The Korean Cultural Center in Washington, DC opens after extensive renovations

On Tuesday, September 4th, 2018 the Korean Cultural Center reopened in Washington, DC after extensive renovations to their exhibition space. The evening was celebrated with an opening ceremony open to the media, the diplomatic community, the local Korean staff, and VIP guests from the DC arts and culture community. Welcoming remarks were presented by Yoon-je Choo, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea and Pablo Castro & Jennifer Lee, the principles of the OBRA architectural firm responsible for the renovations. Musical entertainment was provided by Korean born violinist-looper and vocalist Joe Kye.

The Korean Cultural Center in Washington, DC is the culmination of over 55 years of cultural outreach activities by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea. The Public Affairs office of the Korean Embassy opened in Washington, DC in 1962. In 1993 the Korean Culture and Information Services (KOCIS) founded as a part of the Government Information Agency and in 2010 the Korean Cultural Center opened in its current home in Washington, DC.

Ambassador of the Republic of Korea
Cho Yoon-je presents opening remarks at the reopening of the Korean Cultural Center.

The newly renovated Korean Cultural Center features several repurposed exhibition spaces with an overall minimalist white theme. The idea of the past meeting the future resonates throughout the new space. Digital projectors are active throughout the first floor of the new redesign, synchronized together through a central control point to provide an ever changing stream of content to the walls of the spaces. The Arko Media Archive is provided by the Arko Arts Center of the Arts Council Korea. The archive will provide a constantly changing series of images by Korean media artists, highlighting contemporary video art and supporting Korean artists through this modern medium.

Korean cultural boxes are also present on the first floor, provided by the National Folk Museum of Korea. The boxes represent a mobile museum where Korean culture can be exhibited through authentic and traditional materials. The Sori box provides the listener with gugaki, traditional Korean music. The Nori box presents the viewer with traditional Korean play. The Hanbok box allows the visitor to experience traditional Korean clothing. The Hangeul box allows the viewer to experience the Korean alphabet. Finally the Anbang and Saranbang boxes show the differences between Korean men’s and women’s spaces within Korean Culture.

Obra Architects, the creative force behind the redesign, operates offices in New York, Seoul, and Beijing. Founded in New York City in 2000 by partners Partners Jennifer Lee and Pablo Castro, the Beijing office opened in 2011, and the Seoul office opened in 2013. 2015 saw Obra appointed as one of Seoul City Government’s Public Architects. Their work has been featured at the Frac Centre Orléans, solo shows at the Architektur Galerie Berlin and Rhode Island School of Design, the National Art Museum of China, the Museum of Modern Art, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, the Chicago Athenaeum, and the Center for Architecture, New York, among others

The current exhibition at the Korean Cultural Center is Inner Monologue: Works by Three Korean Ceramic Sculpture Artists. The exhibition will run from September 7–29, 2018.

For a full listing of cultural events at the Korean Cultural Center click HERE.

Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday: 09:00 AM — 5:30 PM
Closed for Lunch Daily: 12:00 PM — 1:30 PM

Address: 2370 Massachusetts Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20008
Korean Cultural Center Washington D.C. is located between the Korean Embassy and the Consulate General in a separate building.

By Car: If you are coming from Virginia or Maryland, you can take I-66, I-395 or I-495. Please factor in traffic jams during peak hours (08:00~09:00, 16:00~18:00). Also, some sections (i.e. Rock Creek Parkway) may only be open to one-way traffic.

By Metro: Dupont Circle (red line) and Foggy Bottom (orange line) can be reached within 10~25 min by foot. Red Line : Dupont Circle Station, Orange Line : Foggy Bottom Station. For more information, please visit www.wmata.com.

By Bus: Take N2, N3, N4 line to get off in front of the Korean Cultural Center. N6 is also available, only during weekends.