Kum discusses her installation work, Morning Dew-The Stigma of Being "Brainwashed" exhibited in Tokyo in November 2020. It is based on interviews conducted with North Korean ex-“returnees” now living in Tokyo. Most are zainichi Koreans (“ethnic Koreans resident in Japan”) or their children, who from 1959 to 1984 moved to North Korea as part of the Repatriation Program. They thought the DPRK was ‘a paradise on earth,’ only to experience the severe living conditions of North Korea’s recovery from the Korean War. They are compelled to hide the fact that they left, or fled from, North Korea, or experience discrimination and other troubling consequences. Facing these fears of her interviewees, Kum’s work weaves together archival images, text, and silences to artistically evoke their hidden stories.
Discussants include Brett de Bary, Professor Emerita, Cornell, and Rebecca Jennison, Art Critic, Kyoto, Japan.