ISLAND OF STONE

3-channel video installation and film, HD 16:9, Color, 15:45 min. 2011.

Jane Jin Kaisen & Guston Sondin-Kung

Island of stone takes place in Gangjeong village Jeju Island at the southernmost point of South Korean territory. Currently a naval base is being constructed despite years of fierce protests from residents. The Naval Base is expected to host the majority of the South Korean Navy as well as be utilized by the US military. It thus plays a key role in the US Asia Pivot military strategy and will complete a strategic missile defense shield in the East Asian region, connecting to Guam and Okinawa.

In Island of Stone questions of unjust process and civil responsibility are raised through an encounter with renowned South Korean film critic Yang Yun Mo. On April 6, 2011, a few days after the recording of the film, Yang was forcibly arrested for objecting to the Jeju Naval Base construction. Following he went into a 71 days hunger strike.

Island of Stone was posted online shortly after Yang's arrest and the film went viral on social media networks. Yang’s hunger strike and the Gangjeong village residents’ reasons for objecting to the Jeju Naval Base construction became known to a broader public from then on and support was mobilized throughout Korea and internationally. 

Video stills: Island of Stone


Video excerpt: Island of Stone


CREDITS

Directed, conceptualized, and edited: Jane Jin Kaisen & Guston Sondin-Kung

Photography: Guston Sondin-Kung, Jane Jin Kaisen

Archive footage of the arrest of Yang Yoon Mo generously lend by: Kim Min Su 

Cast: Yang Yun Mo + in the video installation iteration: Choi Sunghee and elderly couple from Gangjeong

Translation: Se Young Oh, Park Jung Joo, Kim Min Jung