Chan Sook Choi

(b. 1977)

Yangjiri, 2018, two-channel video installation, 8:31 minutes, mixed media. Courtesy of the artist.

“What notably captured the artist’s attention in Yangji-ri were not the modern propaganda techniques but the points of light from everyday objects, such as street lights, welding machines, space heaters, crosses, or curtains. [They are like] “stars that act as coordinates to finding herself” (Jaewon Choi, 2016).

Based in Berlin and Korea, Chan Sook Choi creates narratological video works of the lives of senior women who were forcefully evicted during the Korean War. Within the social and historical context, Choi’s works shed light on the psychological migration that ladens each of these women’s stories.

Yangjiri, a village to the north of the Civilian Control Line, is a migrant community constructed under military control for its propagandistic effect towards North Korea. The migrants of this village were provided governmental support for housing, yet their land ownership remained unacknowledged.

Their lives in Yangjiri started in 100 small, slipshod-built concrete houses, each housing structure comprising two 29.75 m² houses. Today the village has become an unnatural space, reminiscent of an empty stage painted by an axis of history. More than 70 residents aged 80 and older still remain there, having built their lives not on a stage but on the land. Throughout the years, the residents have extended and modified their 29.75 m² houses, constructed on land they cannot own, creating unique housing structures in the style of Kibbutz communities.

Chan Sook Choi won the grand prize at the International Media Art Competition hosted by Bibliart and Berlin Pergamon Museums (2008) and won The 3rd VH Award of the Hyundai Motors Group (Korea, 2019). She was granted as the Visual Artist for the Ilse-Augustin Foundation at the City Museum in Berlin (2017) and has been selected for young artist support programs in Berlin and Seoul on multiple occasions.

Choi’s works have been featured in solo shows at Art Sonjae Center (Seoul, Korea, 2016) and Grimmuseum (Berlin, Germany, 2015) amongst other notable venues in Korea and Germany. Her works are held in private and public collections including the National Museum of Art (Seoul, 2017), the Seoul Museum of Art (2018), and the Sungkok Art Museum (Seoul, 2013).