On August 15, 1945, Korea was freed from Japanese occupation, but the country was divided into two and ruled as trusteeships by the Soviet Union and US. A 4km-wide demilitarized zone (DMZ) was set up, surrounded with barbed wire and electric lines, littered with mines and monitored with a search light at night. Gigantic speakers blared loud propaganda calling for people to defect, but these broadcasts were stopped in summer 2004 and the speakers were removed.
Golden Numbers is a sound installation that uses 32 of these speakers.
In the installation, the numbers from 0 to 36525 are read out. This number represents the number of days in the hundred years from August 15 1945 to August 15 2045. Recordings of old radio broadcasts and sounds produced in real-time from encoded signals are heard intermittently, and the audience can also broadcast their own voice through the same microphones that were used by military personnel at the DMZ. The sounds mingle slowly around a circle and allude to the passage of time and history. The voices recorded into the microphone show that everyone lives within the flow of time, and contributes to history in some way.
In the middle of the circle is Red Symbol, a red art object in the shape of the head and hands of the late Pope John Paul II.
By Park Lee Chang Shik, Noh Joe Chuel, Yim Minju, Seo Hyojung, and Yukie Sato.
Golden Number can be seen till August 21 at the Seoul Olympic Museum.