Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas


Toy Stories: Souvenirs from Korean Childhood
  • Toy Stories: Souvenirs from Korean Childhood
  • 25-Oct-2008 - 24-Jan-2009
  • Asia Gallery, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

Toys are more than fun. As cultural artifacts, they embody the fantasies, values, obsessions and anxieties of a generation, speaking to the global relevance of play and the imagination across cultures. Drawn from the Hyeon Tae-Joon Collection, this exhibition-a veritable toy box of more than 90 vibrantly colored Korean action figures, robots, miniature tanks, and paper dolls from the 1970s and ’80s-captures a time when Korea was undergoing economic and social flux. While many of the toys featured were appropriated from American and Japanese toy designs, they were often reinvented to reflect an emerging commercial world of Korean comics as seen in the popular animated series Robot Taekwon V.