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Multimedia Exhibition on the Korean War

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cambridge multicultural arts center presents

Still Present Pasts: Korean Americans and the ¡°Forgotten War¡±-- A multimedia exhibition featuring the work of ten Korean American artists

January 29 – March 19, 2005
Opening reception with artists, Korean drumming of Oori Pungmulpae and ¡°6.25: history beneath the skin¡±, a multimedia performance Saturday, January 29, 6:30-8:30pm (Galleries open at 5:00pm) Gallery hours: M-F, 10-6; Sat. 12-541 Second St.Cambridge, MA 02141 CMAC is wheelchair accessible www.cmacusa.org 617.577.1400

¡°If more Koreans talked about their experiences, put everyone together ¡¦that could be a weapon to stop war¡¦that could really be one voice, one strong voice.¡± (Survivor of the Korean War)

Still Present Pasts (www.stillpresentpasts.org), an unprecedented examination of the Korean War from the perspective of Korean Americans, opens at a time when lessons about the cost of war are desperately needed. Across the globe, the Korean War sadly remains ¡°the forgotten war¡± – unspoken but still deeply felt. Yet, fifty years after the signing of the ceasefire agreement, the conflict has still not ended and Koreans worldwide live in fear of renewed fighting. As the United States pursues its doctrine of pre-emptive war in Iraq, the possibility of yet another pre-emptive strike looms against North Korea. Now more than ever an in-depth examination of the human cost of war is needed. In Still Present Pasts, long unspoken memories and lessons of the Korean conflict are brought to light building a bridge towards reconciliation and a lasting peace on the divided Korean peninsula, and elsewhere in the world today.

Still Present Pasts features video, installation and performance art by ten Korean American artists and historians in conversation with the first systematically recorded oral histories of Korean American war survivors and their families, many of whom are from the Greater Boston area. As the oral histories are retold via text, audio, and video recordings, interactive installations draw audiences further into this dialogue, inviting them to contribute their own memories and understandings of the Korean War. The result is an exhibition that evolves over its course, an in-depth examination of the collective meaning of a tragic conflict that still lacks resolution.
The exhibit opens with the performance art piece, ¡°6.25: history beneath the skin¡±, by Hyun Lee, Grace M. Cho and Hosu Kim. A collage of audio recording, body movement, installation and slide and video projection, each woman breaks the silence of her own Korean War legacy.

As the audience travels through the exhibition they experience the projected images of soldiers from all sides, they are invited to cross an eight-foot bridge of division and reconciliation, they are asked to help piece together gaps in family history via an interactive puzzle. All this and more intermingle with photographs, historical texts and first-person recollections to create a deeply meaningful and unique experience. Featuring artwork by Yul-san Liem, Injoo Whang, Ji-Young Yoo, film by Deann Borshay, artistic contributions from Erica Cho, Sukjong Hong, and Yong Soon Min, and oral histories and historical background from Ramsay Liem and Ji-Yeon Yuh.

The exhibit also features the programs: ¡°Connecting with Korean Adoptees,¡± an afternoon of film screenings and a panel discussion, Saturday March 5 from 1-3pm; and a special closing program featuring a discussion with artists and oral history participants on Saturday, March 19, from 2-4pm.

Supported in part by Boston College and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.

(News Release) 1/6/2005