‘Peek under Joseon woman skirt’ invites public fury

By Kim Min-joo
  • Published : Aug 10, 2017 - 17:26
  • Updated : Sept 14, 2017 - 17:45
“Don’t miss the opportunity to take a peek under this Joseon beauty’s skirt,” reads the description to a parodic adaptation of “Portrait of a Beauty,” a classic masterpiece by late Joseon Kingdom artist Shin Yun-bok. 

In the parody installation, the portrayed woman’s skirt is replaced with a piece of clothing that could be lifted by the viewers. Below the skirt, the woman’s bare legs and underwear are realistically painted.


Alive Museum in Seoul, where the controversial parody work was on exhibition, took town the piece and issued a written apology Thursday.

“We are 100 percent open to all the criticisms we received from the media and the wider public regarding the ‘Beauty’ piece,” the museum said in the apology issued in response to recent media reports criticizing the work’s inappropriate concept.

Alive Museum features adaptations of famous paintings with “comical, interactive tweaks” for the visitors to pose with. Located next to the artworks are suggestions for poses that best fulfill the intent of the displays.


The instruction written next to the controversial “Beauty” piece, told the viewer to “take a peek” into the skirt.

The instruction was written in three different languages other than Korean as the museum is frequented by foreign visitors as a tourist attraction.

By Kim Min-joo/ Intern reporter (