Arts and Culture
Art historians have discussed soft power and cultural diplomacy of international art exhibitions and fairs and narratives of a national history, identity and culture, constructed and presented through images, objects, and texts. These studies tend to emphasize a national government’s international ambitions, ideological position and institutional structures and focus on often unmeasurable impact of such endeavours.
This paper shifts the focus of discussion to the process of making exhibitions and events and traces a trajectory of the connections and relations of people (artists, designers, curators, critics and agents) and information knowledge. With a review of recent art exhibitions featuring Korean artists in Britain (Rehearsals from Korean Avant-Garde Performance at the Korean Cultural Centre UK, 2017; Do ho Seo at Victoria Miro, 2017; Lee Bul at Haywards Gallery 2018) and Germany (Haegue Yang at Museum Ludwig 2018), this paper aims to understand the global network of artists, curators, critics, agents, who are increasingly living and working globally, and their role as mediators and translations of Korean art and culture through exhibitions and publications. With consideration of the Actor-Network theory and Tim Ingold’s concept of ‘mashwork’, the paper proposes a way to understand and discuss these exhibitions which are in bind to a nation on the surface, in the context of globalised making of cultural production in contemporary art.