Dongducheon is a small city with 88,000 population in the land of 96㎢. Located halfway between the capital city Seoul and the South Korean Front Line to North Korea, the city has been allotted by the central government for stationing foreign military bases over the half century since the Japanese Colonial era. Almost the half portion of its territory is occupied currently by the US Army bases, and most of the rest land is taken by mountains. Squeezed in-between, people of Dongducheon have had rare options for their survival besides succumbing to the top-down policies made by mega-structural powers. The city has served-and been structured and represented- only as a “military camp town.” The problem here is not just the fact that there have been a series of whatever interventions, regulations and controls inflicted to the region by external invisible hands behind the scene, but also that the levels and means of the interventions were so fundamental and continuous as to interfere onto interpersonal and inter-communal recognition, communication and relationship. In these times of new world order, expansive global capitalism, corporate developmentalism and competitive privatization, the city stands bare in front of us as a site of collective negation, manipulation, elimination, exception, oblivion and non-visibility.
Sangdon Kim studied Fine Art at the Universität der Künste Berlin until 2004 and has since then been based out of Seoul. His work is often site specific; his installations draw from historic layers, spatial gestures and rituals that are re-staged and framed in a way that lets sites, objects and their representations transcend the mundane.