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The Preservers and Presenters of Yonsei

기사승인 2018.06.04  20:24:55

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- Meeting the people of the Yonsei University Museum

   
 

 

YONSEI UNIVERSITY museum, at first glance, is just the art on the walls. It is the dimly lit artifacts of Go-Jong’s sword and the Sam guk yu sa memorabilia, a National Treasure. It is the soft music that soothes visitors. But with a deeper look, Yonsei Museum is also its caretakers, the individuals that manage and support the gallery space when no one is looking. As the final article of the “Museum Special” series, The Yonsei Annals offers insight into some of the jobs at the Yonsei University Museum.
 
Curator: Yoon Hyun-jin
The Annals: Could you please introduce yourself and your job at the museum?
Yoon: I am the curator at the Yonsei University Museum. The job of a curator is to collect, conduct extensive research, then display the findings of historical objects. Curators are like movie directors because we pull everything together—the artifacts, lighting, interpretation, and even the design of the exhibition to produce an effective exhibition. Additionally, curators must always be up to date with the latest trends in order to make the exhibition attractive.
The Annals: What sparked your interest to become a curator? How did you start the job?
Yoon: Ever since I was young, I was interested in Arts. I liked theatre performances, museums, and classic rock music. This love and interest led to me pursue higher education in the field of History. I liked learning about historical artifacts, so naturally I wanted to work at a museum. I pursued my career as a curator because they have many roles at the museum and you can work in different fields. I am very fortunate to be able to make a living utilizing the knowledge gained from my education.
The Annals: What do you like and dislike about your job?
Yoon: It is a lot of hard work, and I mean physically as well! You literally have to carry certain artifacts and display them where you think is appropriate. Presenting an exhibition is a lot of work and each curator has a lot of roles in this process.
Everything else are advantages of my job. Through my work, I can immediately interact and communicate with the audience. Working with people who share the same interest as me is also very nice. Once again, it is a dream come true to make a living out of something that I have genuine love for.
The Annals: What do you hope to achieve during your time as a curator at Yonsei University Museum?
Yoon: I want to grow more as a scholar as well as improve planning and organizing exhibitions. At Yonsei University Museum, it is my goal to find out how to promote the place with more people. I want to share the 130 years of history it contains with the students, school members, and alumnus. For me, Yonsei University was a place of hope and dream. I want to give the same positive influence to the audience through my exhibitions.
The Annals: Do you have any advice for people who are thinking about becoming a curator?
Yoon: Many people often believe the stereotype that curators are conceited, chic and that it is a very elegant job. You should not approach this career with such expectations. A curator needs to be motivated from the core of his or her heart. You must truly love historical relics and want to share their values with the audience. Unfaltering passion will help you endure through challenging times. So, make sure this job fits you by asking yourself some questions such as: “Why do you want to work as a curator?” and “What do you think an exhibition is?” You must have your personal reasons in becoming a curator; it is insufficient to rely on the stereotypical image portrayed in media. Additionally, you can also visit the museums you love and ask advice from the curators who work there—they will love to listen to you and offer some guidance!
 
Archivist: Lee Won-kyu
The Annals: Could you please introduce yourself and your job at the museum?
Lee: I am a manager at the Yonsei University museum. I am an archivist and have worked at the Yonsei University Museum for about 10 years. An archivist is someone who collects, preserves, and offers service on the informational records. An example of this is the newly renovated Underwood Family Memorial House, where I had to appropriately select and display some of Yonsei’s oldest archives for the museum visitors.
The Annals: What are records and how do you preserve them?
Lee: Everything is a record! Yonsei University’s records vary from documents on how the school funds are spent, to the uniforms of players who brought home the 5:0 victory of the Yon-Ko Games last year. Obviously, not everything can be preserved, so a big part of my job is the selecting process. At Yonsei University Museum, we have a preservation facility, which controls the environment temperature, humidity, and light quality.
The Annals: Do you have any advice to people who are interested in being an archivist?
Lee: An archivist has many jobs but the most important is being able to distinguish the records of important value. To develop this skill, you must study a lot about the field. For example, if you are to work at the Yonsei University Museum, you should know about the administrative system, vision, student, and parents. of Yonsei University. You must develop political, social, and historical sensibility. In order to do so, don’t be restrained to the subject you major in, but take a variety of classes, and have an open attitude to different arts and societies.
The Annals: Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Lee: For me, an archivist is a duty and obligation. This may be because I am from the sam-pall-yuk se-dae, but I am an avid advocate of democracy and transparency, which both come from accurate records and the preservation of them. This is why I continued to pursue this career even if it is a lot of hard work and will not always be recognized. When I retire, I want to move on from this responsibility and spend time writing. I was a bookish boy who loved to read and write. I want to spend time writing, perhaps become a blogger. Also, I love kids. So, I think I will be taking an active role in raising my grandchildren.
 
Student worker: Kim Hyun-jin
The Annals: Could you please introduce yourself and your job at the museum?
Kim: I am a senior in the Department of History and my name is Kim Hyun-jin. At the Yonsei University Museum, I am an assistant. My main job is organizing, packaging and keeping track of the artifacts and relics so that there are no errors. I also help prepare for exhibitions and participate in archeological projects. As a student, I have to squeeze in my mornings, weekends, and holidays to work at the museum.
The Annals: How did you come to take such role?
Kim: While consulting, I told my supervisor that I was interested in working at a museum as my career. My supervisor introduced me to the museum at Yonsei and suggested I gain some work experience. I visited the museum, applied for this job, and am now a work-study scholarship student.
The Annals: What motivated your interest in archeology?
Kim: When I was young, I just thought archeologists looked really cool with their brushes. At university, by chance, I was able to experience the activities I could only imagine as a young child. I love it, because through excavation, I am producing tangible results with my own hands.
The Annals: What career do you hope to pursue and how are you preparing for it?
Kim: I don’t have enough knowledge to be able decide on a career path yet. To be honest, I don’t want to think about it yet because it is too stressful. Archeology is a broad field and I need to find what exactly I am interested in. I know that I want to do something that allows me to have various roles and duties. I want to experience many things. Currently, I am studying archeology as a graduate course and gaining real-life work experience by working at the museum. My time at the museum has made me realize that there are many more jobs than what students commonly know of.
The Annals: Any last words to fellow Yonseians?
Kim: The Yonsei University Museum is actually a lot bigger than what you probably think. We hold many exhibitions and try to be interesting and approachable for everyone. So, take interest and come have a visit!
 
*Sam-pall-yuk se-dae: Directly translating to “386 Generation,” it refers to the people who are in their 30s, from the university class of 1980s, and were born in the 1960s; They took pivotal roles in the democratization movement in Korea.

Kim Min-jung kimmy97@yonsei.ac.kr

<저작권자 © 연세애널스 무단전재 및 재배포금지>
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