DMZ Message: Border Area Active Interspace

Publisher: Farida Heuck and Jae-Hyun Yoo

130 pages, 40 colored images
language: german, korean

supported by foundation: Kunstfonds Bonn
b_books Verlag Berlin, 2009
ISBN 3-933557-98-4

Introduction: Farida Heuck
Contribution by: Du-Yul Song, Beatrice von Bismarck, Kien Nghi Ha
Interviews with: Jae-Hyun Yoo (former soldier stationed at the border), Sunmu (artist from North Korea), Yong-Hwan Choi (economic development researcher), Dong-Hyun Kim (mayor), employee of Kaesong Industrial Complex, employee of the company Cotton Club

What function does a border region have besides enforcing a division?
Does it serve as an active zone of something indetermined in which something new is to be negotiated? And are these spaces of activity and trade not always dependent on the current political situation?
In times of globalization, the borderlines expand to become active intermediate space, and the controlled border area constantly stretches farther, beyond the actual border zones, into adjacent countries. This phenomenon of international borders can be deduced in concentrated form from the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between South and North Korea.

A Look at the 'Other Side'
In the handbook we afford detailed insight into our artistic research on the social, political, and economic movements in the border area between South and North Korea, and we investigate the impact on everyday live caused by the division of the country.
Emphasis is placed on revealing this area's transformation processes and their border economies from the following points of view: the tourist border, life with the border, the ethnografic border, and the border as an economic factor. We consciously concentrate on the South Korean side of the border, as we are interested in looking at the blank spot of North Korea, which can be defined as a blurred space.

Movements at and over the Border
The military line of demarcation, that is, the actual borderline, is located in the middle of the sides of the DMZ belonging to South and to North Korea—an approximately four-kilometer-wide security and buffer zone. The DMZ has its own laws. It is a different, political space located outside the system of sovereign countries and yet was generated by these. Today, the DMZ mainly consists of military stations and Panmunjom, the site of military negotiations and passage. Surprisingly enough, normal life also takes place at this border strip, in which life with the border is practiced on a daily basis.
Since early 2000, an increasing number of guided tours have been organized to the DMZ, and this special event has since been marketed as a tourist border. If the “border” space becomes a tourist attraction, this underscores an absurd phenomenon: for some, it becomes a short, unusual adventure, while for those who have to live with it, it remains an unalterable reality.
Despite or even because of the hermetically sealed situation, the border plays an important role as an economic factor. The handling of these economic relations between North and South Korea time and again once more reflects the relationship between the two countries.

Excerpts from the interviews:
"About 70% of the South Korean troops are stationed in the border region to North Korea in order to defend Seoul if necessary. Seventy-five thousand people live in the Yeoncheon region, for example, of which thirty thousand are soldiers. About 98% of the urban spaces are military protection zones. In this protection zone, you can’t even repair or alter your own house without the army's permission."
Yong-Hwan Choi, economic development researcher, Gyeonggi Research Institute

"I'm the 15th generation to live in the village Daesong-Dong within the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. We have been living in the intermediate space, so to speak, since 1953. We are not obligated to do military service, and we enjoy tax breaks. However, we have to come to terms with the strict military security rules. For example, you’re only allowed to go out when it’s light. In the winter, you have to go home earlier. In the summer, you can stay out longer. Relatives or acquaintances are also not allowed to stay overnight here, but have to leave the village before sundown."
Dong-Hyun Kim, mayor of Daesong-Dong

"During military service, our leisure time was extremely limited. We were only allowed to leave our military site on a few designated days. We mostly spent the little free time we had in the next town. We had to primarily concentrate on military exercises. We were continuously told that we had never lost to the North Korean soldiers. We were time and again told how threatening the North was. The North Korean soldiers were turned into monsters. There were maneuvers in which the attack by North Korea was so realistic—and we took it so seriously—that we completely forgot it was only an exercise. That’s what a state of war must feel like. Added to this was the fact that this enemy construction permeated my entire time with the military. For example, then as well as today, the targets at the shooting ranges have pictures of North Korean soldiers on them.
In retrospect, it seems like a farce that when I was a soldier myself we each stood at the border armed with a rifle for each of our countries. It’s ridiculous and alarming how both sides slander each other. But each state believes that it has to maintain its respective system. Why do people believe such things?"
Jae-Hyun Yoo, former soldier stationed at the border


