Unimaru: The art museum between North and South Korea where the curator wears a bulletproof vest

(CNN) — Art has constantly had the power to be hazardous. However a recently opened art museum is taking that to another level.

It’s Unimaru’s place that makes it risky. The museum rests on the DMZ, or Korean Demilitarized Zone, a no-man’s-land along the 38th parallel which divides North and South Korea.

Its inaugural exhibit, entitled “2021 DMZ Art and Peace Platform,” included 34 art work by 32 artists and opened in September 2021.

"Elephant Cart" is a work by Nam June Paik, the late Korean-American artist considered the founder of the video art movement.

“Elephant Cart” is a work by Nam June Paik, the late Korean-American artist thought about the creator of the video art motion.

Ministry of Marriage

Prior to ending up being a museum, Unimaru was a customizeds clearinghouse, where visitors went through security screening prior to being enabled to go to the DMZ from 2003 to 2007. This was then changed by a larger workplace.

The structure sat empty up until early 2021, when architecture company MPART — who likewise created the National Museum of Modern Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul — reimagined it as Unimaru. The museum’s name is a portmanteau of 2 Korean words: “uni,” indicating one, and “maru,” significance area.

Its roofing system was opened up so that visitors might see more of the view and a steel exterior “which represents the liminality of time and space at the DMZ,” according to a declaration from the museum.

Due to both security and coronavirus issues, visitor numbers are purposefully kept little.

An optimum of 5 trip groups each day, with no greater than 30 individuals per group, were enabled when the museum was open. Now Unimaru is on hiatus as it installs its next exhibition.

Individuals who wish to go to should use to the South Korea Ministry of Marriage (MOU) — the main federal government body that promotes reunification of the Koreas and discussion in between the 2 nations — for consent.

As soon as authorized, they are protected a totally free ticket to Unimaru and can board among the unique buses enabled to shuttle civilian visitors to the DMZ.

On the left, you can see Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrč's mural "What Is DMZ Soil Made Of?"

Left wing, you can see Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrč’s mural “What Is DMZ Soil Made Of?”

Ministry of Marriage

After having their IDs inspected, visitors are accompanied around the museum by docents and staffers from the MOU. These MOU staffers are civilians and do not bring weapons.

All visitors to the DMZ should comply with a gown code that prohibits miniskirts, shorts, and anything with camouflage print.

They are not enabled to wave at anybody they may see or take images of anything without consent, simply in case they contravene of security problems.

Kids under 8 years of ages are likewise disallowed from the DMZ, no matter their native land.

In 2018, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s chairman Kim Jong Un held an Inter-Korean Top Fulfilling at the “Peace House” at Panmunjom on the DMZ.

Technically, the 2 countries are still at war, however at the conference Moon and Kim accepted approach officially ending their dispute. The arrangement likewise specified that both nations would eliminate weapons, guards and landmines from Joint Security Location (JSA).

It was the departure of guards from a few of the military watchpoints that enabled Unimaru to show art work on a repurposed previous guard tower simply a mile from the border.

Yeon Shim Chung, UniMaru’s creative director, informed Artnet that she or other museum team member use bulletproof vests as a safety measure when they go to set up pieces there.
The exterior of Unimaru.

The outside of Unimaru.

Ministry of Marriage

Art Work from both South Korean and global artists is on display screen at Unimaru.

Nevertheless, among the most striking setups is an empty frame that represents where the museum wishes to one day show work from North Korean artists.

The JSA, or Panmunjom, is most likely the very best understood location along the DMZ due to the fact that of its identifiable bright-blue meeting room, which is the most-visited destination in the location.

Previous United States President Costs Clinton notoriously stated that the DMZ was the “scariest place on earth” after a state see there in 1993.

Panmunjom trips resumed on November 30, after being suspended in July as South Korea tightened its Covid-19 limitations.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.