An animal as a cultural landscape: the horse in Seoul, South Korea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The horse holds a special place in Korean culture and history. This paper explores how this animal is manifested in Seoul, aiming to reveal the interests and agendas that these manifestations serve, and what this nonhuman presence can tell about contemporary Seoul and South Korea. The paper adds a new perspective to the literature on Seoul’s development and identity formation. It also provides a case study on the interaction between humans and nonhuman-animals. Lastly, it intervenes into cultural landscape theory by offering the concept of ‘collaged cultural landscape’. It is argued that, the multilayered presence of the horse in Seoul represents South Korean aspirations for economic success, positive branding, and post-colonial strength, confidence, and legitimacy, by conveying a wide range of images, including beauty, cuteness, vigor, and valor. Furthermore, there is no other animal in Seoul, and perhaps in all of South Korea, that matches the horse’s complex presence.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Policy
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Seoul
  • animal
  • collaged cultural landscape
  • equestrian statues
  • horse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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