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Korean Art: Narratives and Displays in Museum Contexts

An upcoming study day at the British Museum:

Korean Art: Narratives and Displays in Museum Contexts

Date: 29 September 2012, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Venue: Stevenson Lecture Theatre, British Museum

Korean Gallery at the British MuseumKorean artefacts began to be collected and displayed in museums around the world by the turn of the 20th century. At this time several museums were formed in Seoul as a way to house the newly surfacing artefacts, and to allow public access to them. In Europe and in America, however, arts institutions were considerably slower to follow suit in the sense that though many did exhibit Korean artefacts, few established galleries dedicated only to them. Instead arts from the Korean peninsula tended to be treated as the poorer, unknown cousin of the invariably bigger collections and displays of arts from China and Japan. In the 1980s this changed significantly as museums in Europe and America began to establish galleries of Korean art, while others started to host large-scale special exhibitions of Korean artefacts. Over the course of the last two decades, as more and more Western museums have opened Korean galleries, hosted special exhibitions and facilitated Korean cultural events, arts from the Korean peninsula have increasingly come to form a natural and integral part of East Asian cultural and artistic traditions, not only in academic terms but also for the general museum goer. But as Korean art enters the sphere of the global arts world, questions arise as to whom Korean art galleries cater for, which cultural narratives they portray, which political messages they signify, and how can we ensure that interpretations of Korean cultural artefacts cater to an increasingly international audience. This workshop addresses these questions by exploring the contexts and narrative structures of the ways in which Korean art has been interpreted and displayed within museum contexts in Europe, America and Korea.

Confirmed Speakers:

Keynote Speaker: Kim Hongnam (former Director of the National Museum of Korea)
Won Yonggi (Korean Cultural Centre, London)
Beth McKillop (Victoria and Albert Museum)
Jang Sang-hoon (National Museum of Korea/ Leicester University)
Koen de Ceuster (Leiden University)
Hyonjeong Kim Han (Asian Art Museum of San Francisco)
Sascha Priewe and Charlotte Horlyck (British Museum and SOAS)

Organisers: Sascha Priewe and Charlotte Horlyck

Book of abstracts (pdf download)

Registration: The event is free of charge but booking is essential. Registration for this workshop is available through the British Museum Events Office.

Organiser: Centres & Programmes Office, SOAS
Sponsor: In collaboration with the British Museum


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