Gala Porras-Kim (Colombia/USA) investigates institutional and linguistic frameworks that define, legitimise and preserve cultural heritage. Considering how oral traditions or archaeological remains of Mesoamerica are represented and exhibited, the artist underscores history’s methodological and ideological tools to analyse and ultimately control narratives and access to knowledge. Gala’s work questions the ethical principles of museological conservation while also functioning as an invitation to imagine stories and invest new meanings to artefacts displayed inside museum vitrines or assembled in its storages.

During her residency –as part of the Collecting as Practice programme – Gala will be looking at how artefacts can still perform their original function such as spiritual offerings or objects for the afterlife in their current state as historical objects within collections. She will be researching institutional documents and policies that determine how they currently exist at the British Museum and thinking through ways of compromising with otherworldly original owners.

Gala’s work has been exhibited at: Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2021); São Paulo Biennial, Brazil (2021); Whitney Biennial (2019); LACMA (2017); Seoul City Museum of Art (2017); Whitney Museum of American Art (2017); FRAC Pays de la Loire, France (2016); and the Made in LA Biennial, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016).

She has received awards including Art Matters (2019), Artadia (2017), Joan Mitchell Foundation (2016), Creative Capital (2015) and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation (2015). Forthcoming solo exhibitions in 2021 include Kadist NY and Gasworks London. Gala was a recent David and Roberta Logie Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and current artist-in-residence at The Getty.

Gala Porras-Kim was born in Colombia and lives and works in Los Angeles, USA.

With support from

Delfina Foundation’s Network of Latin America and Caribbean Patrons


Collecting as Practice:
Season 3


Spring 2021

Artist’s website



Please note all artist-in-residence biographies are accurate at the time of their residency. For up-to-date bios please visit the artist’s website.