I purchased two bundles of postcards during my travels to the DMZ, more specifically to Panmunjom and the Joint Security Area–one from ROK (South Korea/SK) in 1995 and one from DPRK (North Korea/NK) in 1998. I selected five images from each set of ten that reveal the most significant or particular view from each side’s perspective, represented in English for public consumption. To note, my US passport enabled me to visit both sides of the Panmunjom while South Koreans had no access to this area with a Korean passport. During my visits, most of the foreigners at Panmunjom communicated in English. In order to illustrate the at-times subtle contrasts between these two sides, I sliced the postcards and reassembled them to produce new images containing alternating depictions of North Korea and South Korea. For instance, in the first postcard of this series [Figure 1], a DPRK image that depicts the interior of the room where the 1953 Korean armistice was signed–a room I visited, and where I walked between the green tables–is paired with an image taken from a distance showing the same building’s exterior from the South Korean side.
Figure 1: The interior room where the 1953 Korean Armistice was signed; a distant view of the building’s exterior
Figure 2: Korean activists and delegates speaking upon their arrest at Panmunjom; US and ROK soldiers standing at guard at the Bridge of No Return
Figure 3: Panmun House in North Korea; Panmungak in South Korea