Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, Ihnmi Jon studies visual and material cultures within and beyond East Asia after 1945. After obtained her Ph.D. in Art History at Binghamton University in 2021, Ihnmi’s research and teaching have focused on the methodological challenges of an art history that recognizes the movement of art and artists across temporal, cultural, and discursive formations in the late 20th and early 21st century. Through both her research and teaching, Ihnmi has endeavored to overcome predominant understandings of Asian modern and contemporary art that rarely problematize the artists’ highly racialized and essentialized identity formation.
As an emerging scholar in the field of art history, Ihnmi has participated in various interdisciplinary events, including the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at Binghamton University (2019); annual meetings of the College Art Association (2020, 2023); and the IFA-Frick Annual Symposium on the History of Art (2021). Working at the intersections of the academic discipline of art history and the practice of museum curating, Ihnmi has also worked as an exhibition facilitator in Korea. In Summer 2021, she participated in the process of organizing the artist Olafur Eliasson’s exhibition Living Observatory at the Arts and Science Center in Daejeon. In Spring 2022, she worked for the contemporary artist Ugo Rondinone’s solo exhibition in Seoul, contributing her article “Ugo Rondinone: Between Pilgrimage and Tourism” to Sinsegae Art Magazine. As a series, for the magazine she wrote the two articles, “Historicization is Never Neutral: Anselm Kiefer at Palazzo Ducale” and “The ‘Great’ Migrator: Robert Rauschenberg.”
Ihnmi is currently working on converting her dissertation into a book manuscript. Titled When Willful Institutionalization Becomes Form: Artworld Globalization, Cai Guo-Qiang, and an Aesthetics of Contingency, the first book project examines the construction of the figure of the “global artist,” using the Chinese-born contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s active practices of career building from 1986 to 2008 as a case study. In pursuit of her broader scholarly project that traces continuously reshaping ideas about what it is to be an “Asian artist,” Ihnmi is also working on various case studies of “Korean” artists, including Byron Kim, Sung Hwan Kim, Kang Seung Lee, Christine Sun Kim, and Jane-Jin Kaisen. Ihnmi is also planning to publish an anthology of modern and contemporary Asian art that questions what it means by studying art “historically” beyond disciplinary orthodoxies and assumptions of Euro-American centrality.