(Confirmed) RASKB Private Visit to the Museum of Contemporary History

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 -
6:45pm to 9:00pm
Museum of Contemporary History in Seoul
Tour Leader: 
Tom Coyner


Seoul 2002 Word Cup Korean Fan
©Tom Coyner

Date:December 20, Wednesday, 6:50pm

Special ExhbitDecember 20, Wednesday, 6:50 PM - Korean Sports, History Written in Sweat - A Special Exhibition on Contemporary History of Sports to Commemorate the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics - a free, guided tour of Korea's hosting of global sporting events. 

A no-charge, special guided tour, free sandwiches & beverages, followed by a presentation/discussion by Tom Coyner who will give a presentation as an photographer covering the 2002 World Cup but from an Irish perspective. 


Sport refers to physical activity governed by a set of rules. It is sometimes played in a game format between two groups, often representing their countries. The origin of the Olympic Games is related to replacement of wars among ancient city-states with sporting events. While sports do not threaten survival the way a war does, it is frequently accompanied by a high level of intensity in both body and spirit. Both the players who participate in sports competitions between nations and the people who watch the games consider the events a competition between nations. Through sports games, they seek to confirm their national status and history.
Adopted in the late 19th century, modern sports in Korea was also perceived as intimately linked to Korea’s national status in the international community. Modern sports in this early period was linked to a goal of governance, where sports played the role of developing people’s physical abilities as a foundation for the nation’s prosperity. During Japanese colonial period, Korean sports had a new mission – to make oneself strong in order to fight for independence. After independence, sports was considered as an activity with the goal of developing the nation towards prosperity. Korean sports reached the highest level on the international stage by the late 20th century. This was perceived by many as evidence of Korea’s status as an advanced nation.
However, the social realm influenced by sports, or the symbolism of sports is much larger. Today, sports is not only about competition between nations. Its goals now include individuals’ physical training and beauty. Many people today who loves sports are often uncomfortable watching sports from a state-centric perspective. There are others who argue that existing narratives surrounding the history of sports are exclusively focused on elite athletes and sports administrators.
This special exhibition at the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History commemorates the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. It presents artifacts, photographs, and film materials to illuminate the history of sports – including major events in people’s memories - in Korea’s contemporary history. Also included are stories of not very well-known but important events, phenomena, and people. We hope this exhibition will provide an experience of gaining a new perspective on the past and present of Korea’s sports.

If you wish to join us, please register your RSVP  click here or email raskb1900@gmail.com the following information:

Required RSVP for participation in the Museum Visit, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2017:


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Contact Us

Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Room 611, Korean Christian Building, Daehak-ro 19 (Yeonji-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul 03129
[03129] 서울시 종로구 대학로 19 (연지동) 한국기독교회관 611호

Office is open Monday through Friday from 10 to 5 but we are short staffed and there are meetings elsewhere often: please call or email before your visit.
Phone (02) 763-9483 FAX (02) 766-3796
Email - royalasiatickorea@gmail.com

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