The Shape of Time (working title)

Philadelphia Museum of Art



Maeng Wookjae, Secret Forest, 2019; porcelain, gold, paper, wire frame, elastic band, light, sound; 110" x 67" x 67". Photo courtesy of Korea Ceramic Foundation.


Ahn Sekwon, Lights of Weolgok-dong, 2005, digital C-print, 70.8" x 94.5". Photo courtesy of the artist.


Yuni Kim Lang, Comfort Hair—Woven Identity I, 2013, polypropylene rope, 80" x 100". Photo by Tim Thayer, courtesy of the artist.

An exhibition will survey 30 years of contemporary art made by artists who share an experience of South Korea by their birth, residence, or ancestry. Curated by the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Hyunsoo Woo, curator of Korean art, and Elisabeth Agro, curator of American modern and contemporary crafts and decorative arts, the exhibition will present more than three dozen works in the museum’s galleries and outdoor public spaces to examine a generation of artists—born mainly between 1960 and 1980—who experienced the transition from South Korea’s last authoritarian regime to the onset of globalization and new democratic freedoms. The exhibition will explore the theme of “temporal dissonance:” how an individual conceives of the present and future as framed by memories of the past. This exploration will be organized around concepts of the gendered body, tension, displacement, conformity, and transition. Specific to the themes of transition and displacement, two sculptors, Meekyoung Shin and Juree Kim, will be commissioned to create new site-specific installations.

The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.