The Offering Table: Women Activist Artists from Korea
Artists: Ha Insun, Je Miran, Jung Jungyeob, Kim Myungjin,
Kwak Eunsook, Rhu Junhwa, Yoon Heesu
Curated by L. Inson Choy
6 September - 7 December 2008
at Mills College - Art Museum, Oakland, US
The traditional Confucian Belief System and today's Social Interactions
From September through December 2008 the Art Museum at Mills College (US) exhibits under the title "The Offering Table: Women Activist Artists from Korea" the emerging feminist art movement in Korea which is challenging the patriarchal Confucian beliefs. With works by seven female artists from the Seoul-based group Ipgim women's traditions and history in labor, gender roles, representations, and religion will be rediscovered in mixed media installations, folk painting, drawing, and video.
The successful individual artists share a strong desire for socio-political change for women in their working and domestic spaces. Often they are working together under the group's name Ipgim which means imprecisely translated “air”. The group has been invited to participate in numerous projects including the Busan (Korea) Biennale in 2004 sharing the stage with the world famous Guerilla Girls.
"These artists are showing aspects of contemporary Korean life that is not shown," says Inson Choy, guest curator, Mills alumna (Class of 1996) and independent art historian/curator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. "They are living through socio-political changes that show how the traditional Confucian belief system still permeates all social interactions." Choy says despite rapid modernization in Korea, Confucianism still dictates the moral code of interactions between men and women, placing women behind men.
Inson Choy's research has focused on the burgeoning feminist art/artists movement in Korea. In spring 2001, she curated Reconciling Femininity and Confucianism: Expressions of Contemporary Korean Women Artists, featuring six emerging feminist artists from Korea. She has authored several articles and essays that appear in publications including Art Asia Pacific Magazine, Rain and Thunder: A Radical Feminist Art Journal of Discussion and Activism, and Artwomen.org.
The Mills College Art Museum, founded in 1925, is a dynamic center for art that focuses on the creative work of women as artists and curators. Exhibitions are designed to challenge and invite reflection upon the profound complexities of contemporary culture. Check out more about the independent liberal arts college www.mills.edu.
fig.: Yoon Heesu, Offering (installation view), 2008, Mixed Media, Courtesy of the artist.