From Seoul to San Francisco: SFAC Main Gallery Explores Climate Change and Sustainability In New International Joint Exhibition Sowing Worlds

SFAC Galleries partners with Alternative Space LOOP in Seoul, South Korea for a Group Exhibition That Explores the Worldwide Impacts of Climate Change

Image of artwork Mago Leymunsoom (still) by Heesoo Kwon.

Sowing Worlds, Mago Leymusoom (still) by Heesoo Kwon, 2022. Courtesy of the Artist

SAN FRANCISCONovember 21, 2022—The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) Main Gallery, in partnership with Alternative Space LOOP in Seoul, South Korea, are proud to present Sowing Worlds, an international joint exhibition featuring works by five artists based in the Bay Area alongside five artists based in South Korea.  

Sowing Worlds opens on December 9, 2022 and will be on view in the SFAC Main Gallery through February 11, 2023

“The San Francisco Arts Commission is thrilled to be able to partner with both local and international artists to bring this joint exhibition to the SFAC Main Gallery that touches on such an important and timely topic that impacts us all,” said Ralph Remington, Director of Cultural Affairs. “At this moment in time, climate change and sustainability are at the forefront of discussion within the art world. It is my hope that Sowing Worlds will help us continue these important conversations and bring much needed attention to these issues.” 

The effects of climate change have become ever clearer: massive wildfires, record breaking temperatures, floods, increasingly powerful storms, droughts and other calamities are taking place all over the world. How we move forward to address the changes occurring is a constant question, and at times, seem to falter at the scope of what is happening. At what point do we alter our lives to mitigate or halt the effects of climate change?  

Sowing Worlds takes its title from a chapter in theorist Donna Haraway’s Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, that draws on the work of authors Octavia Butler and Ursula LeGuin to speak to new ways of thinking and addressing climate change. Sowing Worlds brings together artists who are thinking expansively and critically about living with climate change. The works in the exhibition explore sustainable agriculture, the intertwining legacies of colonialism and its effects on the land, and ancestral connection to a place in flux. 

“Drawing upon artists and the arts has always been a fruitful way to think more creatively, with openness and compassion, on large issues like climate change,” states SFAC Galleries Associate Curator Jackie Im. “Climate change affects us all and artists are uniquely poised to be able to think speculatively about how we move forward as the world changes.”  

Sowing Worlds is a companion exhibition to Sisters, We Grow, which was on view at Alternative Space LOOP in Seoul, South Korea from September 23 – October 23, 2022.  

Both exhibitions feature work by Binta Ayofemi, Cristine Blanco, Heesoo Kwon, Emma Logan, Sun Park, Eunbi Kwon, Nayoungim & Gregory Maass, JongHeon Bae, Da-Seul Lee, and Go-Eun Im and was curated by Jackie Im, Sun Mi Lee, and Ji Yoon Yang. A publication for the exhibitions will be released in 2023.  

In Emma Logan’s Ceding Ground, the Petaluma-based artist invites viewers to touch and hold ceramic seeds and Northern California soil, reconnecting them to the earth and to contemplate the agricultural practices that have damaged the ecosystem.  

Da-Seul Lee’s installation takes inspiration from the wild hops that grow in Jeju Island. Seen as a weed by commercial farmers, Lee’s work involves the cultivation of the plant as a form of resistance and resiliency.  

Elsewhere in the gallery, Cristine Blanco’s Embedded Bricks is a project inspired by land, labor, and lineage. The installation features bricks handmade by the artist from clay harvested in her backyard and arranged in a kusikus, a traditional Filipino pattern. As a form of ritual, Blanco invited her community to inscribe their intentions around care and protection.  

Exhibition Details 
Sowing Worlds 
December 9, 2022 – February 11, 2023 
SFAC Main Gallery, War Memorial Veterans Building 
401 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 126, San Francisco, CA 94102 
Wednesday – Saturday, noon – 5 p.m. 
Free and open to the public 

Public Reception Details 
Friday, December 9, 6 – 8 p.m.  
SFAC Main Gallery, War Memorial Veterans Building 
401 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 126, San Francisco, CA 94102 
No reservation required. Free and open to the public 

About The San Francisco Arts Commission
SFAC is the City agency that champions the arts as essential to daily life by investing in a vibrant arts community, enlivening the urban environment and shaping innovative cultural policy. Our programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Investments, Public Art, SFAC Galleries, and Art Vendor Licensing. To learn more, visit sfartscommission.org.

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