Shared.Divided.United: Germany-Korea: Migration movements during the cold war

Exhibition Catalogue

Publisher: NGBK / Shared.United.Divided

201 pages, 90 Images
language: german, english

Berlin, 2009
ISBN 978-3-938515-31-0

Der Ausstellungkatalog zeigt Arbeiten von zeitgenössischen KünstlerInnen und Künstlergruppen aus Deutschland und Korea, die sich in ihren Werken mit Aspekten der Migration, der Teilung, dem Kalten Krieg auseinandersetzen. Gleichzeitig werden durch historische Dokumente und Materialien schlaglichtartig die Migrationsrouten, sowie einzelne geschichtliche Ereignisse und Biografien beleuchtet.
Die deutsch-koreanische Migrationsgeschichte kann ohne den Kalten Krieg nicht gedacht werden.

l Einleitung

Contribution by 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

Contribution by Theorists:
Umgekehrte Entwicklungshilfe. Koreanische Arbeitsmigration in Deutschland von Sun-ju Choi und Jou Jae Lee
Sozialistische Solidarität: Aufbauhilfe und Bildungsmigration zwischen DDR und Nordkorea bis in die 1960er Jahre von Jou Jae Lee
Ich bin dein Spiegel. Du bist mein Spiegel: Interview mit Suntag Noh
Über den Eisernen Vorhang hinweg. Migrationen im Kalten Krieg von Patrice G. Poutrus

Ostberlin-Affäre (1967)
Portraitserie, der aus West-deutschland durch den ko-reanischen Geheimdienst entführten Südkoreaner und Südkoreanerinnen.
Dieser Vorfall löste die bis-her schwerste diplomati-sche Krise zwischen den bei-den Ländern aus.

Chan-Kyong Park
In der Ausstellung zeigt der Künstler seine jüngste Vi-deoarbeit "Black Out".
Als Ausgangspunkt wählt er die von Interessenskonflik-ten gezeichnete Energiepoli-tik zwischen Nord- und Süd-korea.

Geteilte Familien
Familie Hong aus der DDR vor der plötzlichen Rückreise des Ehemannes nach Nord-korea 1961. Damals wurden einige Nordkoreaner und Nordkoreanerinnen von der Regierung zurückgeholt.

Erstmalige Wiederbegegnung 2008 in Nordkorea. Herr Hong brachte zu seiner Identifikation sein in der DDR erworbenes Diplom mit.


Global Alien - GA1 / GA2 / GA3

Herausgeber: Global Alien

95 Seiten, 54 farbige Abbildungen
Sprache: deutsch, englisch, koreanisch

Supported by: Korean Art Council
Traktor Verlag Berlin, 2008
ISBN 978-3-9811991-3-0

GLOBAL ALIEN is a network of artists and theorists around the globe, which examines and questions the mechanisms of globalization. The focus is always on the "global alien" who crosses cultural and national boundaries, thus making it possible for people to encounter a foreign or "alien" person.

This GLOBAL ALIEN book project folds theoretical contribution on the notion "Alien" with artistic installations, videos and performances:

Karin Hindsbo: Cultural Cocktails. Report from Seoul
Insa Breyer: What or who is alien?
Nam-See Kim: The others’ bodies
Kaoru Yoneyama: The possibility of movement from the "bottom" - based on the case of Filipino mothers in Japanese society
Dong Gyu Kim: Aliens and we

lThe others' bodies von Nam-See Kim
Text example for download

Theremin Home Performance is mixing the visual image of the stage with different home destination in a blue-box.
So the person who plays the theremin is displaced into the home destination of the GLOBAL ALIEN members coming from different places of the world.

In the gallery a makeup room and fitting room was decorated like in TV-Studios. For the Interracial Perfor-mance the attendees could exchange their t-shirts and try to disguise themselves to look like they are from other races by putting on make-up and wearing wigs.


Global Alien - Newspaper

Artist group Global Alien and Guest Writers are challenged by how language is related to 'border', 'approval of cultural diversity' and 'Modern social mobility'. What makes the language hierarchical position and how the minor/major languages, dominant/recessive languages, and central/marginal languages is represented? Our Concept questions if the economic interests are an important point of reference and if certain language speakers are enjoying privileges.

Namsee Kim: Language, Border, Domination and Difference
Lizza May David and Myriam Eckhart: Relearning my Mother Tongue - Changing roles
Sye-Kyo Lerebours: Language imperialism in contemporary France
Sönke Gau, Katharina Schlieben and Iris Strobel: Translation Paradoxes and Misunderstandings - Thoughts on the project series

Supported by: Danisch Art Council