The exhibition allows the public a close look at the Korean Peninsula, divided since 1953. A 250-kilometre border of barbed-wire fences and anti-tank barriers divides Korea into two states which could not be more different from one another. Equally divergent is the art produced simultaneously in the two countries.
The North fosters a socialist-realist tradition of painting, while in the South a vital contemporary art examines the irreconcilability of the two political systems and the lived reality of the population. In the exhibition, the contrasting world-views engage in a dialogue with one another and invite the public to approach Korea’s history as well as its present.
Selected works from the Sigg Collection form the starting-point of the exhibition and set visitors on a journey through Korean art from the 1970s until the 2010s. During his time as Swiss ambassador to China, Uli Sigg was also ambassador to North Korea (1995 – 1998). This gave him both a profound insight into North Korean reality and the unique opportunity to acquire works.
Kunst Museum Bern