Hong Kyung-A (Hong), curator at Sookmyung Women’s University Museum (SUM), said , “In my opinion, the period when you are a university student is when you make your caliber great. In other words, you are fulfilling your curiosity. in various fieldsAccording to a Sookmyung student-oriented survey, however, experience of the visual arts is weak, compared to other spheres of art. Our museum and gallery could be golden places for the visual arts. Our hope is to make students’ lives more abundant through various exhibitions and participation of students.”
SUM opened on June 10, 1971. It is a comprehensive museum consisting of relics from various fields: culture, art, archaeology, anthropology and folklore. In particular the museum focuses on the history of women’s lifestyles, not only collecting and exhibiting relevant relics, but also conducting surveys and research. The museum holds special exhibitions and permanent exhibitions on display, while there are also educational programs for younger students. The Chung Young Yang Embroidery Museum (CEM) at SMU opened to the public on May 11, 2004. It is a museum specializing in embroidery, a significant cultural heritage, housing a broad collection of embroidery work and textiles. In particular, the museum offers numerous activities related to collecting, exhibiting and conducting surveys and research related to embroidery and textile relics of East Asia. Moreover, there are special exhibitions held annually, alongside educational programs.
Programs Related to School Curriculums
A role model for SUM is the Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art (HFM). Curator Hong said, “We have planned our exhibition and program development based on inter-study connection.” HFM has exhibited various plays connecting the departments of science, dramatics, English and so on. In the same way, SUM is trying to provide a program of exhibition interpretation related to the school curriculums of primary, middle, and high school students, in addition to college and graduate school students. In 2008, programs related to English education, the foreign students exchange program, the leadership center, the Naval Academy, the Department of Fine Art Education, and the Department of Textile Art were offered. A total of 4,000 students from Sookmyung and other schools participated in the programs.
The Museums also offer theory and practical courses in conservation and curation. This is an introductory course for specialists who want to work in museums or art museums. This course is held twice a week for one semester, and is based on both lectures and training. Another course is offered in traditional embroidery art. This is an exclusive course created for the globalization of Korean embroidery. This course was designed for one semester, providing classes in Korean embroidery patterns, techniques and design. It aims at understanding and developing Korean embroidery. There is also a course for quilt specialists. This course is targeted at quilt instructors or those who want to specialize in quilt activities. It is divided in two: a basic course for beginners and a special course for experts.
Opportunity of Student Participation
The Sookmyung Cultural Volunteers Group is the representative leadership group of SUM, fulfilling professional roles in the Museum as interpreters of the exhibitions. For one semester the members complete the basic course and are dispatched into four divisions of research, education, publicity and personnel. One chief and one deputy lead each group. They act as docents for group visitors from kindergarten children to college students. They also guide and assist VIPs who visit the school, and actively participate in the Museum programs, including the educational program.
Exhibitions from June - Jon Eric Riis and Daniel Carranza
From June 5 to August 25, 2009, the CEM is holding an exhibition of works by Jon Eric Riis, who is widely recognized as one of the most innovative fiber artists in America, with tapestries concerning mythology, nature, the human body and contemporary sociopolitical issues. He will give a couple of lectures at the College of Fine Arts in SMU, as well. From June 5 to August 13, 2009, the CEM will exhibit works by Daniel Carranza, the modern American artist. He is a leading Latin American painter. This exhibition features approximately 10 unique paintings containing his message that is critical of the world environment yet reflects nevertheless a tone of hope and joy. These exhibitions are firsts within the country and display a higher plane, providing unique subjects. Why don’t you become a friend of SUM and CEM the chance? Don’t give up the special chance in SMU!