fbpx Sojung Jun, Green Screen | CIRCA 2021

Sojung Jun, Green Screen

1-31 August, CIRCA 2021

Seoul-based artist Sojung Jun transfigures space and time to awaken a dreamlike vision of Korea as a re-united ecotopia. Curated this month by Josef O’Connor in collaboration with the Seoul Museum of Art, Jun’s two films demonstrate the potential for public art to overcome ideological and political conflicts with artistic imagination. 

Appearing online and presented daily across a global network of screens in London, Tokyo and Seoul, this exhibition explores the tensions inherent in the act of translating history, culture and time with the interwoven presentation of two major works: Green Screen (2021) casting light on the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreaswith pervading senses of frustration and anticipation’ either side of Early Arrival of Future (2015), a landmark ten-minute musical performance between South and North Korean pianists, which will be presented only once at the midpoint of the month, 16 August, in its full entirety. Jun, the 18th laureate of the Hermès Foundation Missulsang, a biannual prize for Korea’s most promising artists, explains: 

These two works question the senses that the experience of division and boundaries bring to life. At the same time, they cross the axis of time and continue to recalibrate the present in relation to the past. This CIRCA project hopes to reflect on the scenes of conflict that lies beyond the division of the two Koreas and, therefore, encourage recollection of the sense of coexistence and solidarity.

Filmed along the border of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) over the last month, Green Screen considers the potential of a human – vacated or intermediate landscape. Jun assembled a vivid, multi-perspectival picture of the DMZ, a 155-mile-long, 2.5-mile-wide strip of land that has been virtually untouched by humans for more than six decades, after gaining access in June 2021 to the adjacent Civilian Control Area guarded by the South Korean army. 

A symbol of suffering and division, the DMZ became an unintentional wildlife sanctuary when the two Koreas withdrew following the armistice at the conclusion of the Korean War of 1950-53. In recent years, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has begun working with UNESCO to list the DMZ as a World Heritage Site. Drawing inspiration from ‘Mongyudowondo’ (below) a 15th Century painting based on a Korean Prince’s dream of a journey into a land of peach blossom trees, Green Screen focuses on ‘the site’s potential as a gap or a twilight zone while giving due attention to the power of nature.’ 

Presented on 16 August, Jun’s landmark Early Arrival of Future stages a duet between North Korean pianist Kim Cheol-woong and South Korean pianist Uhm Eun-kyung. Through this, the artist asks what kind of meanings art can have in different societies. Jun notes: “‘Early Arrival of Future’ envisages a time that has not yet arrived. In this term that the North Korean defectors who have settled in the South use to refer to a moment of reunification, the “future” is not only a time yet to arrive but also a time difficult to reach.”


Green Screen by Sojung Jun
1 – 31 August, CIRCA 20:21

20:21 BST ➳ London, Piccadilly Lights

20:21 KST ➳ Seoul, Coex K-POP Square

09:00 JST ➳ Tokyo, Yunika Vision, Shinjuku



Sojung Jun (born 1982) is an artist based in Seoul, South Korea. She has received her BFA in Sculpture from Seoul National University and MFA in Media Art from the Graduate School of Communication & Art at Yonsei University. Using the language of video and writing, the artist is interested in creating a nonlinear space-time to awake a new awareness of history and the present or in how the changes made in physical boundaries penetrate daily sensorial experiences. In particular, she has produced works that weave and crisscross with her personal experiences by paying attention to people standing on the boundary amid the ruins of modernity and invisible voices. She has newly established what she has fragmented through interviews, historical materials and narratives appropriated from classical texts, and carries out experiments intersecting personal, psychological and aesthetic factors with political ones in life.