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Minjee Kim, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a dress historian and lecturer specializing in Korean dress. She was born in Korea and received her BA (1991), MA (1993), and PhD (2000) from Seoul National University. Her doctoral dissertation on the dress history of the Balhae Dynasty (698-926) has been recognized the first significant research of the period, which at the time was the least touched among the history of Korean dress. She worked as a faculty member at Jeonju Kijeon College (1993-1998), a lecturer at Seoul National University (1996-2000). She conducted several projects on the period costume reproduction of the Goguryeo and Balhae dynasty for the Seoul National University Museum, the War Memorial Museum, and the National Folk Museum of Korea. 

After moving to the US in 2000, Kim noticed Korea's traditional dress, hanbok was little known in the international academic discipline and has dedicated herself to raising its visibility both in academia and for the general public. She has extensively lectured for a global audience on issues of fashion and identity, cultural appropriation, and cross-fertilization between western and non-western dress in Korean context. 

She contributed to the exhibition catalog of Couture Korea (2017) held in the Asian Art Museum, and published the exhibition review in West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material CultureShe taught "History of Twentieth Century Fashion Art" for the graduate students at the Academy of Art University in the fall semester, 2018. 


Kim’s presentation topics include the following: The History and Philosophy of Korean Costume: Design, Structure, Rank and Fashion (J. Paul Getty Museum, 2013), Structure, Colors, and Symbolism of Korean Bridal Robes: Hwarot and Wonsam (Asian Art Museum, 2013), Gorgeous Hanbok (Asian Art Museum, 2014), Korean Traditional Clothing: Talk and Demonstration (Asian Art Museum, 2015), Crossing Boundaries: For the Awareness of East Asian Aesthetics in Global Fashion” (keynote speech for the 27th International Costume Congress, Seoul, 2016), The Aesthetics of Hanbok Mirrored in High Fashion” (The 1st International Hanbok Seminar for Specialists, “Soigné and Sustainable: Hanbok as Inspiration for Future Fashion,” Fashion Institute of Technology, 2016), “Rediscovery of Hanbok as Creative Design Inspiration” (International Hanbok Education Program sponsored by the Hanbok Advancement Center, Korea, FIT and Rutgers University, 2016), Primary Sources for the Korean Dress Historiography: Categorization, Authentication and Interpretation” (Conference, Documenting Korean Costume: Primary Sources and New Interpretations, sponsored by the Academy of Korean Studies Grants, The Charles B. Wang Center, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 2017), Hanbok in Modern and Postmodern Times: Fashion, Counter-Fashion, and Anti-Fashion,” (Brown Bag Lunch Seminar, Bard Graduate Center, 2017), Fashion and Textile Art of Korea: The Dynamism of Interrelationships” (Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 2017), "Koreanness of Korean Dress: Through the Lens of Outsiders" (Asian Art Museum, 2017), "Koreanness of Korean Dress: From a Bizarre Look to the Runway" (Symposium, Fashioning Asian Identity, University of San Francisco Asia Pacific Studies, 2018), "Sartorial Borderland between East and West: Assimilating Western Tailoring Techniques into Hanbok (Ruins, Revival(s) and Resources, 6th Conference of the Asian Borderland Research Network, American University, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 2018),  "Korean Patchwork Textiles: From Traditional Women's Crafts to Global Collection (The Social Fabric: Deep Local to Pan GlobalTextile Society of America 16th Biennial Symposium, Vancouver, Canada. 2018), "Hanbok in a Greater Asian Cultural Context" (Costume Society of America Western Region @ San Francisco State University Library, 2018), "The Proper Way to Dress Up Hanbok" (University of Southern California Pacific Asia Museum, 2018), " Is Traditional Dress Modern?: Hanbok in a Greater Cultural Context" (de Young Museum Textile Art Council Lecture, 2019),  "Paradox of Hanbok: What We Perceive as Tradition" (Picturing Identities and Ideologies in Modern Korea: Transnational Perspectives for Visual Culturesponsored by the Academy of Korean Studies Grants, Center for Korean Studies at University of California at Berkeley, 2019)


   

 




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