Nov. 10, 2006

The 'red wall of Korea' divides Arts Quad

Divided they stand. To catch the eye -- and interest -- of Cornell passersby on the Arts Quad, two students in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP) have designed and installed an artwork called BORDER::PASSAGE, a large double boundary of red cloths.

The thin red line essentially splits the Arts Quad in half, mimicking the contour of the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

"The installation seeks to encourage viewer participation and become a passageway to understanding," says Hannah Kim, AAP '07, who designed the fabric wall with Diana Lee, AAP '08. "Walking in between the parallel borders allows for a physical experience of the split between the two Koreas -- and the act of traversing the passage becomes a metaphor for the intervention needed to take place to challenge the border that conceals immense humanitarian atrocities committed to North Koreans.

"This wall is a physical manifestation of the social, psychologist and ideological barriers between the two Koreas, and of the distance that separates Cornell from urgent realities," added Kim, who wants the passageway, which officially opens Nov. 11 at 10 a.m., to draw people to attend the discussion series this weekend called NK Focus.

The three-day Cornell event, Nov. 10-12, features three discussions intended to educate the public on the religious, political and human rights situation in North Korea. The event is sponsored by the Student Assembly Finance Commission and co-hosted by the Cornell chapter of the nationwide movement Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), and features activist Jamie Kim and Jae-Jung Suh, Cornell assistant professor of government.

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