맛: [MA:T] AS IT IS

October 5 to October 27, 2016
Korean Cultural Center New York


New Opening Reception Date Announcement

The Korean Cultural Center New York and the Korea Foundation are happy to announce our new [MA:T] AS IT IS Exhibition opening date, Wednesday, October 5th! We will be holding a private press/media event from 6 to 7 pm, and the the public opening reception will begin at 7 pm until 9 pm.

Thank you for your patience and support and we look forward to seeing you soon.



한진해운 사태로 불가피하게 연기되었던 뉴욕한국문화원과 한국국제교류재단의 공동 기획 특별전 ‘맛[MA:T]-AS IT IS’의 개막 행사가 오는 10월 5일(수) 저녁 6시부터 9시까지 개최됩니다. 당일 저녁 6시부터 7시까지 미디어/프레스 단독 프리뷰, 7시 이후 부터는 일반 관람객들이 리셉션에 함께 참여할 예정이니 일정 참고해 주시기 바랍니다. 



Opening Reception:

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016,
6-7 PM (Media/Press Only) / 7-9 PM (Public Reception)

The exhibition title, ‘맛:[MAT],’ literally meaning ‘taste’ in Korean, describes how the 맛:[MA:T] As It Is exhibition focuses exclusively on the notions of taste of Korea and the Korean attitude towards nature and man-made objects. Formulated from a designer’s perspective, the exhibition explores several dynamic aspects of ‘taste’ that relate not only to the consumption of food, but to the different styles of cooking and sharing food, the objects that surround food, and the physical and emotional ‘taste’ of the dining environment and experience as a whole. 


The idea for 맛: [MA:T] As It Is originated from contemporary Korean food culture that stems from traditional methods, customs, and habits passed down through generations. This exhibition breaks down Korean food culture into four broadly defined categories--steamed rice, alcohol, kimchi, and delivery--which allows viewers to gain a clearer understanding of the perception of food in Korea. While these four categories offer a palatable, comprehensive definition of Korean food culture, the exhibition does not follow a folkloristic approach and is not based on systematic research in cultural anthropology, and therefore does not try to comprehensively capture the intricacies of food and taste in Korea. 


Yet an overwhelming strength of this exhibition is its fresh outlook towards Korean culture. Unlike previous exhibitions, which have often presented ornate and carefully manicured symbols of Korean culture, the MA:T exhibition showcases common objects that are typically considered unsophisticated or not “special” by Koreans. This exhibition works to shatter existing stereotypes and introduces a new stage for Korean culture to present itself in a more positive light to New Yorkers, and through its realistic, authentic, and objective points of view, encourages the audience to interpret this art as their own. 



OCTOBER 5, 2016, 7:00-9:00 PM

A free admission opening reception for the public. With specialty catering and entertainment, this event utilizes the displayed objects at the exhibition in order to engage audiences and to encourage them to share their experiences on social media. 


October 6th: 2~4 pm; 7~9 pm
October 7th: 2~4 pm; 7~9 pm

at the Korean Cultural Center New York

(460 Park Ave. 6th Floor, NYC)

Our application deadline is October 4th!

This fall, join us for a kimchi making class with master Soon Ja Kim, designated as the first “Kimchi Master” of Korea by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs in a truly special two-day workshop presented by the Korean Cultural Center New York. Each workshop (4 in total) will consist of an overview of kimchi and its history, a demo from Master Kim, and a chance to make you own kimchi firsthand!

Due to limited venue capacity, applications are required and confirmations will be provided on a first come, first served basis. We thank you in advance for your understanding.

Part 1: Kimchi and Rice

The undeniable staple food of Korea is bap made of white rice. There is also a mixed grain bap, which is rice mixed with barley, sorghum, beans, adzuki beans, and other grains. Bap is made by boiling the grains and fruits with rice so that they may absorb the water, letting it rest for a sufficient amount of time. Different kinds of bap can be made by mixing special ingredients into the broth such as vegetables, seafood, and meat. Bibimbap is a popular dish where different kinds of vegetables and meat are placed on top of the bap and served together. 

Kimchi, a fermented dish made with vegetables and a variety of seasoning ingredients, is paired with a bowl of steamed rice and is an essential part of every Korean meal. When consumed in moderation, kimchi has various health benefits as it is rich in vitamins A and C and helps boost the immune system. It is the most well-known Korean dish amongst foreigners. 

During the Three Kingdoms Period (57 - 668 AD), making kimchi required a very simple recipe of salting and storing napa cabbages in an earthenware vessels and allowing them to ferment for extended periods of time. Yet due to the modernization of the kimchi-making process, what was once just a simple salted pickle has now become a international phenomenon of over three hundred varieties, each with its own unique flavor resulting from differences in climate, geographical conditions, local ingredients, methods of preparation, and preservation. 

In the old days, kimchi was an important source of vitamins in the winter when fresh vegetables were unavailable. While this fact still holds true, modern technology has allowed for the widespread availability of vegetables in any season, making the kimchi of today less of a necessity for survival and more of an artform whose flavors have led it to receive worldwide attention. 


Oil painting on cutting board, 450 x 230 x 23 mm, 2010
Private Collection of Sanghwan Lee

Oh Mother-Kimchi by Eongon Kim

The artist Eon-gon Kim obtains old used cutting boards that hold the traces of a long history. Based on the users’ individual stories, he represents the ingredients such as kimchi and fish on the board. 

Wood, 140x140x78mm, 2015

Doe[t]bak (Measuring Unit)

Today the amount of rice is marked in weight, but in the past it was measured in dimension. In Korean Traditional measurement, the units for crops include ‘hop‘ and ‘doe.’ ‘Doe’ is approximately two handfuls of an adult male. Using weight measurements versus traditional measurements depended on the preference of the rice seller. 

Stainless steel, Ø102 x 50mm/ Ø132 x 47mm/ , 2015
Kumsung Art Co., Ltd./ Weolkwang

Stainless Steel Rice Bowl

‘Rice Bowl’ (Gong-gi, literally meaning an ‘empty bowl’) first appeared in the mid-1960s when rice production was cut significantly as a result of a government policy aimed at reducing rice consumption. As the number of eateries increased, rice consumption decreased. Instead of filling a very large bowl to the brim with rice, which had been the custom before the policy, people began to use smaller bowls to as a response to the policy, and thus the Rice Bowl became the standard for a meal. 

Mixed Media, Container: 175 x 115 x 22 mm (60 pcs), Poster: 900 x 2000 mm, 2015

Bibimbap Seoul by Sulki Kim


Bibimbap itself is the city of Seoul. I roamed around the city and found colorful items such as accessories and scrub towels to use for this piece. I placed them in the ttukbaegi (earthen pot) to make a bibimbap, and packed the ingredients to resemble side dishes displayed in stores.” 

Korean Restaurants in New York

ExhibitionsMiro Yoon