The Korean American Artist Collective (KAAC) is pleased to present Han, the inaugural KAAC exhibition at Culture House. The exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, moving imagery, multimedia installations, poetry and contemporary Korean craft from artists who represent the vast terrain of the Korean American experience. Curated by Julia Chon and He-Myong Woo, this group exhibition, composed entirely of KAAC members, explores the significance of han, a term that epitomizes the Korean ethos for us in the diaspora. Han is an elusive concept used to describe a set of complex emotions connected to various long-standing effects of colonialism, war, division, and displacement. It emerged controversially during the Japanese colonial period and marks the suppressed and unresolved traumas of our elders. It manifests in each of us uniquely yet tethers us together.
Inspired by Sandra So Hee Chi Kim’s scholarship on the postcolonial roots of han and E.J. Koh’s poem, American Han, this exhibition brings together a spectrum of Korean American voices. Participating artists represent a diverse range of identities across class, gender, and spirituality, including descendents from the many waves of American immigration, transracial adoptees, and multiethnic Koreans. This exhibition considers the intangibility of han as the key to poetic potential. Han, more than the narrow constraints of ethnic Korean identity, infuses within the artists an expansive understanding of their shared history, heritage and future. In doing so, the range of contemporary artists and art included constructs a collective narrative that will contribute to and transform the discourse around the constantly changing edges of cultural identity.
Aaron Chung, Andre Lee Bassuet, Carolyn Yoo, Chris Yi Suh, Coleen Baik, Dan-ah Kim, Dave Young Kim, Eunsoo Jeong, Hannah Bae, He-myong Woo, Jason Chang, Jeffrey Yoo Warren, Jonie Broecker, Julia Chon, Kaela Han, Mary Laube, Michelle Cho, Robert Choe-Henderson, Rochelle Youk, Steph Rue, Thad Higa
Graphics by Thad Higa.