Korean Cultural Center Presents ID, Please Group Exhibition

By Editorial Team on October 19, 2021
Courtesy of the Korean Cultural Center.
On View: October 15 – December 3, 2021

The Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. (KCCDC) proudly presents ID, Please, a new exhibition that seeks to unravel experiences of cultural, environmental, and social change brought about by international migration and the chaotic nature of mixed national identity. Featuring works by Michelle Cho, YunKyoung Cho, Josephine Lee, Sammy Lee and Haelim Choi Allen, Korean-heritage artists whose ages and experiences span those of both first- and second-generation immigrant communities, ID, Please will be on view from October 15 through December 3, 2021, including a virtual guided tour video.

The five participating artists tackle these thorny and deeply personal issues by pushing the limits of their methods and materials, which include video, sculpture, painting, and installation. Their collective hope is that this exhibition will shine a light on how individuals both seek out and create their own identity and ego while living abroad and interacting with the complex visual language of diverse cultures. 

Michelle Cho creates sculptures and explores her cultural identity through a creative process that actively utilizes her own body. She transforms and combines inert materials such as rubber, latex, and concrete to produce new objects and shapes that reflect her dual identities as a Korean American.  

YunKyoung Cho begins her work with an intrinsic question about human life and existence based on her own near-death experience. She merges Eastern and Western culture by incorporating various key colors, shapes, and fabric textures that create her own visual language. 

Sammy Lee discusses the temporal, spatial, and sequential characteristics and relationships of individuals and communities in her art. Her works expresses the various cultural, social, and environmental experiences acquired from frequent migration. In particular, she uses Hanji, Korean traditional paper, and the related traditional craft technique known as Zoomchi to show the aesthetics of her cultural heritage with a contemporary sense.

Josephine Lee’s interdisciplinary practice is heavily informed by the psychic violence of cultural assimilation and naturalization that characterize the process of migration. Lee’s sculptures, installations, and performances bring together narratives of dispossession and nationalism, making explicit how ideas of place are entangled within the politics of citizenship and national identity.

Haelim Choi Allen explores her identity as a Korean immigrant to the United States in her installation works and seeks out broad answers to questions about her experiences. She seeks to express her sense of cultural displacement, existing somewhere between Korea and the United States, by emphasizing certain features of Eastern and Western artistic techniques and materials.

ID, Please will remain on view from October 15 through December 3, 2021 (walk-in hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., excluding 12 – 1 p.m., Monday – Friday). The virtual guided tour, offering an inside look at each artist’s creative themes, processes, and inspirations, will release through the KCCDC YouTube and Instagram channels (@KoreaCultureDC) on the day of the opening.

For complete information about the exhibition, please visit the KCCDC website at washingtondc.korean-culture.org.

About the Artists 

Michelle Cho (b. 1996) was born in the United States and is a sculptor who builds systems that express cultural inheritance using seemingly inert materials. Cho received her BFA in Sculpture from ​the Cooper Union School of Art in New York and her BFA in Sculpture from the Slade School of Fine Art in the United Kingdom. She is currently an MFA candidate in Sculpture at The University of Pennsylvania. She has participated in various exhibitions including at Tiger Strikes Asteroid Gallery and Default Gallery and is a recipient of the Stuart Egnal Award and the 2019 Betty Golding Memorial Fund Book Prize.

YunKyoung Cho (b. 1987) was born in Korea and is a fiber artist, sculptor and mixed media artist based in Maryland. Cho received her MFA from the Rinehart School of Sculpture program at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has participated in various exhibitions and residency programs including at Franconia Sculpture Park, The Spruce Art, and Vermont Studio Center.

Sammy Lee (b. 1975) was born in Korea and is a visual artist based in Denver. She received her BA in Fine Art and Media Art from the University of California, Los Angeles and her MS in Architecture from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has participated in various exhibitions and residency programs including at Emmanuel Art Gallery, RedLine Contemporary Art Center, BMoCA, and the DMZ Museum.

Josephine Lee (b. 1987) was born in Korea and is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is informed by a lifetime of movement through Canada, the United States, and South Korea. Lee, who received her MFA in Fine Arts from Parsons The New School of Art, Media, and Technology, is a doctoral student at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts and works as a sessional lecturer at the University of British Columbia. She is currently in residence at the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery in collaboration with physicists at the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute Research Center.

Haelim Choi Allen (b. 1968) was born in Korea and is an installation artist and painter working in the colorist tradition. Allen received her BA in Studio Arts and her MFA in Painting and Sculpture from the University of Maryland at College Park. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. She has participated in various exhibitions including at Soho 20 in New York City, School 33 in Baltimore, and Howard County Art Center in Maryland.

The center is located at 2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW.