|Publication Date||February 20, 2020|
Seowon were private academies in which Confucian scholars pursued their studies and performed ceremonial rites for the sages of old. They played both the role of spiritual prop to give direction to the local community and that of political and social organizer. The architecture of seowon reflects the ideology of Neo-Confucianism through its temperate, elegant form and order of design and the space planning and arrangement in which the concept of design stretches even to the surrounding natural environment and attempts to harmonize with it. Through this book, which records styles of seowon architecture which are losing their original appearances day by day, one can grasp traditional space planning at first glance. This book investigates the reason the seowon became the political, economic, social and cultural center of a region, thereby tracing out the identity of the Korean spirit. The 70 major seowon remaining throughout the country have been selected and arranged. Each seowon is explained through text relating to the history of the seowon, enshrined figures and construction space, together with precise plans and more than 600 color photographs. The table of over 900 seowon throughout the country at the end of the book provides useful information about seowon, and thus comprises a valuable research material. Seowon Architecture is the result of cooperative efforts of professional photographer Ahn Jang-heon and Professor of Architectural Engineering Lee Sang-hae. Their photographs and writings, together with related research materials, well reveal the true nature of seowon. Lee Sang-hae (1948- ) is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Civil Engineering at Sungkyunkwan University and has published many articles and books relating Korean architecture. Ahn Jang-heon (1947- ) is a professional photographer deeply interested in traditional Korean culture and has published several collections of photographs.