Suwon Museum Of Art
Born, A woman
|Suwon Museum Of Art
The Fifth Anniversary Exhibition of SUMA
Born, A Woman
Suwon Museum of Art(SUMA) presents its fifth anniversary exhibition, Born, A Woman. This event aims to explore contemporary sentiments on the museum’s annual theme, ‘woman,’ through a key figure in Suwon’s local history – Hyegyeonggung Hong.
Since its inauguration in 2015, SUMA has been endeavoring to make meaningful inquiries into and reflections on the cultural and historical values of Suwon in the present context. Continuing to collect, research, and exhibit various findings on women’s narratives, the museum brings these efforts to culmination through this exhibition, illuminating intersecting threads of diachronic and synchronic perspectives on women in the tumultuous throes of gender politics throughout Suwon’s history.
The title Born, A Woman, gestures back to Hanjeungrok - an memoir written by the mother of Joseon Dynasty’s 22nd king Jeongjo and the bride of his father Sadoseja, Hyegyeonggung Hong. The sorrowful phrase ‘(I was) born (and it turned out to be that I was) a woman,’ utter by a women whose birth – expectantly awaited, having been preceded by an auspicious prenatal dream of a black dragon – was seen as a disappointment in Joseon’s androcentric society, is emblematic of women’s alienation and disadvantage at the time. The comma, meanwhile, aspires to new perspectives that seeks out the infinite potential and momentum of women in their fluid crossings of solid boundaries and institutionalized restrictions.
Born, A Woman, aims to examine how contemporary women understand themselves through and against such historical burdens to expand their roles and significance. We hope that by uncovering the numerous layers of femininity that are embedded in our daily encounters, the exhibition would serve as an opportunity for us to reinstate elided or fragmented narratives, and reawaken senses or moments we may have inadvertently elided. In doing so, we envision SUMA’s future role as a site of collaborative search and connection, whereat we may introduce and explore contemporary issues of women.