Sumi Kim



Professor Lisanne Gibson


PhD Research

The constructed cultural representation and the gallery space of particular nation located in the so-called 'universal' museums inter-relate the contexts of cultural policy and museum practice. Aiming to integrate the transformative nature of South Korea’s cultural diplomacy stages into the curatorial practice, this research seeks to analyse the ways in which curatorial relationships between South Korea’s cultural institutions and ‘universal’ museums have changed to negotiate, interpret, and represent Korean culture in different time and space. To do this, the identified 3 stages of cultural diplomacy of South Korea (as the main driver) has been contextualised to staging Korean cultural representations  - historical travelling exhibitions, the establishment of permanent galleries and contemporary management of Korean culture -  in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum (as case studies) accordingly. The investigation approaches started from macro-level and involved micro and discourse analysis, which has been conducted through archival research, semi-structured interviews and field-trip observations in South Korea, New York and London.

Academic Awards

2016present  PhD in Museum Studies, University of Leicester

2012  MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies, University of Manchester

2010  BA 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 10th International Conference on Cultural Policy Research (ICCPR), 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 (Korean ver.) (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 (MA work placement), the Manchester Museum, UK

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

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

  • Internship for the publication of Korea Journal


Academic Activity

2019 Mar 13, A lecture/session delivered to Museum Studies MA students in Heritage Specialism module, University of Leicester

  • Lecture topic: how cultural policy (diplomacy) studies can be integrated into the museum practice and heritage representation – through South Korea and ‘universal’ museums’ case studies. The session workshop prompted students to interpret their interesting/meaningful heritage in diverse contexts from personal to the international level.

2019 Jan 17, Teaching support for Museum Studies MA students in Academic Literacy Supporting Group, University of Leicester

2018/2019 PGR student representative of School of Museum Studies

  • Roles participated: film project, organising team of PhD Research Week 3–7 Jun 2019

2018 Committee member, Museum Studies PhD student-led conference, ‘Museum (Em)power’, 13–14 Sep, University of Leicester

  • Voluntary work participated: developing topic idea, registration



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

Share this page: