This article examines the New Tendency movement spearheaded by the artist organization KAPF (Korean Artist Proletarian Federation) that represented the beginning of “proletarian sensibility” in 1920s colonial Korea. Influenced by the convergence of literary criticism and the importation of Marxism, proletarian sensibility is a network that threads through a fabric of images, film, and affective narrative representations about the abject conditions of the masses. New Tendency literature—with its development of tropes of excess, sensational language, descriptions of poverty, and the image of the body-in-pain—exhibits the complex development of collective politics through the embodied experience of the abject subject.

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