Propositions For The Future of DMZ

Dreaming of Earth... / Nature Rules: [Imagine future of the border area with works of various artists' proposals]

While the DMZ has long been shrouded in mystery given the strict prohibitions against traveling within the zone...

...the creative thinkers' visionary projections for the DMZ's future enable us to visualize not merely more peaceful times ahead but also an endless array of future possibilities. 

Imagine what the DMZ will look like in the future and how the DMZ might be used for purposes other than military and political means.

Front 3: Project (1988) by Kyong ParkREAL DMZ PROJECT

Kyong Park, Front 3: Project DMZ

The nationwide democracy movement in South Korea in 1987 and the success of the Seoul Summer Olympics in 1988 made Park wonder "if the Korean DMZ would be the next geopolitical line to be removed."

He asked participants to imagine how the DMZ might be adopted for non-military and anti-political uses, with the preliminary notion that the area must be occupied rather than simply eliminated. 

Untitled (DMZ Must Become A Tiger Farm) (1988) by Nam June PaikREAL DMZ PROJECT

Nam June Paik, Untitled (DMZ Must Become A Tiger Farm)


Untitled (1988) by Paul Virilio & Avant Travaux ArchitectesREAL DMZ PROJECT

Paul Virilio & Avant Travaux Architectes, Untitled

Paul Virilio proposed filling the DMZ with an inaccessible airport. Awaiting activation, it "directs people's visions, trajectories, approaches, flights." Simultaneously, the terminal acts as a "permanent detector" that is "able to measure the space between dreams and reality."

Terra Nova (1988) by Lebbeus WoodsREAL DMZ PROJECT

Lebbeus Woods, Terra Nova

Woods proposes a new ecological utopia, Terra Nova. Impressed with the topography of the DMZ, its wealth of lush mountains and valleys, Woods projects a utopian idea, a city covered with metal sheets providing warm, protective shelter for all inhabitants. 

Birds’ Monastery Birds’ Monastery (2017) by Seung H-SangREAL DMZ PROJECT

Seung H-Sang, Birds' Monastery

Cutting the Korean peninsula at its waist, and dividing the two Koreas as a border-barrier, the 250 km-long and 4km-wide DMZ is a tragic place, permitting entry to no one since the Korean Armistice Agreement of 1953. 

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The artist thought a monastery is the perfect location from which to do so as, in this wild land, one cannot help contemplating life and existence. 

Hatred melts like snow (2019) by Jae-Eun ChoiREAL DMZ PROJECT

Jae-Eun Choi, hatred melts like snow

The artist employed heat to melt barbed wire that was dismantled from the Demarcation Line, and placed it on the ground: metal that was once a wall between us, now we can walk across. Barbed wire can be transformed into anything - a heart, confession, platform, shelter. 

DMZ Vault of Life and Knowledge by Minsuk ChoREAL DMZ PROJECT

Minsuk Cho, DMZ Vault of Life and Knowledge

This work began when Cho participated in a project “floating garden” of artist Jae-Eun Choi. Choi’s initial request was for a seed bank at the northern entrance fo the floating garden and an ecology library at the southern entrance. 

DMZ Vault of Life and Knowledge (2015) by Minsuk ChoREAL DMZ PROJECT

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

Idea Sketch for REAL DMZ PROJECT (2017/2017) by Lee BulREAL DMZ PROJECT

Lee Bul, Idea Sketch No.2 for Real DMZ Project

Lee presents her ideas employing the forms of structures that were installed in the DMZ but are no longer used for their original purposes through a series of "Idea Sketch for Real DMZ Project."

Idea Sketch No. 2 for REAL DMZ PROJECT – Infinity Type B (2017) by Lee BulREAL DMZ PROJECT

This is a work in which mirror fragments in multi-angle cuts are pasted on inside the bunker so that the northern scenery of the watch tower is simultaneously reflected from various angles, showing a fragmented surrounding view that is dependent on external changes. 

Study for Aubade V (2019/2019) by Lee BulREAL DMZ PROJECT

Lee Bul, Study for Aubade V

A study model for a new piece to be produced with melted barbed wire from guard posts in the DMZ, which would be a large-scale installation when assembled. The work adopts designs of modern lighting towers from various eras and sources. 

Duplex House Duplex House (2017) by Tobias RehbergerREAL DMZ PROJECT

Tobias Rehberger, The Duplex House

This work is a dwelling for two Korean families, one from the North and the other from the South, deriving its from from the prototype of a typical villager's house of the Yangji-ri area. 

Even though its three floors symbolize the history of the two Korean nations, prior to reunification, this house is inhabited only by a single family, the south Korean one. This work conveys the artist's wish for the two Korean families to live together in the same house. 

Dreaming of Earth Project Dreaming of Earth Project (2018) by Christina KimREAL DMZ PROJECT

Christina Kim, Dreaming of Earth Project

Because visitors will be encouraged to bring as little as possible to the DMZ, the artist suggested clothing (a field coat, vest and hat) to shield them from the elements (sun, rain, cold, wind, and insects) along with a bag to carry a pen, a notebook, and a basic lunch. 

Each piece will be constructed locally by Koreans from both north and south of the divide and hand-embroidered with images of red-crowned cranes, an endangered species now flourishing in the DMZ. 

Bridge Invasion I – Design for P-16 & P-17 by Hwayeon NamREAL DMZ PROJECT

Nam was inspired by destroyed bunkers and secret military facilities in the city for the particular designs of disappearing installations. The artist suspects the possibility of the facilities hidden in ordinary looking buildings...

Design for a Control Tower (2006) by Hwayeon NamREAL DMZ PROJECT

... a plausible enough scenario in a country like Korea which remains divided as a continuing consequence of the Korean War. Her work includes elements that constitute a network for secret military operations such as a control tower disguised as a religious center. 

Park Sejin, Landscape 1993-2002

This work is the product of the artist's visit to Panmunjeom. Looking at the "bridge of no return" from a guard post to the south of the DMZ, the artist's curiosity about what might be beyond that horizon began to germinate. 

The figures in blurred silhousettes are of North Korean and South Korean soldiers and the artist herself, looking down in different directions from above the "bridge of no return". 

Just a tourbus in the Rapunzelia/ ARARIO Collection (1999) by Park SejinREAL DMZ PROJECT

Park Sejin, Just a tourbus in the Rapunzelia

This painting is a landscape that records an existence evoked by the frozen time and taboos of Panmunjeom, mingling misunderstandings with fantasies. 

It is a metaphor for the landscapes of fantasy that unfold as we try harder to understand the order of the world; it begins as a misunderstanding in the face of an unacceptable definition, ut eventually it takes on the role of thwarting the world. 

Embrace (1981) by Min Joung-KiREAL DMZ PROJECT

Min Joung-Ki, Embrace

"Embrace" depicts a scene where a man and a woman, coming across a barbed-wired fence, passionately embrace. The painting embodies the special time formed in that space into painting and expressing a historical geography encompassing both past and present. 

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