AHL Foundation

My second solo exhibition at AHL Foundation gallery opened June. 15 – July 13th, 2024. New York City.

The exhibition“Palettes & Plates: New York Korean Perspective”explores what it means to establish one’s identity within the context of food.

This exhibition explores how personal memories, emotions, and journeys are reconstructed and revealed through adoptee artists’ interpretations of food. Curated by Jiyoung Lee and led by visual artist Nancy Pappas, who delves into identity through her work with food, the show also features food-themed events and programming by renowned culinary figure Peter Serpico. This dialogue celebrates the countless ways food influences us and the stories it tells about who we are.

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Her recent reunion with her birth family has deepened her exploration of her South Korean roots.

As a South Korean adoptee, Nancy Pappas explores themes of identity and community, creating pieces that foster a sense of belonging and shared cultural appreciation.

This exhibition showcases a series of food illustrations that reveal a culinary journey of reconnection and understanding of her Korean American identity as an adoptee, spanning a Midwest upbringing, a vibrant life in New York City, and moments of self-discovery in Seoul.

Other pieces include visual narrations of her time in South Korea reuniting with her birth family and later, living in Korea, connecting with other South Korean adoptees and her motherland culture. Food is deeply connected to one’s identity, culture, and memories. Through the flavors of one’s homeland cuisine, people can discover their roots and understand their identities. For adoptee artists and chefs, Korean food serves as a precious medium to uncover their identities and comprehend their cultural roots.

Photos by Jeongyoon Park