Art & Exhibition




25 February – 17 July

Opening Night

25 February, 5:30-7:30pm

The exhibition will introduce the meaning of the traditional Korean funeral ceremony and of our ancestor’s wisdom and beliefs about death. Each ornament holds certain symbols, mostly in wishing for a peaceful afterlife of the departed and fortunes for the descendants, The exhibition provides an opportunity to gain an insight into traditional Korean culture.

Life after death is a question unanswerable but an inevitable one which mankind asks itself.

It is widely believed that death is not the end of our being. Most of us believe in the existence of the afterlife and interestingly many cultures believe death is the beginning of our spiritual journey. The Ancient Egyptians believed that the departed made a journey through the underworld, contending with gods and strange creatures to reach the Hall of Final Judgement.

In Greek mythology, the dead went to an underworld ruled by Hades through crossing rivers, such as Styx, which divided Earth and the underworld.

Our ancestors in the olden days of Korea also believed in afterlife. Following Confucianism principle, the funeral ceremony held by the descendants was the start of a journey into the afterlife for the departed. The descendants decorated Sang-yeo (Korean funeral bier), the carrying device to transport a dead body to the graveyard, with wooden ornaments of birds, flowers and animals that contains different symbols in wishing for a peaceful journey to the afterlife for the departed.

The exhibition of the ornaments of Sang-yeo will introduce Sang-rye (the traditional Korean funeral rite) and our ancestor’s wisdom and beliefs about death.

The wooden ornaments of the bier was very colourful and decorative and each ornament contained wishes for a peaceful afterlife in the paradise (of Buddihism) of the departed. For example, a Taoist hermit was placed to wish the peaceful afterlife and musicians and crowns were also located to join the lonely journey of the departed. There is also a messenger of death to correctly guide them to the afterlife world. Also, the wooden sculpture of dragons, birds, flowers and animals were used, mostly wishing for a peaceful afterlife and fortunes for the descendants. The Bridge between Life & Death exhibits wooden ornaments of Sang-yeo to introduce the symbolism behind each ornament. Through exploring the symbols of Confucianism, Buddhism,Taoism and folk beliefs represented in the bier ornaments, the insight into traditional Korean culture will be discovered.


About Sang-rye and Sang-yeo

Sang-rye is a funeral rite, which is mainly developed in Joseon dynasty period (1392-1897), based on Confucianism principles to complete the last filial duties of offspring upon the death of their parents.

Sang-rye defines necessary courtesies, rules and manners that the children (and other relatives) must follow at the funeral ceremony.

According to Confucianism, the sons and daughters were obliged to carry out the three-years mourning rite upon the death of their parents. The mourner had to stop working and stay in a hut near the grave for three years and fulfil courtesies which included serving meals for the departed every morning and night. They believed the soul of the departed would come down and have the meal. This kind of ritual principle derived from the virtue of filial piety emphasised through the entire Joseon society. Filial piety was one of the most important virtues in the Joseon period because Joseon was a strong Confucianism society.

Sang-yeo (Korean funeral bier) is the wooden carrying device to transport a dead body to the graveyard. Sang-yeo was decorated gorgeously with colourful wooden ornaments in order to treat the departed in a way higher than that of the highest class in society for their last journey.

 Sang-yeo was made of different pieces so that it can separate and reassemble. Sang-yeo was shared between the people in a village due to its expensive price to build, while people of the noble class made it specifically for a designated funeral and burnt it after its use.


The exhibition has been made possible through the loan of works from the Mokin Museum, Seoul in Korea.



13 August – 11 September

Opening Night

Friday 14 August, 6-8pm

The Korean Cultural Centre hosts an exhibition in collaboration with KAAF(Korea-Australia Arts Foundation) celebrating enduring friendship between Korea and Australia. The exhibition ART AND CULTURE, Beyond the Surroundings features 47 artworks of talented Korean and Australian artists and introduces a range of artistic insights of each artist.

ART AND CULTURE, Beyond the Surroundings, comprising a series of paintings, attempts to represent the relationship between the artists and the world that surrounds them. The selected artworks reveal the diverse ways artists responded the notion of ‘Culture’ and how those experiences shaped the one’s view of the world, individuals, and each other.

The artworks will be displayed from the landscapes which celebrate the beauty of nature to a photomontage that addresses the contradictions inherent in urban life. The exhibition also encompasses the artworks which incorporated a variety of medium such as Hanji(Korean paper) or ceramics and the use of traditional materials revels in artistic exchange between two cultures. Interweaving a wide range of perspectives towards the surroundings, Beyond the Surroundings proposes a new way of thinking about the connections between place and identity.

Opening Night with performance of “Earth Cry” with Synergy Percussion and Noreum Machi



14 October – 6 November

Exhibition Opening

Wednesday, 21 October 6-8pm

The Korean Cultural Centre hosts an exhibition Here & There celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Association of Korean Visual Artists in Australia(AKVAA). This exhibition features 32 artworks from the members of the AKVAA and illustrates their life and perception as an immigrant. From landscape to abstract paintings, the selected artworks are mostly created ‘Here’ in Australia, but at the same time they are strongly influenced by ‘There’ in Korea. Here & There reminds us of the sense of nostalgia for our old days.

The artists on exhibition include; Evan Eyong Park, Mee Lee, Soohyang Lee, Peter Yea, Jum Ae Kim, Ann Shim, Youngbai Kim, Lydia Sun, Gei-Serb Song Lee, Eun A Park, Iklae Jeong, Junghwa Ko, Chris Ki Su Kim

The Association of Korean Visual Artists in Australia(AKVAA) was established in 1985 as a small group representing the needs of Korean artists. The members’ art exhibition is held annually and this year marks the 30th anniversary of the AKVAA.



