Floating Dreams by Ik-Joong Kang

Words by Carla Ingrasciotta
September 5, 2016

A major installation by Ik-Joong Kang, South Korea’s renowned and celebrated multimedia artist, “Floating Dream”s is a compelling, large-scale installation situated in the centre of the River Thames by Millennium Bridge. Constructed from 500 drawings and illuminated from within, the three-storey-high lantern structure acts as a memorial to the millions displaced and divided during the Korean War (1950-53), and a poignant symbol of hope for the reunification of North and South Korea.

Born in South Korea, Ik-Joong Kang relocated to New York in 1984 to complete a Masters in Fine Arts at the Pratt Art Institute. For Floating Dreams, the artist returned home to collect drawings by the generation that fled from North Korea to South Korea during the conflict over 66 years ago. Now in their 80’s and 90’s and unable to return, Kang asked them to revisit their memories and draw their hometowns. 500 images, recalling joyful and sorrowful memories of lost homes and broken families, have been transferred onto pieces of​ Hanji, a traditional Korean rice paper, and transformed by the artist into a single work of art that illuminates the pain and hope of many Koreans displaced by the Korean War. Floating Dreams recognises and raises awareness of the participants’ longing for home and their faith in a future reunification for their country.

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