Korea Art Forum is a newly founded, New-York based, 501(c)3 registered non-profit art organization devoted to bridging the world through art. The world is full of conflicts territorial, political and ideological. Among the many conflicts that divide the world, we first choose to tackle the challenge of communicating with North Korean artists by presenting their art outside of North Korea, inviting them to New York for a short-term artist residency, and visiting them in their country to learn more about their art. In order to accomplish these goals, we require resources and manpower. For this reason, I write this message to you today, asking for your help. Only with your help, we can make our project happen that will contribute to building peace in East Asia and beyond.
Our endeavor is not just limited to a peace movement. There is another dimension to it. Despite many curators’ efforts to dismantle the walls within the field of contemporary art, there still exist inequalities and huge gaps between races, genders, and classes with regards to whose work gets shown and collected by mainstream institutions today. The Art Newspaper reports: “Almost one-third of solo shows in US museums go to artists represented by five galleries” in New York between 2007 and 2013. Using the excuse of so-called “best practice,” big museum exhibitions in the US and around the world concentrate “disproportionately on an elite group of around 300 international artists and estates” (http://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/museums/17199/) while there is an uncountable number of artists in the US and around the world. The need for greater exposure for women artists and artists of color is a widely known fact. This inequality of images in the field of contemporary art also affects social realist arts, the arts of Asian and African traditional mediums, and so-called craft art. By embracing the arts from North Korea in the context of contemporary art, we hope to contribute to making the field of contemporary art a bit more truly contemporary, equally free and open to all images.
By exhibiting together works of art from South and North Korea in tandem with works by international artists, we symbolically express Koreans’ common desire for reunifying their nation; we also hope to contribute to peace in East Asia and the building of a peaceful relationship between America and North Korea; also, we seek to rebalance contemporary art, which has become increasingly stylized and homogenous. Through our exhibitions and programs, we intend to create a place for communication and debate for the betterment of the world and contemporary art.
Your contribution will be used to produce many arts programs with which to expand communication with North Koreans. Your donations are tax-deductible, as the law permits. We sincerely believe that your donation already represents the beginnings of communication and the first step for building peace with North Koreans. Thus, we would like to respectfully request that you consider participating in this meaningful endeavor and supporting us to successfully produce and manage the programs. Thank you for your time and consideration.
If you have any questions, please drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heng-Gil Han, Director
New York, 2013