This category comprises of paintings and calligraphies of the 20th century. Important developments in painting during the first half of the century, when Korea was under Japanese rule (1910–1945), were the introduction of Western-style oil painting and the founding of the first art school and art exhibition. Through contacts with Jesuit missionaries in China, Koreans have had knowledge of Western painting techniques since the 18th century, but it was not until the end of the 19th century that Korea became more receptive to foreign cultures and took up those influences. In 1911, the first modern art school, the Institute for Calligraphy and Fine Arts (Seohwa misulhoe gangseupso) was established and occupied an important role in shaping modern Korean ink painting. At the same time, Korean students of painting went to Japan to pursue their education and brought back new Western painting techniques and styles which, however, showed a Japanese influence. The first annual art exhibition was initiated in 1921 by a group of Korean artists known as the Society of Calligraphy and Painting (Seohwa hyeophoe). The Japanese colonial government, soon after (in 1922), established the Joson Art Exhibition (Joseon misul jeollamhoe). The combination of traditional portrait painting and Western painting technique can be seen in the object No. 7, a work by Chae Yongsin (1850–1941) dated to 1914.
From the 1930s, artistic freedom in Japanese-occupied Korea was increasingly suppressed, and throughout the war period and in the years during and immediately after the Korean War creative activity was limited. Following the liberation in 1945, art education was integrated into the curriculum at universities, and the National Art Exhibition of The Republic of Korea (Daehanminguk misul jeollamhoe) was established. In the decades that followed, ink painters experimented with new techniques and styles, including abstract art and cubism, and sought ways to create contemporary works while using traditional ink painting techniques. Heading the Oriental Ink (Sumukhwa) movement in the 1980s, Song Soo-Nam (1938 – 2013) is a representative artist of this period. His works can be seen in this category (No. 6 and No. 11). Contemporary art first developed along the line of the National Art Exhibition (held from 1953 to 1979) but, in the late 1950s, many new art organisations were formed. In the 1960s and 1970s, Korean painters followed Western art movements and began to study or even to take up residence abroad. Korean artists also made their first appearance in international exhibitions, thus introducing Korean contemporary art to the international art world. Important movements of the late 20th century are the Monochrome (Daensaekhwa) movement, led by Park Seo-bo, and the People’s Art (Minjung) movement.