Pyongyang Report explores the concept and problematics of "being seen" and "seeing" with regard to the restricted and politically isolated situation of North Korea.
Desires for unification have long been expressed by the two nations of Korea separated by the DMZ - but the motives for unity are usually polarized. In recent years there has been a symbolic move towards at least limited contact with controlled access allowed from the South to certain resort areas in the North - i.e. Mt. Kumgang, Kaesung and Mt. Baekdu. Though a positive move towards encouraging further exchanges, such restricted contact only serves to emphasize the poetic desire for the forbidden territory and national reunification.
Pyongyang Report is a close examination of a society beyond the no man's land the Demilitarized Zone. This exhibition reveals architecture, design and everyday life as seen through the photographer's lens. Although we live in an era of accelerated global communication made possible by high technology and the Internet it is still impossible to freely access North Korea. In the end we are left only with fragmentary views that perhaps leave much to the imagination of what life may be like on the other side of the DMZ.
Tourism is about the desire to show, the desire to be seen and the desire to travel to see what has not been seen. Pyongyang Report offers a kind of virtual tourism - the opportunity to see behind the DMZ curtain into North Korea through the lens of foreign correspondents and filmmakers. The foreign correspondents have a unique role as traveler as they are neither South Korean nor North Korean and yet are in the position of providing each an image of the other's society.
DMZ_International is a continuing invitation to international artists to renew a focus on the philosophical, political, social, economical, and cultural ramification of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) between North and South Korea. The art works in this exhibition will explore concepts about territory, zoning of memory, division of national identities, the politics of information, control and access to information.
Artists from around the world have been invited to create new public works of art to be considered as interventions in the dynamic context of a specific location.
It is hoped that the conceptual and aesthetic actions and collaborations of these artists can provide alternatives to the problems of cultural and national division that exists worldwide and encourage communication and exchange across these zones of separation thus contributing to a cultural impetus that will bring an end to DMZ's wherever they exist.
Information about the organization conducting the project :
DMZ_KOREA is an non-governmental, not-for-profit organization based in South Korea. The organization exists to establish an exhibition and symposia that includes art and media/information projects that focuses on the social and political dynamics and consequences of borders and divisions in Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Pakistan and between North and South Korea. The exhibition will be a curated selection of inter-disciplinary site-specific projects by international artists.