Negotiating Borders, Sydney
The REAL DMZ PROJECT was conceived in 2011 to explore the (in)visible borders of the DMZ(Demilitarized Zone, a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula near the 38th parallel north) through the critical lens of contemporary art and to raise awareness about the division of Korea. Through collaborations with artists as well as other experts in different fields of study including history, sociology, architecture and ecology, the REAL DMZ PROJECT has been conducting research and producing artworks, exhibitions, publications and more that examine not only geographical borders but also invisible borders such as ideological and psychological divides that are operating in our life and society.
What is the meaning of ‘border’ in pandemic time? While we are faced with border closures, regional blockades and travel restrictions, we imagine our hopes for free travels and open borders might be applied for the future of two Koreas. Negotiating Borders, Sydney takes this unprecedented time as a metaphor to suggest the possibility of a new future between North and South Korea. It presents works by established Korean artists that blur the boundaries and/or explore the moments when the two countries come across, capturing the sensibilities and complicated feelings such as anxiety that arises from being positioned in-between.
This Sydney exhibition is consisted of two parts: “Early Arrival of Future” and “How are you doing?” The first part, which draws its title from a work by Sojung Jun, includes that video work featuring a joint performance of a North Korean pianist and a South Korean pianist. It also presents Jane Jin Kaisen’s Apertures | Specters | Rifts, consisting of photographs of North Korea captured by two international women’s delegations, one in 1951 and the other in 2015. Daejin Choi’s Last Chance illustrates a moment from a pro-boxing match held in Osaka in 2000 between a South Korean boxer and a Zainichi Korean boxer. Kyungah Ham’s Needling Whisper, Needle Country / SMS Series in Camouflage contains embroidery works of Ham’s digital design by North Korean embroiderers, a result of a forbidden contact that the artist made through a third party. These works show moments of border-crossing and correspondence between the two Koreas in varying ways and degrees.
The second part “How are you doing?” unfolds on upstairs with Woosung Lee’s How are youdoing? I’m doing well here, a work on personal narratives within the history of Korea’s division that the artist contemplated while looking out at North Korea from an observatory. Jane Jin Kaisen’s Sweeping the Forest Floor is a video of a mine detector moving frantically in a lush forest inside the Civilian Control Line (the borderline stretching 5 to 20 kilometers south of the Southern Limit Line). Kyung Jin Zoh & Hye Ryeong Cho’s DMZ Botanic Garden comprises an herbarium of plants growing naturally in the DMZ, an ecological treasure house. Heinkuhn Oh’s Middlemen photographic series observe South Korean men in the military, a mandatory service in the country due to the armistice situation. The artist duo YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES’ OUR DMZ, which tells a story of a DMZ tour guide, Sunny Kim.
* Please click ‘HERE‘ to download e-catalogue
28 Jan -29 Mar, KCC Gallery
Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm, Free entry
Artist: Kyungah Ham, Sojung Jun, Heinkuhn Oh, Daejin Choi, Jane Jin Kaisen, Woosung Lee, Kyung Jin Zoh & Hye Ryeong Cho, YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES
KCC Gallery at Night
Thursday, 10 March, 6-8pm
As part of Art Month Sydney 2022, the KCC is open late till 8 pm. All visitors will enjoy light refreshments, a free exhibition catalogue, and access to our library. No bookings required.
Screening Program as part of NAS NEO
Thursday, 24 March, 5:30pm-8pm
National Art School, Free but bookings required
Artist: Heungsoon Im, Chan-Kyong Park, Sojung Jun, Adrián Villar Rojas, YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES
Wednesday, 23 March, 12:45pm-1:45pm
National Art School, Free
Participating artist, Adrián Villar Rojas will present a Lunchtime Lecture via live stream.
For more details, please visit here https://nas.edu.au/calendar-of-events/
* This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Korean Cultural Centre Australia and the Real DMZ Project, and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea and the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange as part of the Travelling Korean Arts Project.
** In conjunction with the exhibition Negotiating Borders, Sydney, the Screening Program and the Art Forum are organised in partnership with the KCC; REAL DMZ PROJECT; Artspace; and National Art School.