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British Museum in partnership with Korean Cultural Centre

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

The British Museum is delighted to announce a new ten-year partnership with the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and the Korean Cultural Centre UK. As part of a major grant awarded to the Museum, it has appointed Sang-ah Kim as the new Curator: Korean Collections, who will start in October and continue the Museum’s dynamic approach towards, caring for, collecting and celebrating Korean culture.

The Korean Cultural Centre UK on behalf of the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has provided invaluable support for the Curator of Korean Collections role at the British Museum since 2014. Thanks to this dedicated position for a Korean specialist, the Museum has been able to expand and improve its care, study and promotion of the Korean collections through an enhanced programme of activity. This new grant marks the beginning a ten-year agreement to support costs associated with the role of the Curator: Korean Collection as well as providing funding for public programming, loans, exhibitions and temporary displays, as well as academic conferences around the Museum’s Korean collection.

One of the key roles of the Curator: Korean Collection is to enhance and preserve the British Museum’s world-renowned Korean collections through continued acquisitions of new material. These new acquisitions will feed into regular changing displays in the Korea Foundation Gallery, that will also feature light sensitive material and works on paper that can only be displayed for short periods of time. At present the rotation focuses on flat works by Nam June Paik

And some of the most recent acquisitions of 3D objects featured in the Korea Foundation Gallery at present are: a porcelain cyborg’s pelvis by Lee Bul

Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, said “The announcement of this grant marks the British Museum’s continued dedication to collecting and preserving the art and history of Korea. This would not be possible without the generous support the Korean Cultural Centre UK. Their pledge of a further ten years of support allows us to employ the very best in curatorial expertise, and we look forward to working with colleagues from all over the world to share and raise the profile of these collections.”

Her Excellency Enna Park, Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, said

“Since 2014, the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism through the Korean Cultural Centre UK has supported the promotion of Korean history and culture at the British Museum. This long-term commitment to the British Museum not only secures the future of the Korean Foundation Gallery it also continues to enhance the bilateral cultural exchange between our great nations. We look forward to seeing the Korean collection at the British Museum continue to grow and enrich the museum’s offering to the world.”

The global network of Korean Cultural Centers are operated by the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS), an arms-length organisation launched in 1971 by the Korean government. The Korean Cultural Centre UK (KCCUK) is just one of 32 centres that operate in 27 countries worldwide, each providing opportunities to experience the broadest range of Korean culture first-hand.

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