Out of that meeting, a partnership was born: this past December, KACES arranged a weeklong professional exchange between their staff, The MoMA Alzheimer’s Project, and museum educators from the Whanki Museum in Seoul. Together, we facilitated art-making workshops for older adults throughout New York City, including residents at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, and individuals affiliated with the Brooklyn Parkinson Group, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, and the Museum’s Meet Me at MoMA program.During the workshops, MoMA and Whanki Museum educators asked participants to consider artistic appropriation of culturally specific iconography. We first looked at Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962) and discussed the ways in which the imagery resonated both on a personal level and also as a signifier of collective American culture. Then Whanki Museum staff introduced the work of famed Korean modernist Kim Whanki, who often incorporated images of dal hang-ari (moon jars) into his paintings. While I had never heard of a moon jar before, in Korea they’re important symbols of national identity. A traditional vessel unique to Korea, moon jars embody the neo-Confucian principals of frugality, purity, and simplicity.
Participants were then invited to create works incorporating Warhol’s seriality and Kim’s subject matter, but that were nonetheless unique to their own creative understanding of the materials and themes at hand.
The collaborative artwork produced during these workshops is on view in the Museum’s Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building, located at 4 West 54 Street, through February 28. Come check it out!