Spotlighting the Neglected: Revisiting Korean Cultural Heritages in the U.S.

A Korean traditional art tour has landed on the west coast of the U.S. since December 26 in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the provisional government of Korea. The tour is conducted by a cultural art platform called ‘Heritage K’ to relight the historic places that are ignored in Korea.

The art tour takes place in the historical independence activism sites in the Los Angeles and San Francisco area, presenting masterpieces of Korean traditional artists in various fields, including the works of Hoyeol Shin, a Heritage K artist, Kyusik Shin, a Korean government’s acclaimed porcelain master, Sungwoo Jang, a master of Korean traditional paper Hanji, and Kyujo Ahn, an intangible cultural asset successor.

The tour site includes Heungsadanso site, Ahn Changho dwelling, early Heungsadan and Ahn Changho’s old house, Korean National Assembly training site, Ridley 50 years of Korean history publication, Korean Presbyterian Church, Burgess Hotel, and Kim Hyungsoon Mansion in the Los Angeles area, and Hall site of San Francisco Public Cooperation, the Berkeley Student Training Center, the Central Hall of the Greater Dongboe National Assembly, the General Assembly of the Korean People’s Assembly, the Patriot Alliance, Korean United Methodist Church, and the site of patriotic deed of Jang Inhwan and Chun Myungun in the San Francisco area.


The highlight of the exhibition is the works collaborated by the Hoyeol Shin and the three Korean government-acclaimed artists. This series is made with restored documents used by the king of the Joseon Dynasty and celadon sculpture pieces from the Goryeo Dynasty. The canvases are decorated with Korean traditional patterns. In addition, 300-600 years old Korean traditional doors and 500-700 years old acid eave sculptures were placed in the work to maximize its value and artistic expression.

Hoyeol Shin says that these historical sites need governmental attention. Other than famous tourism sites such as Ahn Chang-ho’s residence and the Korean People’s Congress Center which appeared in Korea’s broadcast program, most other places are hard to find and do not match the information provided by the Korea Independence Hall.

“Considering that Los Angeles and San Francisco area are among the most visited U.S. cities by Koreans, it was a pity to see many important sites being neglected,” said Hoyeol Shin. “the old houses of Heungsadan and Ahn Chang-ho are almost like abandoned places with homeless neighborhoods. A police officer approached me to warn me to be careful. Neither the officer nor the neighborhood knew about this historical place. The officer said we were the first Koreans who visit this place.”

Through this tour, Hoyeol Shin hopes to bring attention to these neglected heritages. Hoyeol Shin closed the interview by saying that “significant economic development in Korea could not have been achieved without the sacrifice of the unnamed heroes. It is necessary to remember them before we forget about their existence over time. Creating digital content is one important way of enabling this.”

Heritage K’s remaining tour will end in San Francisco and Las Vegas area. Special performances with American artists are scheduled in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

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Country: South Korea