About The Exhibition

The Korean Cultural Centre UK (KCCUK) announces Negotiating Borders, a new exhibition from the Real DMZ Project featuring artists Heinkuhn Oh, Kyungah Ham, Lee Bul, Minouk Lim, Suntag Noh, with more to be announced. Founded in 2012 by curator Sunjung Kim, the Real DMZ Project is an ongoing contemporary art project centred around research conducted on the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between South and North Korea. Engaging with this unique and complex territory, artists present new commissions and recent works across installation, sculpture and film, confronting the sensitivities, perceptions and realities of a divided Korean peninsula.

Since its establishment in 1953, the DMZ has been regarded, paradoxically, as one of the world's most heavily militarised areas. With border tensions easing, and unprecedented progress in inter-Korean relations, recent measures – including the demolishing of twenty guard posts in December 2018 – can be seen as a first step towards disarmament.

Positioned within this context, the exhibition at the KCCUK is built around two conceptual pillars of time and space to link the past, present and future of the DMZ. Whilst the exhibition offers a unique insight into the complexities of the Korean peninsula, research and archival material offer alternative views of the DMZ’s surroundings, encompassing themes such as landscapes, villages, military and natural bio-environment.

Participating artists

Dongsei Kim, Heinkuhn Oh, Joung-Ki Min, Jung Heun Kim, Kyungah Ham, Lee Bul, Minouk Lim, Seung H-Sang, Seung Woo Back, Seungman Park, Soyoung Chung, Suntag Noh, Kyong Park and Zoh Kyung Jin / Cho Hye Ryeong

Featured Events

Artist Talk | 3 October 6-8 pm | Korean Cultural Centre

Please join the participating artists Kyungah HAM, Seung Woo BACK and ZOH Kyung Jin, as they discuss their artistic and academic process. The talk will closely examine the works presented in the exhibition, with the artists who have reflected their investigation on the DMZ.

Artwork by Kyungah HAM and Seung Woo BACK incorporates the physical act of crossing the Korean border, and its underlying complexities such as clash of ideology, bribery, censorship, tension and risk, etc. While the commissioned embroidery pieces by HAM have been crafted by the North Korean artisans, through brokers smuggling her designs to the North and the finalised pieces back to the South, BACK reminisces his past visit to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital in 2001 as a photographer. From the memory of constant surveillance and censorship during his stay at the North, BACK draws his attention to a familiar face which he discovered from another exhibition, by manipulating the images from 2001 as he enlarges and crops the photographs.

As a professor of landscape architecture, ZOH Kyung Jin’s research varies from urban planning, botany, landscape gardening to community design, and he has consulted numerous public projects. For Negotiating Borders, ZOH presents his archive of the herbarium collected from the DMZ, highlighting the preserved ecosystem as the site-specific significance of the DMZ, allowing viewers to experience the transitioning habitats of the plants through the spatial and temporal record of each specimen.

About The Real DMZ Project

The Real DMZ Project is a contemporary art project based on research conducted on the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) in South Korea and its border area. Having begun with a critical perspective on the ironies that surround the Demilitarized Zone, its first edition in 2012 was a project organised in the form of an exhibition held both in and out of the Civilian Control Zone in Cheorwon County. The Real DMZ Project has extended its parameters - not only geographically to the Art Sonje Center in Seoul, and the establishment of a new artist residency in the former propaganda village of Yangji-ri - but also by experimenting with new productions and exhibitions, as well as talks, workshops, and lectures within the fields of the humanities and social sciences. The long-term vision of the Real DMZ Project is to create a platform that supports a variety of research methods and exhibition formats, ensuring that the results are made accessible in open archive.