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Korean Art Exhibit Illustrates a New Era of Peace

Friday, June 29, 2018

A New Era of Peace and a Peaceful Land

Peace is not an absence of war, but the living process of freely interacting with others across borders seeking to understand their values and perspective, while striving for justice and truth.

The Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement at Conrad Grebel University College is pleased to announce an exhibition of hope and reconciliation in the Grebel Gallery. “A New Era of Peace and a Peaceful Land” launches on Thursday, July 12 and will be available for viewing through October 5, 2018. The title for this exhibition combines two maxims taken from the speeches that South Korean President Moon and North Korean Chairman Kim gave after their Summit on April 27, 2018. A public event will be held at 4:00 pm on September 20 to celebrate this exhibit as part of Waterloo region’s 2018 Peace Week.

Curated by Heng-Gil Han, director of the Korea Art Forum based in New York City, this exhibition collects rarely seen artwork from North and South Korea, China, and the United States, focusing on diverse aspects of people and landscape. Contributors include:

  • Suh Yongsun from South Korea and Kyung-bo Han from North Korea who document historical events such as the recent Candlelight Revolution in Seoul and the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students in Pyongyang in 1989
  • Song Gwang Hong from North Korea who portrays a female individual
  • Emmanuel Faune from New York who assembled a collage of instant self-portraits of strangers on the street
  • Nikki Schiro from New York who communicates the Asian philosophical notion of finding peace with oneself
  • Five artists — Song-Gwang Hong, Myong Un Kim, and Ryong Kim from Pyongyang; Zaun Lee from New York; and Shen Yang from Beijing — who took photographs of urban and cultural landscapes of metropolitan cities around the world
  • Chang-ho Choi, Hyun-il Kim, and Sung-il Oh from North Korea who depict Mt. Paektu, the highest mountain in Korea, located in the northern part of the peninsula and considered a holy mountain
  • Tae-soo Shin from South Korea who represents Mt. Halla, the second highest mountain in Korea, located in the southern part of the peninsula
  • Robert Morris and Joel Carreiro from the United States who create images of nature and landscape
  • Tae-Seok Ju from South Korea and Kwang Ri from North Korea who present natural landscape paintings of Korea.

As a whole, the exhibition envisions a future in which the confrontational structure among the four countries is disrupted, and the political and ideological obstacles are removed for people to freely meet and work together.

“This broader understanding of peace should be remembered in the aftermath of the historic summit between U.S. President Trump and Chairman Kim in Singapore on June 12, and the widespread concern over its lack of substance and specific measures,” says exhibit curator, Heng-Gil Han. “It also reminds us of the fallacy of the slogan ‘peace through strength.’ Since strength does not create peace or even deter war, the pursuit of dialogue and the normalization of diplomatic relations is certainly better than the aggressive rhetoric that the two leaders exchanged last year.”

This art exhibition resonates with, and seeks to support, the emerging peace process on the Korean peninsula. It addresses the critical issues of the Korean division, including the division of the land, the different economic and governance systems, and people, so the audience can better understand both the history and potential of Korea. The exhibit is intended to expand the international community of people interested in supporting peace on the Korean peninsula and beyond.

“A New Era of Peace and a Peaceful Land” is co-presented by the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement at Conrad Grebel University College and the Korea Art Forum. It was made possible by the generous support of Mennonite Central Committee, the Department of Cultural Affairs of New York City, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and a number of individual donors.

For more information about this exhibit, contact:

Paul Heidebrecht
Director, Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement
Conrad Grebel University College
paul.heidebrecht@uwaterloo.ca
519-885-0220 x24225


Grebel Gallery
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Summer hours
Monday to Friday 8:30am-4:30pm

Fall hours
Monday to Thursday 8:30am-10pm
Friday 8:30am-6pm
Saturday 1pm-5pm

Download the poster (PDF)

A New Era of Peace and a Peaceful Land

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