Installation view: Buk Seoul Museum of Art, Asian Diva: The Muse and the Monster, Korea, 2017. Photo by Jinhwon Hong.


ENTANGLEMENTS

Archive installation and HD video (9:27 min.) 2017

Entanglements testifies to the impossibility of creating clear boundaries by tracing the entangled relationship between the U.S. and the South Korea in regards policies against STD (sexually transmitted diseases) in the U.S. military camptowns in South Korea in the 1970s. STD treatment facilities, or so-called’ Monkey Houses’, burgeoned during that time and women who served in the camptowns were forcibly detained and subjected to medical treatment as a measure to reduce the pervasive spread of venereal disease among US soldiers.

U.S. and South Korean documents and audiovisual material related to STD policies and the fear of contamination are presented in the archive installation together with a video showing the hands of a woman drawing from her memory a map of a former STD treatment facility in which she was subjected to treatment. Additionally, the installation presents Joint Committee Korea – U.S. Status of Forces Agreement documents that were used as evidence in a recent compensation lawsuit filed by women who served U.S. soldiers in the camptowns.

Taken together the materials illustrate how women’s bodies and lives were managed and controlled for the sake of militarism and national security in an entangled relationship between the U.S. and South Korea.



Acknowledgments

Testimony and drawing of STD treatment facility: C.S.

Research assistance and organizational support: My Sister’s Place / 두레방 

Research exchange: Jennifer Kwon Dobbs

Translation and research assistance: Hayeon Heather Kim / 김하연

Research assistance and proof reading: Haeseo Kim / 김해서