Yon Jai Kim

E-mail: yjk4@le.ac.uk

Yon Jai KimSupervisors

First Supervisor: Simon Knell

Second Supervisor: Sheila Watson


Research interest/area

The ‘new’ Seoul branch of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) opened with high expectations on 12 November 2013. As the gallery officially announced, the MMCA aspires to be both a world-class museum and a national institution widely accepted by the public. However, political narratives present it as an ideological figurehead of the government, regardless of its ‘grand scenario’.

To deal with the consequences of the ideologies that have systematically affected this museum, it is important to consider both the internal and external factors that have been influenced by them: the former being directors, personnel, the artworks and the numerous discourses that give the space its extraordinary internal vibrancy; the latter factors, which will constitute the subject of this research, are the obscure development processes that have complicated the project by their advocates’ acquiescence to the doctrine of political ideologies.


Academic Qualification

2009–2012       Seoul National University (SNU), Seoul, Korea

                         M.A. in Arts Management (Interdisciplinary Course)

Thesis: A study of exhibition space for the visitor’s communication and participation –focusing on the case of contemporary art museums' management system

This thesis focuses on the role of an exhibition space in order to facilitate the visitors’ mutual communication. Particularly, a key objective of this research is to maximize their attraction through understanding mutual relationship between visitors and exhibition space.


2002 –2009  Korea National University of Arts (K-Arts), Seoul, Korea

                     B.A. in Art Theory

Thesis: The issues of interpretation in terms of feminine images from modern visual culture in Korea – focusing on their images in postcards.

This thesis focuses on a theme pertaining to the Korean modern visual culture that is based on the methodologies of colonialism, post-colonialism and modern art theory. A main objective of this study is to see how the images of woman in ‘represented’ postcards would affect the identity of Chosŏn Dynasty during the Japanese colonial era.


Academic Roles and Achievements

Selected as a scholarship holder of the College of Arts, Humanities and Law Postgraduate Fund 2015/16

Programme Coordinator 'Research Week 2015', held from 22 June 2015 to 26 June 2015.

Committee member of exhibition ‘100 Stories of Migration’ at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, held from 23 June 2014 to 13 February 2015.


Committee member of the School of Museum Studies PhD student led conference ‘Museums Alive! Exploring How Museums Behave Like Living Beings’ to be held at the University of Leicester 4-5 November 2014.




Yon Jai Kim (2016), Visual Submission: Invisible Wall- Political Dynamics Embedded in Cultural Heritages, Museological Review, vol 20, p. 100.

(In Korean) Yon Jai Kim (2015) "The Gwacheon Branch of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea: construction process and behind the scenes", Retro 86-88, Seoul Olympic Museum of Art.


Professional Experience 

2016          Foreign Correspondent in the U.K.: Art in Life (monthly journal)

2014-2015 Visiting Scholar: International Centre for Korean Studies in Kyujanggak, SNU

2010         Teaching Assistant: Class of “Western Art and its Civilization”

2010         Assistant Researcher: Chronicle of Louis Pal, Chang.

2009-2010 Assistant Researcher: MOA (Museum of Modern Art) in SNU

2009          Research Assistant: Arts Management, SNU

2007-2008 Assistant Curator: Gallery 175 (Affiliated Institution of the K-Arts)

2006–2007 Head Editor: Art Theory Department in K-Arts


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