Encounter Korea in Your Own Backyard

The Southern Utah Museum of Art’s current featured exhibit, Encounter Korea, opened Oct. 13 and runs through Dec. 29. This exhibit features the creative words of seven up-and-coming Korean and Korean-American artists.

South Korean and Korean-American artists have recently broken into the international art world and their voice is being heard across the world. The pieces on display in the museum showcase the unique voice of these artists.

SUU student Allie Tyler said, “As someone who has spent some time in an Asian country I saw a lot of cultural art but it was all mostly traditional and while[it was] very beautiful and moving the Encounter Korea exhibit made me question everything I thought. The modern take on tradition and the beautiful history, especially all the moving parts and the audio and visual aspects were especially intriguing. I keep going back and find something new to look at every time.”

The contemporary Korean art scene reflects the country’s traditional history and merges it with the modern world’s interest in technology. Encounter Korea has been in the works for two years and is finally ready for exhibition.

The intent of the exhibit is to introduce the everyday Americans to Korean Art through the use of different media forms including unique audio and visual techniques, sculptures, paintings and video.

Encounter Korea features seven Korean-American artists: Kyungmin Kim, Whi Boo Kim, Seung Jae Lee, Kwang-Seop Oh, Yong Sin, Jung-Uk Yang and Kyung Youl Yoon. The artists represent the complementary and yet contrasting perspectives of South Korean and Korean-American artists.

The artists highlight their technical skills and demonstrate that finesse of their distinctive and widely unknown culture.

The collaborating artists are part of the Los Angeles Arts Council and Korean Cultural Center and are based in both Los Angeles and South Korea, thereby breaking international barriers.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles to share seven uniquely Korean perspectives within southern Utah,”

Jessica Farling, the director of SUMA, said. “This exhibition features a wide variety of media, styles and stories, and our hope is that each visitor will find a piece that resonates with them.”

Encounter Korea will stay on exhibit until the end of December. If you have a spare moment or a free evening, take the time to experience some highlights of Korean culture without having to leave Cedar City.

“Encounter Korea is an amazing and completely unexpected group of art pieces that made me really think about art in a new way that I didn’t expect,” Amy Richardson, SUU freshman, said. “I never knew that art could be so individual to a culture and each new exhibit surprised me. I’m studying economics and don’t really know like anything about art, but if SUMA has another exhibit like this I will definitely go again.”



Story by: Alexis J. Taylor
Photo by: Alexis J. Taylor