DMZ Vault of Life and Knowledge

Minsuk Cho2015


Seoul, South Korea

Minsuk Cho’s DMZ Vault of Life and Knowledge began as a contribution to the collective project Dreaming of Earth ... initiated by artist Jae-Eun Choi in 2015, which appointed the vibrant ecosystem of the DMZ as an essential starting point for the peaceful coexistence of the two Koreas. The project began with a “floating garden,” an elevated path that follows the Yeokgok Stream, a tributary of the Hantan River within the DMZ in Cheorwon. Choi’s initial request was for a seed bank at the northern entrance of the floating garden and an ecology library at the southern entrance. These two symbiotic facilities are prescribed with preparation spaces both above ground and below for the safe-keeping of “life” and “knowledge.” When Cho discovered these facilities started from the point where the border and the tunnel—the two tragic lines made by mankind—intersect, he suggested reutilizing the existing Cheorwon Tunnel, currently a site for military tourism, in order to minimize physical intervention. This 3.5km tunnel accommodates the most optimal conditions of a protective vault as it passes deep below the mountainous DMZ terrain. Like a kind of“landscape acupuncture,” it symbolizes the relief of the divided land from decades of tension and allows for a flow of new energy.


  • Title: DMZ Vault of Life and Knowledge
  • Creator: Minsuk Cho, Minsuk Cho
  • Date Created: 2015, 2015
  • Physical Dimensions: Model: 638×360cm, light panel: 431×187 cm
  • Type: Installation
  • Medium: Acrylic model, light panel,floor graphic
  • 작가 정보: Minsuk Cho (b. 1966, Seoul) founded the Seoul-based firm Mass Studies in 2003. He has been committed to the discourse of architecture through socio-cultural and urban research, and has numerous globally recognized works to his credit. His most representative works include the Pixel House, Missing Matrix, Bundle Matrix, Shanghai Expo 2010: Korea Pavilion, Daum Space.1, Tea Stone Innisfree, South cape, Dome-ino, and the Daejeon University Student Dormitory. He was recently selected to design the new Seoul Cinematheque and the Danginri Cultural Space. Active beyond his practice, he co-curated the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale, and was the commissioner and co-curator of the Korean Pavilion for the 14th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, which was awarded the Gold Lion for Best National Participation. In late 2014, PLATEAU Samsung Museum of Art held its first ever architecture exhibition, highlighting Cho’s works in a solo exhibition entitled Before After: Mass Studies Does Architecture. Additionally, Cho is an active lecturer and speaker at symposiums worldwide.

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