2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | links

Yong Soon Min, FF Alumn, curates for the 4th Gwangju Biennial, opening March 29th

THERE: Sites of Korean Diaspora
Project 2 of the 4th Gwangju Biennale
March 29, 2002 - June 29, 2002

Yong Soon Min: ysmin@aol.com (English)
Jinhwa Song: redchoco@gwangju-biennale.org (Korean)

Yong Soon Min, an artist and curator based in Los Angeles, curated a multi-disciplinary exhibition about the Korean diaspora, entitled THERE: Sites of Korean Diaspora. Showcasing works in a variety of media by 24 artists of Korean ancestry who reside outside of Korea,THERE integrates contemporary art and media with historical and interactive displays and a symposium to be held May 24-26 in Gwangju. A film and video program composed of 33 artists' work, curated by Paul Yi round out the exhibition.

THERE focuses on five key cities of significant Korean diasporic population that are also diverse historically and geographically - Los Angeles (U.S.), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Yanbian (China) and Osaka (Japan). These five sites encompass the broad diasporic history, from the earliest diasporic formations in Yanbian in the mid 1800's to the more recent settlements of the past several decades in Sao Paulo. The exhibition will offer insights into the unique qualities of each of these distinctive locals while at the same time offering overviews to link these sites to the broader global history and dynamics of the Korean diaspora.

Much of Korean recorded history can be better understood in terms of the significant migrations and dispersions of its people. In contemporary times, this dispersion has been accelerated and globalized in scope. Nearly 6 million Koreans live in 160 different countries of the world. Today, the Korean diaspora is the fourth largest diaspora in the world following those in numbers of Chinese, the Jewish peoples and later the Italians.

In examining the Korean diaspora experience and history through it cultural production, this exhibition hopes to give insight as well as raise many questions about issues of identity in general. How is one's identity expressed or understood? Is there a sense of identity such as "Koreanness" that transcends the cultural contexts created by borders and local and regional practices and history?

The U.S. artists include: Susan Choi, Seong Chun, Y. David Chung, Young Chung, Byoung Ok Koh, David Korty, Jin Lee, Wonju Lim, Jennifer Moon and Joseph Park. From Brazil - Lina Kim and Sang Won Sung; China - Xianji Cui and Hee Man Suk; Kazakhstan - Sergei Song and Viktor An; and Japan - Areum Artists Network, Yoshiko Shimada with Hwangbo Kangja and Heechang Yoon.