Joosik Min
Yeungnam University


This paper aims to analyse the phenomena of the consumption culture in terms of the spectacle effects of the colonial empire, which were unprecedented prosperity in the 1930s in Seoul. The phenomena could be interpreted as the politicization of sensuality. The spatial change intensified the colonial differentiation of city that was segregated into the Southern Village for Japanese and the Northern Village for Koreans. It facilitated the modern homogenization of the urban space. Especially, department stores were invigorated as a powerful apparatus for consumer capitalism, inviting Koreans to Japanese street, transcending the spatial border of the colonial segregation. Manipulating the exhibition techniques of department store, Japanese Empire built up the visually attractive self-representation image, encouraging the colonized to experience the fascination of modem urban culture as crowds or spectators in the street. The spectacle of the Empire made new lines of cultural distinction based on the differentiation of social stratum inside the colonized community.

spectacle effect, urban space, colonial city, consumption culture, department store, Seoul



SAJ Vol. 7, 2015, No. 1