Gala Porras-Kim, 530 National Treasures (detail), 2023. Colored pencil and flashe on paper, 4 panels, 181 x 300 cm each. Courtesy of the artist and Commonwealth and Council
Gala Porras-Kim: National Treasures
Oct 31, 2023 – Mar 31, 2024
Leeum Museum of Art
Seoul, South Korea

Leeum Museum of Art presents National Treasures by Gala Porras-Kim, an M1 project exhibition that explores the intricacies that arise when ancient objects, history and modern systems intersect. Showcasing Porras-Kim’s three new works based on Korean cultural heritage and ten national treasures drawn from the museum’s collection, the exhibition is also a reflection on the particularity of Leeum as a place where traditional Korean art and contemporary art coexist and continually renegotiate their relationship.

In her research-based practice, Gala Porras-Kim has explored the fraught relationship between institutions such as museums and cultural heritage legislations, and cultural objects. Her works bring our attention to the underlying principles that guide a museum by investigating its cataloging and indexing system, conservation doctrines, and the way in which its collection is presented. They shed light on undecipherable text and lost information, incomplete records and competing histories, revealing the uncertainties that fill the space of a museum.

By calling upon national treasures from both North and South Korea, as well as cultural objects presumed to be taken during the Japanese occupation, the works in this exhibition consider the ways in which the state evaluates and manages artifacts, and how historical contexts of colonization and division have added meanings to our cultural heritage. 530 National Treasures, which brings together national treasures from North and South Korea, reminds us that various entities throughout history, such as imperial Japan, South Korea, and North Korea, have managed cultural heritage differently according to their needs. 37 Korean objects uprooted during the Japanese occupation addresses the issue of cultural property loss, a common challenge faced by countries that were subjected to colonization. By displaying these works alongside the national treasures from the Leeum collection, this exhibition invites the viewers to reflect on the ideas and principles that govern this institution and how it is being enacted at this very moment.

  • The NEST Collective. Stories of Our Lives
    Sep 30, 2023 – Feb 4, 2024
    Athens, Greece

    EMΣΤ is pleased to present Stories of Our Lives: in Search of Queer Sanctuaries, a site-specific installation by the multi-disciplinary Nest Collective created especially for the Museum. Through their long-term engagement with Kenya’s queer and cross-identity community, the collective has witnessed the violent, discriminatory treatment that Kenyan, African and Black people continue to face, the resistance and strategies deployed to counter it, as well as the collective, eternal determination to hope and fight for a better future and equal rights. (more…)

  • Christina Quarles: Tripping Over My Joy
    Oct 10 – Dec 6, 2023
    Pilar Corrias
    London, UK

    Pilar Corrias is delighted to present a solo exhibition of new work by Christina Quarles this autumn. In this new body of work, Quarles continues to delve into notions of identity and representation, synthesising her study of drawing, experimental painting techniques and digital technology. Painted during the summer months, the light and colours of the L.A. sky bleed through Quarles’ palette. Lattice-like patterns and recognisable motifs such as swimming pools, sunsets and concentrated stripes are redeployed as intricate environments, rendering multiple layers of meaning within the work. (more…)