Exhibition co-curated with Beccy Kennedy during the Asian Triennial Manchester 2011. The show presented cultural reflections and experiences of the DPRK through the eyes of North Korean, South Korean and Western artists and illustrators presenting the practical and cultural aftermath of a divided nation, whose populations, separated since WWII, have spent their everyday lives in very different ways. Below are works of the three artists – South Korean Hyo Jung Seo, former North Korean Kang Chun Huk, and French-Canadian Guy Delisle.
Two Koreas by Words & Image
HyoJung Seo‘s commissioned installation piece, Two Koreas by Words & Image explores how people perceive processes of the metamorphosis of time and space as it reacts to bodily movement. Using interactive digital installations, she represents her work either in a strong audio-visual abstract sense or through a small everyday object that disentangles our perceptions about the interaction between an artwork and its audience. The space itself is a text of artwork full of sound, light and images. Visitors are not ‘in front of’ an artwork, but they are ‘in’ the artwork as performers contributing to it. Here, she encourages the visitors to play a matching game using flash cards of simple words which demonstrate the similarities and differences between North Korean and South Korean attitudes to everyday concepts and objects.
Stories Only We Have Experienced
Kang Chun Hyok is one of the first North Korean refugees to visually document his experiences of the closed country. His illustrations entitled ‘Stories only we have experienced,’ address his difficult escape from North Korea in 1998 into China, his entry into South Korea in 2001 and his subsequent émigré experiences as a North Korean living in South Korea.
Pyongyang : A Journey in North Korea
Guy Delisle is renowned for his capacity to produce humourous yet politically aware cartoons which document his international travel adventures. After working temporarily on an animation project in North Korea, he relayed his offbeat everyday experiences of the capital – Pyongyang – in the form of a graphic novel of the same name. Here is the chance to see some of the original storyboards from Pyongyang : A Journey in North Korea.