The purpose of this special issue is to examine how visual representations have shaped changing notions of Korean society, culture and nationhood. While images surround us, and are increasingly recognised as crucial, we know surprisingly little about the role visuality plays in the context of Korean politics and society. Only a few selected studies engage the issues at stake. To address these issues, the authors in this collection explore how the Korean peninsula has been imagined, represented and displayed through images during critical historical and contemporary moments over the past century. The key moments that the contributors address include Japanese colonialism and its legacy, national division and authoritarian rules in North and South Korea, interactions with the international community, and the transition to democracy in the South. The visual realms the contributors draw upon include photographs, film, monuments, and digital reproductions of them. The key questions each contributor asks are: how have visual factors influenced key events? What can we learn from visual sources that we cannot learn from textual ones?.