Graphic Design by Jinu Hong. On-screen Keyboard typeface by Nicholas Weltyk

  • Exhibition Dates: September 10 – October 1, 2022
  • Location: AHL Foundation, Inc. 2605 Frederick Douglass Blvd., New York, NY 10030
  • Opening Reception: Saturday, September 10, 3-6pm
  • Gallery hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 12-6PM

AHL Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting Korean contemporary art, is proud to announce the opening of its annual exhibition of Korean adopted artists, Sensoria. Curated by Katie Yook, the exhibition presents artworks by Se Young Au, Jette Hye Jin Mortensen, and KimSu Theiler.

The exhibition aims to bring to the forefront a group of an estimated 200,000 children adopted from Korea between the end of the Korean War until the mid 2000s who, despite geographical dispersal, maintain a strong global community. By bringing the artists’ narratives to the forefront, Sensoria looks to expand the notion of Korean identity and bring to light the sociohistorical underpinnings of adoption.

The exhibition’s title refers to the complex set of stimuli that make up one’s perception of the world. Spanning video, sound, drawing and installation, the exhibition is themed around the artists’ use of non-visual senses, such as sound, scent, narrative and digital technologies to explore complex and abstract ideas of transnationality, memory, fluidity and community.

The artists share an impetus to understand one’s history and find meaning in connecting to oneself and each other. Common themes that arise from these explorations include journeys and healing. For example, Se Young Au conceives of an offering to children who did not have agency in their leaving of Korea and uses scent to explore grief held in the body. Similarly, Jette Hye Jin Mortensen uses sensory and ancient exercises to transform self harm, anxiety and sorrow into a healing space. Meanwhile, KimSu Theiler uses filmmaking and narrative to interrogate the epistemic foundations of how a person is defined as a member of a community.

About the Artists

Se Young Au, Inexhaustible Abundance. mixed media, 2022

Se Young Au (Los Angeles) is a multi-disciplinary artist who received their BA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. Their work is at the intersection of digital collage, personal archive, installation and olfaction. Au employs vivid, atmospheric imagery and color as they explore themes of survival, possibility and alternative worlds. They have worked within the context of both the commercial and fine art world. Select clients include: Museum of Natural History Los Angeles, Fly By Jing, and Broccoli Magazine. Previous works have been shown at Henry Art Gallery (Seattle) in collaboration with painter Gabriella Sanchez and the El Segundo Museum of Art.

Jette Hye JIn Mortensen, The Apology, video projection, 2013.

Jette Hye Jin Mortensen (Roskilde) is an artist, writer, curator and sustainability advocate with a background in theater, film and music. She works conceptually with expansions and stagings of identity, collective being, natural science, performative architecture and spirituality. She is MFA graduate from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2010, recipient of the 3-year work stipend from the Danish Arts Foundation in 2015 and certified PDC Permaculture designer in 2018. She has exhibited at the 6th Gwangju Biennale, ARoS Museum of Contemporary Art, Overgaden Institute for Contemporary Art, Kyunghee Museum of Art, 1st Nordic Art Triennial at Eskilstuna Art Museum, GI ́08 Glasgow International, The VM Mountain by Bjarke Ingels, U-Turn Quadrennial for Contemporary Art and done public commissions like HK20 for the Danish Building Agency.

KimSu Theiler, Let me introduce myself, pin pricked text on paper, 2005.

KimSu Theiler (New York) is a visual artist based in New York City. She has exhibited film, video and media installation work internationally including the Rotterdam Film Festival (Netherlands), Gwangju Biennial (Korea), Museum of Modern Art (United States), and the Toronto Film Festival (Canada). She has received grants from New York Foundation for the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York State Council on the Arts Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds, the John Cage Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art, the Jack Smith Artist Award and the F/VA Artist Mentor Project Grant. Her artist residencies include the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Korea) and The Art Studios at Rådhuset-Oslo (Norway).

About The Curator

Katie Yook is a curator with experience organizing exhibitions, events, talks and performances with artists interested in multimedia, research-driven practices. She received an MFA in Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London and BA in Contemporary Art from New York University and has held positions at Tate, Archaeology of the Final Decade, Creative Time, Art in General and Suzanne Randolph Fine Arts. She is currently Fundraising and Programs Manager at AHL Foundation.

Recent curatorial projects were held at The Yard Theatre, Cody Dock, Lewisham Arthouse, Cubitt Gallery, Arts in Perpetuity Trust, Res. and EnclaveLab. She has contributed writing to Agora Digital Art, this is tomorrow, ICA London and the Goldsmiths MA Digital Culture Degree Show Catalogue. In 2018 she curated Phantom Limb, an exhibition and event series in London centering the practices of Korean diaspora artists.

About AHL Foundation

AHL Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization established in 2003 by Sook Nyu Lee Kim to support artists of Korean heritage working in the United States and promote exposure of their work in today’s highly competitive contemporary art world. AHL Foundation seeks to accomplish its mission by promoting the work of emerging artists of Korean descent active in the United States through exhibitions, informing and educating artists on the business side of the art practice, and building a community of supporters and art enthusiasts.

AHL Foundation has been presenting the narratives of the Korean adoptee community since 2008 with the exhibition. Adoption: Palimpsest of Identity at the Korean Cultural Center NY. Thanks to funding from the Overseas Koreans Foundation, AHL Foundation has been privileged to continue presenting an annual exhibition to represent the identities of overseas Korean adoptees.

This exhibition was made possible thanks to support from the Overseas Koreans Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.