Education Weird

Korean college students pose topless for poster

Lee Tae-hoon
Written by Lee Tae-hoon

A group of art students at a Korean university went topless for their graduation poster and invited all for their upcoming graduation recital.

An official at Chonbuk National University reluctantly commented on the poster, saying it is greatly damaging the reputation of the state-funded university.

“Our university has its own official poster for the graduation ceremony,” he said when asked why all of the 18 graduating students from the Art College Department decided to pose topless.

“I don’t know why they had to go naked for the poster, but I can tell you that the one going viral is an unauthorized one.”

Kim Won, professor at the Art College, had a slightly different explanation for the poster which is going viral.

“The university has yet to decide whether to use it or not,” she said.
“Students seemed to have taken a number of experimental photos for the poster.”

Kim added that the university is looking into the matter because their nude photo is irrelevant to their performance.

“No one will perform in nude,” she said.

According to the university, 18 graduating students – 17 females and one male – will present their graduation performance recital on Nov. 26 this year.

The 100-minute showcase will include classical ballet and traditional Korean dance performances. Admission is free for all visitors.



About the author

Lee Tae-hoon

Lee Tae-hoon

Lee Tae-hoon is publisher at The Korea Observer. He previously worked for the Korea Times and Arirang TV. You can reach him at

  • Zackary Downey

    As long as everyone consented to the photo, and they weren’t coerced/bullied, then it’s fine by me.

    Oh, no! A bare back! Whatever shall we do?!

  • Orion

    Considering this is an art school, I think it would be best to ask the students before judging. If it’s a cheap trick to get attendance, then I agree it’s not a good use, selling one’s body for attention. That’s my own opinion.

    However, the students could also have a purpose or message there. Like resisting the fixation on glamor related to performances and just showing the bare (literally) essentials. A dancer’s own body. The picture is not sexual in any way.

    At the end of the day, if they did this consensually and collectively and since there is no legal reason to stop a bare back from showing, it’s their own business and not something they should be shamed for.

  • Steve Miller

    Considering the image depicted has nothing to do with the actual performance (per the above statement), I can understand the University’s position- it isn’t reflective of the work to be presented. It’s essentially click-baiting a performance.

  • Will

    Bare back is not topless. Who is click baiting?

    • Yewie

      Going by Korean standards it may as well be. While skirts can be so short as to be almost non existent and yet socially acceptable, showing shoulders is still considered to be scandalous.

      • Will

        The Korean students did not say they were topless. This reporter wrote title as “topless”. The problem is the reporter that wants to get people to see his fake article.

        • Robert Mathew Adamson

          Have to agree with Will here. This is only a story because someone thinks it is, or wants it to be. The school officials are annoyed but there don’t seem to be any reprimands coming. If that happened, there might be a story.

  • TheCat

    Looks fine to me. People get too riled up over trifling issues while completely ignoring the important ones.

  • Sonia

    Well, they attracted attention– clearly that was the point. They “shocked” some, made others laugh. Surely they knew that. They’ll probably get some extra attendees. As an American, I am not too shocked by naked backs. Nothing is showing! They may all have pasties on for all we know! 15 years ago, this would have been scandalous, even in Seoul. Now with some of the K-Pop stars, movies, billboards and fashion magazines. . . not to mention the skirts and shorts girls are wearing on campus, this is a yawner.

  • Small twon

    Wow..all it takes to make people care enough to write a comments is…one nude photo?

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  • Huh

    Was the picture the lone male student’s idea? Im think so

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