North and South Korea have been separated for roughly sixty-seven years by a 2.5-mile-wide and 160-mile-long strip, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). It is not only part of one of the best-secured borders in the world, but also marks in a unique way an ideological, cultural, and not least of all psychological separation between the two Korean nations. While the territorial border is visible from afar, the mental rifts are almost invisible: difficult to describe, but by all means felt. In 2011, the research project Real DMZ was launched in order to use the means of contemporary art to negotiate the various themes of borders and separations and develop scenarios for a possible common future.
After initial venues in London and Paris, the Real DMZ Project will be on view at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg beginning on December 5, 2020. In the year of the thirtieth anniversary of the peaceful reunification of Germany and in the geographical vicinity of the former inner-German border, the exhibition seems particularly appropriate in terms of both time and topography. North Korea, the Demilitarized Zone, and the prospect of a possible common future: On the basis of these three thematic complexes, works of art by both Korean and foreign artists from the fields of painting, sculpture, photography and video are presented, which deal with the politically complex situation and offer fascinating insights into visible and invisible borders.
Park Chan-kyong, Minouk Lim, Noh Suntag, Seung Woo Back, Jane Jin Kaisen, Kyungah Ham, Yeondoo Jung, Aernout Mik, Heinkuhn Oh, Tomoko Yoneda, Mischa Leinkauf, Min Joung-Ki, Kim Jung Heun, Dongsei Kim, Lee Bul et al.
The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg and the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange
The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, the Korean Cultural Center, and the Real DMZ Project
The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and the Korean Cultural Center
Made possible with funds from
The Korean Cultural Center (Cultural Department of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea)
Heinkuhn OH, A soldier standing on the water, July 2011, 2011, Archival Pigment Print, 126 × 99 cm, © Courtesy of the artist