Soo Kim grew up with a national narrative of the desire for the reunification of the Koreas, and the trauma the split created. The reunification meetings that have taken place are upsetting, deeply joyful but inevitably heartbreaking episodes, and the generations most affected are passing away without closure. Looking at the demilitarized zone at the border of South Korea facing North Korea, Kim’s project, The DMZ, examines the impact of borders, separation, memory, and the ways in which visitors participate with that history and imagine the future. The project takes form as sculptural photographic works and a publication.
The DMZ revolves around ideas of home and place and the implication and force of politics on ideas that shape and govern unification/separation, agency, individuality, and nationhood. Kim engages the communities and audiences that are affected by and have perspective about these forces, including immigrant, refugee, homeless communities and those around specific nations. The work and publication will bring discussions around these larger ideas and how they are manifest by political forces and evidenced through geography/landscape, relics/monuments, liminal spaces, and how we engage with and in those spaces.