top of page

DMZ Art & Peace Platform

2021, DMZ, Uni maru, Inter-Korean Transit Office

Through the installation Invisible and Visible, Sungmi Lee reflects on the tensions and military threats in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and the dualism of natural ecology.  Although the DMZ is a historically tragic place, the coexistence of peace and ecology can be found here, where many people once lived their daily lives. It is simultaneously the most realistic and unrealistic place, while also being a paradoxical space where the past and the present coexist. For those without practical experience, the DMZ can be perceived as exotic and distant, and such reality is illustrated in this work composed of two stainless steel frames. Rough pieces of transparent resin and tinted plexiglass are hung on each of these frames as simplified forms of barbed wire. Standing in front of the alluring resin sculptures, which seem to open while blocking the view into the distance, the viewer is given a glimpse into the tragic and dreadful reality of families separated by war. Just as the barbed wire is a physical and psychological barrier, the resin does not allow the viewer to see beyond the materialized image.These pieces of resin also embody the tears of the separated families and exude the energy of a flowing waterfall. The work is in gradations of blue, signifying peace, and white, signifying harmony. Together they represent the peace and unity of Korea. The sculpture is symmetrical along the vertical axis, alluding to the parallel relationship of the two Koreas that continues to this day. Sungmi Lee is known for her installations, in which she breathes new life and vitality into materials with a tragic history, such as shattered glass pieces from a crashed car. In this exhibition, the surface of the resin retains its duality. Up close it looks rough, but from a distance, it also shines.

bottom of page