Peace on the Korean Peninsula... a work in progress

Commodity & Ideology | Exhibition Design and Responsive Website

Exhibition Design and Responsive Website

Korea Art Forum is a New York based non-profit with the mission of bridging the world through the arts. Several artists from North Korea were invited to make art alongside their contemporaries from China and South Korea as part of an ambitious residency program in New York City. I worked on the design of the exhibition, website, and catalog at the United Nations Church Center.

What I Did For Korea Art Forum

  • Exhibition Concept & Development
  • User Research
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Content Creation

This proposed residency would have been the first time North Korean artists were granted a visa into the states. Due to escalating tensions, the visas were denied at the last minute while the North Korean artists were in transit at the US embassy in Bejing, China. The lead curator had the foresight to request the North Korean artists take photographs while in China and instructed the Chinese and Korean American artists to do the same on their overseas trips. A culminating exhibition originally intended to display work creating during the residency was to move forward with a collection of over 5k of photographs produced by the artists.


  • Site Visit, InSitu Research
  • Exhibition Design & Planning
  • Sitemap
  • Lo-fidelity wireframes
  • Wireflows
  • Rapid Prototyping

Project Deliverables

Exhibition at the Church Center for the United Nations Compendium website to further illustrate the core components of the project Catalog highlighting aspects of the presentation and artworks
image image image

Exhibition Design & Planning

image image x5 Posters, 37 x 56.5” in. each

  1. From the 5000 + images, 250 photographs from each artist are selected at random and placed in a grid to compose a poster. The dimensions of each poster are scaled to the width of individual wall tiles at the United Nations Church Center. x1 Combination Poster, 37 x 56.5 in.
  2. A sixth poster is a combination of 50 photos from each artist selected and placed at random x5 Printed Photographs, 16 x 20 in.
  3. Opposite each artist poster on the far wall are individual photographs selected by the artists themselves x Printed Takeaways, 2.26 x 3.7 in.
  4. As a takeaway, each of the five individual photographs are scaled down to the size as appears in the grid posters. The opposite side of these takeaways contain additional exhibition information

Site Visit & in situ Observations

General User Types

Academic Scholar, Arts Professional, Diplomat, Student

  • There is a great interest and curiousity on the culture and society in North Korea
  • Many feel that they have limited ability to effect any constuctive change due to the diplomatic impasse
  • Efforts to promote avenues of cultural & regional dialog are appreciated
  • Resources to help understand put into context the artistic and cultural differences of art in the region are limited
site requirements
  • Augment the curatorial gist behind the exhibition
  • Allow for users to share and explore exhbition material (photos, writings) with others
  • Provide artist bios, external links, and other context



Low Fidelity Wireframes




Functional Prototype

current build offline for further design changes & development prototype below built using HTML/CSS/JS, & semantic-ui Video not supported.


144 pp. image As an extension of the curatorial remarks, the presentation was restructured into a flip-book format. The left-hand pages present a chronological scroll of images and notes taken in Beijing alongside the North Korean artists. The right-hand pages scroll randomly through selected photographs from all five artists. image

Exhibition Photos

Conclusion: Moving the Peace Process Forward (KPI)

At a time of diplomatic tensions, the opening reception of Commodity & Ideology 2 was a rare moment where both the North and South Korean UN delegates shared the same room. The exhibition was a critical success and received a mention in the New York Times. The composite posters have hence been exhibited internationally and continue to tell the story of peacebuilding through adversity. The Commodity & Ideology 2 website serves as an experimental prototype to be iterated upon and opened to the public should the project continue.

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