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Museum hosts inaugural exhibition after opening inside Korea’s Demilitarised Zone

You’ll need an armed military escort to get there but the reward will be great with a new museum dedicated to exploring themes of peace through art inside Korea’s DMZ




Korea’s Cultural Cooperation Team hosted a successful concurrent exhibition in five venues in the DMZ between September and November   Credit: Kim San

The thin strip of land that divides North Korea and South Korea is now home to an art museum, with the bold new venture just concluding its inaugural exhibition.

Placed firmly inside the Korean Demilitarised Zone - a 150 mile-long and 2.5 mile-wide border that spans the Korean Peninsula - the Unimaru museum requires a military escort to visit.

Originally built in 2003 as a temporary inter-Korean customs office, the facility had sat vacant since 2007. Since then, the building has undergone a significant renovation by Hyunjun Mihn, the architect who designed the Museum of Modern Contemporary Art in Seoul. As a result, the space has been completely transformed and is now capable of hosting artworks relating to its dramatic location.



The museum’s inaugural exhibition was titled “2021 DMZ Art and Peace Platform” and featured works from 32 artists across five venues.

The exhibition is part of a wider effort to transform the DMZ into an international peace zone and represents the latest steps in the easing of tensions since both North and South Korea signed a joint declaration in 2018. Included in the agreement was a dismantling of guard posts and the removal of land mines in the DMZ.

Each exhibition site, says the museum, embodied the concepts of unification and peace, ecology and sustainability, connection and solidarity, interaction and expansion.

In addition to the Unimaru space, works also went on display at two train stations inside the DMZ - both created should the two nations open their borders and allow transit between North and South Korea - the nearby Dorasan Station, and, on the peninsula’s east coast, Jejin Station.

Digital artwork is featured at the Dorasan Station inside the DMZ   CREDIT: KIM SAN


At Dorasan is a permanent wall of six video screens presenting work by Yiyun Kang, Min Jeong Geum, and Ye Seung Lee. Jejin features a scale model of the entire DMZ, with audio recordings of the sounds of nature in the region.

A fourth space sits on the site of a former guard post, with a soapstone sculpture by South Korean artist Haegue Yang taking its place. Called “Migratory DMZ Birds on Asymmetric Lens - Kyott Kyott Vessel (Pale Thrush)”, from the front, the piece appears to be a rounded orb but is an-fact an asymmetrical lens, reflecting the divided nature of the two Koreas.

The final location for the exhibition was based in South Korea at the National Institute for Unification Education in Seoul.

“Participants feature diverse subjects such as ordinary people and their daily lives on the border between South and North; the ‘deferred memories’ of displaced people and the war images, represented by Millennials, Generation Z, and the post-war generation that did not live through the Korean War; invoking the names of endangered species to heal spirits; pondering the coexistence of environment and technology during the pandemic and climate crises,” said Yeon Shim Chung, artistic director, Unimaru.



“The border is there, acting as a barrier, yet the artistic imagination and desire for peace in the DMZ will always be as borderless as birds, wind, water, and grass. Borderless DMZ.”

Hosted by the Ministry of Unification’s Inter-Korean Transit Office, the museum’s curators hope that in the future, North Korean artists will also be able to participate. The inaugural exhibition ran from September 15 to November 15.

To take a VR tour of the museum click here



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Museum hosts inaugural exhibition after opening inside Korea’s Demilitarised Zone | Planet Attractions

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Museum hosts inaugural exhibition after opening inside Korea’s Demilitarised Zone

You’ll need an armed military escort to get there but the reward will be great with a new museum dedicated to exploring themes of peace through art inside Korea’s DMZ




Korea’s Cultural Cooperation Team hosted a successful concurrent exhibition in five venues in the DMZ between September and November   Credit: Kim San

The thin strip of land that divides North Korea and South Korea is now home to an art museum, with the bold new venture just concluding its inaugural exhibition.

Placed firmly inside the Korean Demilitarised Zone - a 150 mile-long and 2.5 mile-wide border that spans the Korean Peninsula - the Unimaru museum requires a military escort to visit.

Originally built in 2003 as a temporary inter-Korean customs office, the facility had sat vacant since 2007. Since then, the building has undergone a significant renovation by Hyunjun Mihn, the architect who designed the Museum of Modern Contemporary Art in Seoul. As a result, the space has been completely transformed and is now capable of hosting artworks relating to its dramatic location.



The museum’s inaugural exhibition was titled “2021 DMZ Art and Peace Platform” and featured works from 32 artists across five venues.

The exhibition is part of a wider effort to transform the DMZ into an international peace zone and represents the latest steps in the easing of tensions since both North and South Korea signed a joint declaration in 2018. Included in the agreement was a dismantling of guard posts and the removal of land mines in the DMZ.

Each exhibition site, says the museum, embodied the concepts of unification and peace, ecology and sustainability, connection and solidarity, interaction and expansion.

In addition to the Unimaru space, works also went on display at two train stations inside the DMZ - both created should the two nations open their borders and allow transit between North and South Korea - the nearby Dorasan Station, and, on the peninsula’s east coast, Jejin Station.

Digital artwork is featured at the Dorasan Station inside the DMZ   CREDIT: KIM SAN


At Dorasan is a permanent wall of six video screens presenting work by Yiyun Kang, Min Jeong Geum, and Ye Seung Lee. Jejin features a scale model of the entire DMZ, with audio recordings of the sounds of nature in the region.

A fourth space sits on the site of a former guard post, with a soapstone sculpture by South Korean artist Haegue Yang taking its place. Called “Migratory DMZ Birds on Asymmetric Lens - Kyott Kyott Vessel (Pale Thrush)”, from the front, the piece appears to be a rounded orb but is an-fact an asymmetrical lens, reflecting the divided nature of the two Koreas.

The final location for the exhibition was based in South Korea at the National Institute for Unification Education in Seoul.

“Participants feature diverse subjects such as ordinary people and their daily lives on the border between South and North; the ‘deferred memories’ of displaced people and the war images, represented by Millennials, Generation Z, and the post-war generation that did not live through the Korean War; invoking the names of endangered species to heal spirits; pondering the coexistence of environment and technology during the pandemic and climate crises,” said Yeon Shim Chung, artistic director, Unimaru.



“The border is there, acting as a barrier, yet the artistic imagination and desire for peace in the DMZ will always be as borderless as birds, wind, water, and grass. Borderless DMZ.”

Hosted by the Ministry of Unification’s Inter-Korean Transit Office, the museum’s curators hope that in the future, North Korean artists will also be able to participate. The inaugural exhibition ran from September 15 to November 15.

To take a VR tour of the museum click here



 



© Kazoo 5 Limited 2022