27 november 2015 – 29 January 2016

Exhibition Opening & Awards Presentation

27 November, 6-8pm

he Korea-Australia Arts Foundation Prize (KAAFP) is the annual art competition organised by the foundation. The KAAFP 2015 is open-themed and only medium of 2D works is eligible to apply for the competition. The prize entry is open to all Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents of at least 12 months, but they should be over 18-year-old.

The 47 works of finalists will be exhibited at the Korean Cultural Centre Gallery.

Winner Announcement

First Prize($10,000)

< Still Life After ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’> by Maryanne Wick

Highly Commended ($2,000)

< Drawn> by Ben Smith

Young Artist Prize

(Return Airfare to Korea)

Sans Frontieres> by Eamonn Jackson

About KAAF

The Korea-Australia Arts Foundation (KAAF) is an organisation comprised of Korean people for promoting and supporting a wide range of visual artists in Australia. KAAF is a non-profit organisation which was established with the purpose of providing specialised activities in visual art, as well as supporting artists and art organisations within the visual arts field.

KAAF provides an annual art competition which is supported by the Korean Cultural Centre in Sydney and also provides information to Korea on a wide range of Korean art and other art matters including Artist in Residence, Art School, local artists and art organizations that are based in Australia.



18 November, 6-8pm

Artlink and Korean Cultural Centre present Korean contemporary art seminar SUPERCONNECTIVITY to coincide with the launch of bilingual Artlink magazine KOREA – Contemporary art now.

Renowned Korean and Australian curators and art writers explore connections and differences in a rare opportunity to hear from experts on Korean art in Australia.

With a focus on cutting edge contemporary visual arts and in partnership with respected publications Artlink (Australia) and TheArtro (Korea), SUPERCONNECTIVITY is the first contemporary art seminar at the Korean Cultural Centre.

The seminar coincides with the launch of the Artlink KOREA (December 2015) issue, the fifth special issue published by Artlink dedicated to Asian art and the magazine’s first bilingual publication. Artlink is a quarterly themed magazine covering contemporary art and ideas from Australia and the Asia-Pacific. One of Australia’s leading art publications, Artlink has been continuously published since 1981. It has consistently flagged new debates in the sector, and each issue addresses a theme of relevance to the arts and society. Artlink is well known for its engagement with the Asian art world since 1993. A recent example of cross-cultural publishing was the Mandarin edition of Artlink Indigenous in 2012 distributed at the International Conference of Australian Studies in China.


Alison Carroll AM founded Asialink Arts, based at the University of Melbourne, and was its Director for 20 years. She was co-curator for the Korean selection at the 2nd Asia Pacific Triennial. She has recently filmed a TV documentary A Journey Through Asian Art that includes interviews with Lee Ufan and Choi Jeong-Hwa.

Co-editors of Artlink Dr Yoon Jin Sup and Stephanie Britton

Yoon Jin Sup is a senior curator, writer and artist. Curatorial work includes 1st and 3rd Gwangju Biennales, 3rd International Media Art Biennale of Seoul, commissioner Sāo Paulo Biennale, K-P.O.P at Taipei MOCA. Vice President International Association of Art Critics (AICA); President AICA KOREA 2014; honorary professor Sydney College of the Arts. His books include Body Speaks (2009), A Study of Korean Modernism (1997) and Performance Art: Its Theory and Reality (1995). His PhD is from University of Western Sydney.

Stephanie Britton AM founded Artlink magazine in 1991 and was its CEO and Executive Editor until 2014, establishing its thematic format and initiating a focus on Indigenous art and Asian art. She is now working independently on art publishing and lecturing projects in Asia including with Australian Studies in China.

Yoo Jin Sang is a professor at the Kaywon School of Art and Design, an art critic and former artistic director of Media_City Seoul. Recent curatorial activities include Super Romantics for Daegu Art Factory 2014; Better Than Universe, with ZKM for the Daegu Media Art Festival 2013. He was a juror on the TV Show Art Star Korea in its first season in 2014. His PhD is from University of Paris VIII, Saint-Denis.

David Pledger is a cultural operator in performing, visual and media arts who has created many international collaborations in Europe and Asia. He is the founding artistic director of not yet it’s difficult, one of Australia’s leading interdisciplinary arts companies. Residencies include Centre for Art and Media (ZKM) and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre (Asialink). He was part of the first wave of Australian artists to engage in the East Asian region and the first non-Korean to be invited to join the staff of the Korean National University of Arts.

Anna Davis has been Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia since 2009 and is currently working on the important New Romance: Korea-Australia Partnership Exhibition (2015-16) entailing research and collaborative work with curators, artists and museums. Major curatorial projects at the MCA include: Energies: Haines & Hinterding (2015), Martu Art from the Far Western Desert (2014), Workout: 7 days of experimental performance (2013). She holds a PhD in Media Arts, University of NSW, and has exhibited her video art work internationally.

Yvonne Boag is a well-known Australian artist who has spent much of the last 20 years of her professional career in South Korea. She has recently exhibited at the Pyo Gallery in Seoul and the S+ Gallery in Busan, and won the Calleen Art Award (Australia) in 2015. |

This project is supported by:

The Australian Government through the Australia-Korea Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

CAL Cultural Fund

Korean Cultural Centre Australia

Korean Arts Management Service, and TheArtro

Artlink is supported by the Visual Arts Craft Strategy of the Australian State and Territory Governments, the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council, the Government of South Australia through Arts SA and the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria.