, Ajou University, Korea)

Jeong, Chan-Cheol 
(Research Professor, Hanyang University, Korea)

Postdoctoral Researcher

Kim, Keum-Dong

(Hanyang University, Korea)

Research Assistant

Park, Byung-Yun 
(Ph.D. Student, Hanyang University, Korea)

Lee, Jun-Yeob
(M.A. Student, Hanyang University, Korea)

Yoo, Chang-Yeon 
(M.A. Student, Hanyang University, Korea) 




First, We will conceptualize urban spaces in the Korean cinema from 1980~1987 as a ‘ruptured space’ where bipolar things coexisted. In the bipolar socio-political conditons of this period, the Korean cinema revealed various ruptured points which appeared between the national goal by the regime and the reality where ordinary people lived. We suggest that in such a situation, the democratic movement in 1987 and the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988 made Koreans to newly recognize their identity as global and national ones.




Second, This project will define the period from 1987 to 1997 as the 'space of re-organization'. In this period, the Korean cinema industry was changed and improved radically in its economic structure, due to the new generation filmmakers' active performances which open new wave era, and newly emerged film companies as majors that entered the film industry. In 1997, the IMF crisis and neo-liberation weakened the Korean communities, so as to change their traditional meanings of space. This project will argue that during this re-organization period, the everyday space where people live was re-structured into a hub-space of the network where the local and the global intermingled irrevocably. In this radical change, the Korean cinema industry enjoyed a renaissance.






Finally, This project will call the Korean cinema of the period from 1997~2007 as the space of glocalization where not only the glocalization of Korean cinema but also the localization had their own role in its economic growth throughout a harmony between auteur films and commercial movies, the emergence of a reasonable way of production, the changes in the cinema culture, and its strategy of locality for its global success.