Subject: Kumkangsan + Seoraksan (North Korea + South Korea)
Producer: John Lee
Kumkangsan + Seoraksan (North Korea + South Korea) brings together two mountain ranges that stand on either side of the Korean division. At ground level, the tragedy of the division is palpable. Yet, from the distant perspective of mountaintops, there are less convincing details of separation. This lack of fixity is conveyed by the ambiguity of the landscape, which blurs the distinction between the North and the South. In a similar gesture, the horizon line in both videos contests the seam of the diptych by further unifying the landscape. The footage is accompanied by a conversation between a North Korean guide and myself. Our playful dialogue is overshadowed by my broken Korean and misunderstanding of the language. The slippage in our conversation alludes to a sense of loss that reflects my experience in Kumkangsan and Seoraksan.