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Lauren Barnes

Lim Ai Fang Fellow

Department: Arts

Lauren joined the University in 2020 as Lim Ai Fang Fellow and is based in the University Gallery where she is heavily involved in research, curation, collections management, and community collaboration with both the University Art Collection and the Woon Collection of Asian Art.

Lauren has worked in North East museums and galleries for the last nine years. Most recently she was Senior Curator at the Faith Museum in Bishop Auckland and she has also held several positions at Durham University’s Oriental Museum. Whilst at the Oriental Museum, she researched their extensive South Asian collection, curated their permanent Korea gallery and several temporary exhibitions, and managed community engagement projects. Her curatorial career has focused on researching and curating South Asian and East Asian collections, as well as non-Christian world faiths. She has particular research interests in Korean material culture and history, contemporary Korean culture, Buddhism, and curating Asian art. She is passionate about object-based research, collaborative learning, and community engagement.

Lauren is part of the International Research Centre for the History and Culture of Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms at Northumbria University, and is also an active member of the University of Manchester’s Digital Futures Research Network.

Lauren Barnes

Consultant for Korean sections of A History of the World in 1000 Objects (2014), Dorling Kindersley Ltd: London.

Barnes et. al (2011) ‘The transition to and through university for non-traditional local students: some observations for teachers’ in Teaching Geography Vol. 36(2) pp.70-71

Past Curatorial Projects:

2013: White on White, Oriental Museum, in partnership with Gallery LVS, South Korea (Curator)

2013: The Rutt Gallery of Korea (permanent gallery), Oriental Museum (Curator)

2014: Embracing the Divine: Exploring Hindu Faith, Devotion and Celebration, Dorman Museum (Curator)

2014: Re-interpreting the Korean Moon Jar, Oriental Museum, in partnership with artist Hyosun Kim (Curator)

2014: From the Mountains to the Sea, Oriental Museum, with East Durham Artists Network (Curator)

2015: No Stigma Attached, Oriental Museum (Organiser of community-led exhibition)

2015: The Roberts Gallery of South Asia, South East Asia and the Himalayas (permanent gallery), Oriental Museum (Community engagement, research and part of the curatorial team)

2015: The Enlightened One: Printed Buddhist Art, The Oriental Museum (Researcher and Curator)

2018: The Hills are High, Oriental Museum (Curator and photographer)



2011: Leicester University: Topic Speaker: Local Student’s Access to Higher Education (Leicester, UK)

2014: South Asian Decorative Arts and Crafts Collection (SADACC): Discussion Workshop Speaker: Working with Communities (Norfolk, UK)

2018: Durham University / University Museums Malaysia’s Museology Workshop: Trainer on the 3-day conference covering topics of display, working with communities, interpretation and independent museums (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography (BA Hons) (2008 – 2011), Newcastle University

Masters in Museum Practice (MPrac) (2011 – 2013), Newcastle University

Lauren is currently completing her PhD in Museology at the University of Manchester where she is researching the journeys of Korean objects from Korea to UK museums.

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