Family Audio Guide Stop #33: Mina Cheon
Mina Cheon is an artist and activist based in Korea and the United States. Many of her works speak to the relationship between North and South Korea. The Korean peninsula is one block of land, but it has been divided since the late 1940s. This has created a situation where people, objects, and information cannot move freely across the border.
As you look around, you will see videos of art history lessons that Cheon made for a North Korean audience. The artist plays the role of a North Korean teacher, presenting herself as “Professor Kim.”
You will also see a diptych, which is an artwork made of two parts placed side by side. The artist painted a unified Korea on each panel. By doing this, Cheon hopes to symbolically bring together the two divided countries. The diptych is exhibited alongside another painting. Does it remind you of an artwork that you have seen before or learned about? This is a reproduction of an artwork titled The Last Supper, originally painted by the famous Italian artist and scientist, Leonardo da Vinci, over five hundred years ago. The version that you see here was painted by anonymous North Korean artists. Cheon’s work teaches us that borders between countries are not always as clear as they seem to be and that there are ways for us to stay connected, no matter where we are in the world.