To celebrate 70 years of Korea’s liberation from Japanese occupation, Cheil Worldwide and the Korean Ministry of Unification created this special "Piano of Unification" It will be on exhibit at the Seoul Museum of Art from July 21, to September 29th, with a musical performance on August 15 (Liberation day) as part of the North Korea exhibition.
For those who aren't familiar with Korea's more recent history, the Japanese ruled there between 1910 and 1945. After Independence, the Korean War broke out in 1950 and lasted for three years, resulting in the division of the Korean Peninsula. So this barbed-wire piano isn't just celebrating Liberation Day, but also encourages people to think about the possibility of a national reunification between North and South.
This piano was created using barbed wires from the Korean border. Seoul Museum of Art, the National Chorus of Korea and Samick Cultural Foundation are all involved in the project. The piano itself was created by world music group ‘Gong Myung’ who are famous for designing and rendering creative instruments.
“I came to realise that barbed-wires, usually a symbol of division, can represent peace. On the other hand, I remembered Christ’s crown of thorns made with border fence’s wires, was given to the Pope when he visited Korea last year,” said Songha Lee from Cheil Worldwide. “We launched the Piano of Unification with an idea to move people’s emotions by adding musical aspects to barbed-wires.”
“As it is a sound made with a symbol of division, the Piano of Unification has a significant meaning in terms of history and music,” said Koo Chun, Art Director of the National Chorus of Korea. “Like Piano of Unification brings music out from the rough piece of iron, I will play the piano with a hope of realizing our long-cherished dream upon this divided country.”
Heartbreaking, yet inspiring work.
Here's the Korean subtitle translation:
Symbol of division between the Koreas for 70 years
We wanted to sing unification with this symbol of division
Sing in unity with the symbol of division
"Piano of Unification"
Seoul Museum of Art
July 21st-September 29th, 2015
Hosted by Ministry of Unification
Planned and Produced by Cheil Worldwide
Instrument development by GongMyung
Sponsored by Seoul Museum Of Art, Samick
Client: Korean Ministry of Unification
Agency Cheil Wolrdwide