Artist Heng-Gil Han invited Korean Americans in Queens and metropolitan areas of New York City to submit their ideas and visions about their home country's future. This event is a symbolic response to the fact that Koreans were not invited to speak to the UN General Assembly when this international body met in the Queens Museum's very building to make this monumental decision about Korea's future on November 14, 1947.
The project is focused on questions such as: How can governments support democratic endeavors of people-to-people diplomacy?; How can we invigorate cultural and economic engagements with North Korea to rehabilitate the unity and security of Korea?; and What can art or artists do? Without hearing the wishes of the Korean people, the UN General Assembly simply adopted resolution 112 to create the United Nations Temporary Commission on Korea (UNTCOK). UNTCOK assisted with the general election and the formation of an independent government of all Korea. The missing voice of the Korean people was a violation of the right of indigenous people to express themselves to the UN. This was reason enough for the USSR to deny the legitimacy of the UNTCOK, which consequently was not able to enter North Korea. Thus the general election did not happen in Korea and the UNTCOK failed to meet its objective to form a government for all Korea.
Revisiting this unfortunate failure of the UNTCOK, the Korea Art Forum in collaboration with the Queens Museum invited Korean Americans to submit a 2-page statement expressing their ideas to build a better future for Korea that benefits not only Korea, but also the international community as a whole. 4 or 5 authors will be chosen to read their personal statement at the event on November 14th , 2013. A Q&A session and discussion will follow the speeches. The select statements will also be posted on the Korea Art Forum"s website.
The speakers include Mr. Sung Ho Choi, Mr Jay Hauben and Mr. Dae Chang Kim.
Mr. Choi was born in Seoul, South Korea and is an artist based in New York. He received his BFA from Hong Ik University in 1980 and MFA from Pratt Institute in 1984. He has actively shown his work in the United States, Canada, and Asia. He received The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 1995 and the Artist Project Grant in 1996. In 1990, he co-founded Seoro Korean Cultural Network with his colleagues. The group greatly contributed to introducing works of contemporary art by Korean artists to the international art world by successfully working with the Queens Museum of Art on the large-scale exhibition Across the Pacific: Contemporary Korean and Korean American Art in 1993. Mr. Choi will speak about his experience of growing up in South Korea and argues for the necessity of arts and cultural exchanges between South and North Koreas on individual and private levels.
Mr. Hauben has studied the history and development of the Internet and related topics for the last 20 years. He has taught, led workshops and presented papers tracing the technological threads and social and political components of that development. He has followed the netizen movements in S. Korea and China since 2004. He occasionally wrote for the online newspaper OhmyNews International. He has made presentations at many conferences in Berlin, Potsdam, Beijing, Seoul, Tunis and other cities. He has written on the history of the immediate post WWII period in Korea. Mr. Hauben is hopeful that his work can contribute to the eventual reunification of the Korean people and nation. Mr. Hauben will speak about the UN role that ultimately created a separated South Korea to explain the historical reference of this event.
Mr. Kim came to the United States in the early 1980s. While reading books he began to understand the reality of his home country and grew his interest in North Korea. He is particularly interested in historical distortions of the Korean peninsula. Mr. Kim visited North Korea many times. He will tell some stories of his own interactions with North Korean people. Mr. Kim argues that in order to reunify Korea, we should recognize the value of unification and we should make the movement ofunification a part of daily life.
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