The Korean House

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    Zadie Xa: House Gods, Animal Guides and Five Ways 2 Forgiveness, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 20 September 2022 – 30 April 2023. Photo: Andy Keate. 

Past Event

This event was on Thursday 16 February, 7pm

Access Information

The Korean House

16 February | 7pm

In dialogue with Zadie Xa’s commission, join a discussion chaired by curator Yoojin Choi (V&A) with architect Je Ahn (Studio Weave) and art historian Charlotte Horlyck (SOAS) to explore the spiritual realm of the home in historic and contemporary Korean culture.   

As a symbol of traditional notions of domesticity and as an emblem of contemporary ideas of home and family, the house collapses time. For Xa, the hanok, a traditional Korean house type, represents a conduit between past and present, a liminal space where the living and their ancestors coexist. 

This discussion will unpack the narrative threads that coalesce around the figure of the hanok in House Gods, Animal Guides and Five Ways 2 Forgiveness. Considering the Korean house from an architectural, mythological  and cultural perspective, they explore the house’s role as witness to spiritual and folkloric belief systems, the daily rituals of lived experience, and diasporic histories. 

About the Contributors:

Yoojin Choi

Yoojin Choi is the Exhibition Project Curator of Hallyu! The Korean Wave at the V&A. Previously, she was Assistant Curator in the Asian Department at the V&A, and researched modern and contemporary East Asian art at the Courtauld Institute. Her interests are in art and visual culture in 20th-century Korea.

Je Ahn

Je Ahn is the founding director of London-based architecture practice Studio Weave. Je was born near Busan, south east of South Korea, and relocated to rural Sussex as a teenager. He has been recognised as a prominent young architect by: Architects Journal 40 under 40 (UK); European Centre 40 under 40 (EU); and Korean Institute of Architects ‘100 Architects of the Year’ (South Korea).  
Over the past 15 years, Studio Weave has been acknowledged in various awards including: the RIBA South East Building of the Year for Ecology of Colour; the Civic Trust Awards, with Special Award for Community Impact and Engagement going for The Longest Bench; and the AR International Emerging Architecture Awards. 

Charlotte Horlyck

Dr Charlotte Horlyck is an art historian based at SOAS, London University where she concurrently holds the posts of Head of the School of Art and Reader in Korean Art History. Her research focuses on Korean pre-modern and modern visual and material culture, collecting practices, and public displays of Korean art. Among her recent work is: Korean Art – From the 19th Century to the Present (Reaktion Books, 2017). In 2021 the Korean translation of this volume was selected for the Sejong Books List by the South Korean Ministry of Education.


House Gods, Animal Guides and Five Ways 2 Forgiveness

Discover Zadie Xa’s new commission in Gallery 2.