Curating Korea

Hello! A lot of time has passed since I last wrote. Spring 2016 turned to Summer, to Autumn, then Winter, then Spring (and then almost all over again…).

During this time I have returned to the UK but, that shouldn’t fool you – I have not forgotten Korea! In fact, I’ve spent a lot of my time looking through my ridiculous amount of photos and trying to distil all these experiences to tell others about Korea in an exhibition I have coming next February. ^-^

Its been a long process and one that I have been lucky to draw on my museum curating experience to create. I’m still in the process of it all (and would love suggestions!) but here’s what I’ve learnt so far.

  1. Organise your folders! Unnamed folders (or, in my case folders named silly things like ‘Smarch’) don’t help when you want to find that picture you took at a certain festival!
  2. Know your themes. Choose one overarching message – what do you want the visitor to know – and about 5 sub-topics max. I’ve chosen: politics, expression of faith, nature, childhood, and contrasts.
  3. Know your limitations! How many images can you have, how much will it cost to print and frame, what time do you have for writing labels (a task I should be doing now..), do you need to advertise? Can you get help for costs or advertising from the venue or do you know anyone else who might be able to give you their time for free?
  4. Plan in advance, a lot of venues (art galleries, cafes, museums, public spaces) have a packed schedule months in advance, don’t feel disheartened if the exhibition dates are aaages in the future!
  5. ‘Shy bairns get nowt’ – a saying from the North East, basically, if you don’t ask, you never know!


I’m trying to live more by the last one instead of just saying it a lot. I know I’ve got a lot to do in the next few months but it gives me an excellent opportunity / excuse to revisit my experiences in Korea, which I will in turn share on here!


And the title of my exhibition? Why, its ‘The Hills Are High’ of course!


Now, to get back to this pile of practice prints…







3 thoughts on “Curating Korea

  1. I had an exhibition a few years ago in Insadong. It was my first and I could only curate with the help of my photo teacher. I cut the number of photos down to about 200 from a thousand or more and he and a few other photographers made the final selection. The gallery was nice and the prints and frames were beautiful, but I spent much too much money. I’m hoping to have another exhibition next spring but I’ll be doing it on the cheap at a municipal art gallery here in Gangneung. Good luck with your exhibition. I hope you eventually post the collection here at WordPress for everyone to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Insadong would be such a cool place to hold an exhibition, its one of my favourite places in Seoul. I imagine a municipal art gallery will be quite different but I’m sure it will also be a fantastic experience. Did you have a theme decided for your exhibition or did you approach the gallery yourself with an exhibition? Good luck back to you and thank you for your encouragement!


      • I had an exhibition in mind and my photography teacher showed a sample of my work to the gallery owner. She agreed to rent me space. Twarnt cheap, I can tell you.
        Will you continue this blog? Or did it end with your return from Korea?


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