Yeonjoo (Amanda) Hahn - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Yeonjoo (Amanda) Hahn

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Yeonjoo (Amanda) Hahn

PhD student

Thesis: Buddhist Temple Wall Paintings in South Korea: a Conservation Assessment 

Supervised by Professor Sharon Cather, Professor David Park

In the past, most Buddhist temple wall paintings have been undervalued and thus destroyed, covered or detached despite their artistic, historic and religious importance. A systematic assessment of the conservation issues facing these temples wall paintings would be crucial for effectively planning their future conservation as a discrete part of the heritage of Korea. The Cultural Heritage Administration, responsible for preservation and appreciation, is governed by the Cultural Heritage Protection Act of 1962. This provides the legal framework and classifies heritage into five major categories and various subcategories. However, currently only 422 temple wall paintings are listed within the heritage preservation system. Moreover, there is relatively little research about their past, current and future conservation issues, nor do they have comprehensive conservation plans. Therefore, the proposed research aims to elucidate the overall factors that are likely to affect the preservation of wall paintings in Korea, primarily by applying criteria established in international policy documents (such as China Principles 2015) and focusing on significance and condition assessment. This would be complemented by then identifying potential conservation issues specific to Buddhist temple wall paintings. These are likely to relate to original techniques, environmental conditions and management.

A literature and archival review would be undertaken to define a representative subset of wall paintings to focus on for detailed study. Exploring government policies and international principles and guidelines on conservation assessment methods will elucidate essential aspects for consideration in selecting appropriate case studies. The outcome of this research would be to identify, through the case studies, assessment and investigation criteria for a long-term conservation framework.   


  • 2013-2016,
    The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London
    London, United Kingdom
    MA, Wall Painting Conservation
    The role of air exchange in passive conservation of wall paintings
  • 2011-2012,
    University College London (UCL), Institute of Archaeology  
    London, United Kingdom
    Msc, Technology and Analysis of Archaeological Materials
    Byzantine glass mosaic tesserae from Abu Mina, Egypt
  • 2006-2010
    The Korean National University of Cultural Heritage (NUCH)  
    Buyo, South Korea
    BA, Conservation Science

Research interests

  • Conservation of wall painting
  • East Asian art
  • Environmental assessment
  • Technical imaging

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