Imagined communities and narratives of identity rely heavily on history. Studies of South Korea, however, focus exclusively on academic historiography. Other agencies that link formal history with public culture--such as Konggan, the group created by architect Kim Sug n that centered on an influential magazine--need proper recounting. With popularization and cultural unification in view, Konggan strove to elaborate Korean identity through aesthetics and aesthetics through history. To take this rhetoric of the past seriously and identify its shifting tropes or mnemonic sites might also refine a cultural history of the Republic of Korea that was not entirely determined by clashing official and dissident cultures.