Curatorial Project

Germany-Korea: Migration movements during the cold war

An Exhibition of the NGBK New Society for the Visual Arts (NGBK) Berlin
by Sun-ju Choi, Keumwha Kim, Jee-Un Kim, You Jae Lee, Jae-Hyun Yoo

Artists: Duck-Hyun CHO, Kane DO, Harun FAROCKI, Kerstin KARTSCHER, Georg KLEIN, Enna KRUSE-KIM, Chang-Won LEE, Helena Parada Kim, Florian WÜST, Chan-Kyong PARK, Sunmu, Suntag NOH, Jae-Hyun YOO/Farida HEUCK, kate hers, msk7


In Georg Klein's installation the audience is led through a space between two parabolic loudspeakers which stand opposite one another and remind one of the radar antennae of surveillance facilities as used in the cold war. (kkh)

The 'Divided and Shared History' unites Germany and Korea in a special way. The two countries were both front-line states in the Cold War – and are at the same time both marked by a history of division.
The manifold migration routes between Korea and Germany were characterized by complex inter-relationships and trans-border, frontier-extending activities, which are here for the first time studied against the backdrop of the Cold War.
Koreans went as guest workers from South Korea to West Germany (FRG), and as students and orphans from North Korea to East Germany (GDR); East Germans went to North Korea in the overall framework of 'developmental aid solidarity'; South Koreans in West Germany went in turn to North Korea, and North Koreans in East Germany fled to West Germany.

Running through the entire exhibition is the theme of mobility in, despite, or precisely because of the Cold War. The exhibition highlights the diverse facets of German-Korean migration history. To this end, the works of contemporary artists are brought together and are displayed in conjunction with historical material.

Suntag NOH
Red House III. North Korea in South Korea #14

Sun Tag Noh's photographic works are concerned with the division of Korea. Noh's interest is in the contrasting systems present in Korea and in the parallels and contradictions that emerge from them. He points up the fact that the military presence, the mobilization of the masses and the vehemence of the means employed in the name of the two ideologies reveal striking similarities with one another. (sjc)

Please take your medicine

Sunmu's picture insist on a marked ambivalence between the pictorial content portrayed and the implied reality, which leads with deliberate intention to many-layered disorientations. His depictions of day-to-day life in North Korea reveal a disillusioned, often cynical view of North Korea's political system. (kkh)

Farida HEUCK und Jae-Hyun YOO
DMZ Message

The border situation between North and South Korea is visualized by means of a room-dominating sculpture. Concealed within its interior is a landscape which describes the day-to-day situation of the Korean border area by means of video-clips and fragments of sound. The interior zone can be seen through spy-holes - a reference to touristic trips to the DMZ.

Changwon LEE
People of the Trial

Changwon Lee's light-installation is concerned with the "East Berlin Affair" of 1967. During the military dictatorship under Chung Hee Park, dozens of Korean students and emigrants living in Europe were abducted to Korea and accused of spyiing for North Korea. Many of the kidnapping took place in West Berlin. (kkh)

Duck-Hyun CHO
Memory of the 20th Century

In the course of Duck-Hyun Cho's research he came across an old wedding photo of two Korean emigrants who came to Germany in the 1970s - he a miner, she a nurse - and who have lived here ever since.

Helena Parada KIM
Two Sisters

The starting point of Helena Parada Kim is above all the experience of her parents who, living as guest workers in the economic wonderland of West Germany in the 1960s, in part abandoned and in part stubbornly retained or re-invented their cultural identity. (kkh)

Floating Ping Pong

msk7 invites its audience to participate in a ping-pong game, challenging them to take up a position and to become involved in interaction. A table-tennis table divided into two is placed on one raft, half on another. The two rafts becomes a net - a flexible frontier across and despite which the game must be played.
Thus there emerges a place that allows no firm point of view and has no secure anchoragein the centre of society.

was also shown at Art Society, Hildesheim/Germany