Nude paintings were banned from public exhibition and publication in the early days of modern Korea: When a daily newspaper ran a story of a Korean painter winning a Japanese art award in , the story ran without a picture. While nudity was associated with disgracefulness in the conservative society of Korea, it has been a constant feature in modern and contemporary Korean art. The year was an important turning point in the style of nude paintings.
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In Spring , a rumor spread that Park Geun-hye , the first female President of South Korea and daughter of former Dictator-President Park Chung-hee, was about to pass a law banning mini skirts. The international media, by now accustomed to images of scantily skirted Korean pop stars, wondered where such conservatism had suddenly sprung from. South Korea is a country with a history of treating the body — especially the nude female body — conservatively.
The bodies of dozens of female models were turned into living canvases at a festival in South Korea this weekend, as delicate brush strokes and flamboyant illustrations covered up their bare skin. Near-naked women -- wearing only panties and strategically placed pieces of tape on their breasts -- packed the Daegu International Bodypainting Festival, surrounded by teams of artists and onlookers. Top artists from across the world took part in the event South Korea's southeastern city, as their female subjects strutted across the stage in high heeled shoes and exotic headdresses to display their dazzling body art before the cameras. In just six hours, the models were turned into walking works of art as they strutted down an open air stage in front of hundreds of spectators. One model was transformed into an elegant blue and green peacock, while another looked as if she had just popped out of a fantasy novel, adorned with a pharaoh-like headpiece and with images of the Greek gods painted on her body.