Home Architect Whitworth Casts Sook-Kyung Lee as Director

Whitworth Casts Sook-Kyung Lee as Director

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The University of Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery has announced that Sook-Kyung Lee will be its next director. Lee will arrive at the British institution from the Tate Modern in London, where she is senior curator of international art. She will assume her new role in August, when she will become the university’s honorary professor of cross-cultural curating. Lee fills the role left vacant after the departure of Alistair Hudson ousted as director of the Whitworth in February 2022 for allowing a statement of solidarity with Palestine, part of a work by Turner Prize-winning investigative firm Forensic Architecture, to appear in an exhibition there .

Nalin Thakkar, the University of Manchester’s Vice President for Social Responsibility, expressed her delight at Lee’s arrival, noting in a statement that she offered “a fantastic opportunity to build on Whitworth’s international reputation. as a leading cultural institution, while working closely with the University, the City of Manchester, our community partners and other stakeholders to strengthen its current focus and explore exciting new directions for the future .

Among Lee’s curated exhibitions at the Tate are ‘Richard Bell: Embassy’ (2023), ‘A Year in Art: Australia 1992’ (2021–23) and a major study of the work of Nam June Paike (2019–20), which then traveled to institutions in Europe, Asia and the United States. Since 2019, she has led a collaborative research initiative between Tate and Hyundai Motor aimed at studying global art histories from new perspectives. In 2021, she was appointed artistic director of the fourteenth Gwangju Biennale, which opens in April.

“It is a huge honor for me to take on the role of Principal of the Whitworth, one of the most innovative and audience-focused arts institutions in the UK and worldwide,” Lee said in a statement. “I admired Whitworth’s commitment to working with local communities and using art for positive social change. I would like to further develop the gallery in its artistic rigor and social impacts and expand its global connections, with the gallery’s dedicated staff and the University of Manchester.


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