* I greatly appreciate the support from the Ontario Arts Council for their assistance with funding Dream Strong through an Exhibition Assistance Grant.
During my 2012 journey to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the North Korean Labor Party Building, and Seodaemun Prison, I found physical sites in South Korea that helped me identify with the war that we, in the West, refer to as the “Forgotten War.” I felt a great relief to see these sites with my own eyes, since the history of the two Koreas was rarely discussed during my youth in Canada. Like many first-generation Korean-Canadian immigrants in North America, my parents owned and worked at convenience stores. Growing up in this context compelled me to want to convey the imaginary experience of the small business capitalist dream that symbolizes a typical first-generation Korean-Canadian immigrant desire to want to socially fit in, adapt to, or belong in Canadian society. Across Boundaries, is an effort to acknowledge the division crisis in the context of the convenience store to try to acknowledge how my parent’s past home of war is not so far away from our current home in Canada. As part of an attempt to memorialize the loss of this war, I stand behind the convenience counter writing on memorial ribbons to honour the tragic history of this ongoing conflict.
Across Boundaries, 2016