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Wunderkammerkŏri: Reimagining and Reinventing Ancestral Legacy through Collecting and Display

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Wunderkammerkŏri: Reimagining and Reinventing Ancestral Legacy through Collecting and Display

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Thursday, September 28
1:00–3:00 p.m. PT
Speaker: Mirae kh RHEE, Artist-in-Residence, Museum für Asiatische Kunst and Ethnologisches Museum, Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin
Virtual Event


In this lecture, transnational artist Mirae kh RHEE invites us into the long history of the collector and collections from both Asia and Europe. This multimedia project interrogates the presentation and collection practices of the male ruling elite and examines works from collections that extend from the famed Green Vault in Dresden to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The artist has fashioned a new interpretation of the cabinet of curiosities, which she calls Wunderkammerkŏri, a mash-up of German and Korean languages. Wunderkammern, or cabinets of curiosities, arose in mid-16th century Europe as repositories for wondrous objects but gradually appeared in 17th–18th century Qing China and Joseon Korea in the form of Chinese treasure boxes (Duobaoge) and Korean still-life genre painting of books and the scholar’s room (Munbangdo). Working in drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, participatory practices, and emerging technologies, like augmented reality, the artist speaks about her motivations and exhibition plans.


Artist Biography

South Korean born social practice artist (이미래/李未來) Mirae kh RHEE’s transracial life experiences led her to work between the United States, South Korea, and Germany, where learning foreign languages, code-switching, and cultural traditions and customs continuously inform her artwork. Through the lens of transnational feminism and decolonial approaches, she creates complex research-based Gesamtkunstwerk(e) that tell auto-ethnographical narratives. RHEE received her MFA in studio art at the University of California–Irvine, where she was a graduate studies diversity scholar and a Jacob K. Javits Fellow. As the current Artist-in-Residence at the Museum für Asiatische Kunst and Ethnologisches Museum, Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, she developed and exhibited her first augmented reality artwork Sammel-Sucht/Collecting Crave. Her solo project will be presented at the Museum für Asiatische Kunst in 2024 and at the Residenzschloss Dresden in 2025. Learn more about RHEE at



Please note, this session will be conducted virtually via Zoom.

Save your spot by clicking on this link. All participants will be sent the Zoom link via confirmation email with instructions once you secure your place.


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Sponsored by the Asian Arts Council.


Featured at top right: Exhibition view, The Postcolonial Afterlives of Han, 2021, site-specific installation, circa 2 m × 6 m × 4 m on view as part of Interventions: Fresh Perspectives After 50 Years, curated by Rebecca Hall. Photo credit: courtesy of USC Pacific Asia Museum and Peter Perigo.
Korean funeral jacket, Joseon Dynasty, 19th century, permanent collection, USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA | Unfinished Business, 2020–2021, plastic body bags, hemp, satin, velvet, wood, synthetic and real hair,2.08 m × 2.08 m × 1.80 m | Meta-Suûi, 2021, hemp, muslin, polyester cotton mix stuffing, 70 cm × 56 cm × 12 cm | This Way to Apgujeong: Fall,Winter, Summer, Spring, 2016, inkjet print on fine art paper, 21 cm × 29.7 cm


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September 28, 2023
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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