Sumi Kim



Professor Lisanne Gibson


PhD Research

A particular nation's gallery space located in so-called ‘universal’ museums is related to the simultaneous context of cultural policy and museum practice. Aiming to frame the evolving nature of South Korea’s cultural diplomacy stages, this research seeks to analyse the ways in which curatorial relationships between South Korea’s cultural institutions and ‘universal’ museums have changed in terms of interpreting, representing and negotiating Korean culture in different time and space. To do this, historical travelling exhibitions, the establishment of permanent galleries and contemporary management of Korean culture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum will be investigated as case studies through archival research, semi-structured interviews and fieldtrip observations.

Academic Awards

2016present  Ph.D. in Museum Studies, University of Leicester

2012  M.A. in Art Gallery and Museum Studies, University of Manchester

2010  B.A. in History, University of California (Berkeley)


Publications and Paper Presented

Kim, S. (2018) 'South Korea’s Cultural Diplomacy: Instrumental and Intrinsic Cultural Values in Practice'. Paper presented at the International Conference on Cultural Policy Research, 21-25 August, Tallinn University, Estonia.

Kim, S. (2018) 'Visual Submission: Ongoing Cultural Phenomenon as Future Museum Objects', Museological Review, Issue 22, p. 43.

Kim, S. (2016) 'South Korea's Cultural Policy and Cultural Diplomacy: the Role of Korean Galleries in Overseas Museums', Journal of Museum Studies, The Korean Society of Museum Studies, 31, pp. 51-66.

Kim, S. (2015) 'East Asian Exhibitions in British Museums: Collections and Cross-Cultural Interpretations', Journal of Museum Studies, The Korean Society of Museum Studies, 29, pp. 85-105.

Kim, S. and Kim, S-J. (eds) (2014) Permanent Exhibition Guide Book (in Korean) (2nd edn), National Museum of Korean Contemporary History.


Work Experience

2014 Curator, Exhibition division, National Museum of Korean Contemporary History

2013 Researcher, Collection division, National Folk Museum of Korea

  • Assisted special exhibition, 'New Collection from Yeosu Expo 2012: African Masks' (13 Mar–1 Jul)
  • Object collection (purchase, donation) and research of world ethnographic objects

2012 Curatorial assistant (M.A. work placement), the Manchester Museum, UK

  • Archival registration of Americas collection of the Living Cultures Gallery
  • Re-classification of the Victorian Era's anthropological collections

2011 Jan–Feb, Programme intern, Korean National Commission for UNESCO

  • Internship for the publication of Korea Journal



2016–2019 Postgraduate Research International Excellence Scholarship, University of Leicester

2017/2018  College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Postgraduate Fund, University of Leicester


Member, Association for Cultural Studies, 2018present

Member, British Association for Korean Studies, 2017–present

Member, ICOM (International Council of Museums), 2012–present

Member, Korean Society of Museum Studies, 2012–present

Young Professional Member, Asia Society (Northern California Branch), 2009–2010

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