The African Renaissance Monument, Built by North Korea

While visiting the Things Fall Apart exhibition (part of the recent “Red Africa” season) at Calvert 22 in London, I was intrigued by Onejoon Che’s model of the African Renaissance Monument. This was one of a series of models and photographs of African monuments on display by the South Korean artist. Firstly, I was struck by how closely the design for the monument mirrored Soviet statuary and … Continue reading The African Renaissance Monument, Built by North Korea

What & Where: The Guard Who Jumped the Berlin Wall

What: Florian and Michael Brauer and Edward Anders, Mauerspringer (Walljumper), 2009 Where: Brunnenstraße, Berlin, Germany In June 2009, a few months prior to the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new sculpture appeared on the streets of the German capital. Mauerspringer (Walljumper) by Florian and Michael Brauer and Edward Anders depicts a life-sized East German border guard named Conrad Schumann, in … Continue reading What & Where: The Guard Who Jumped the Berlin Wall

What & Where: Sculpture of Bangladesh’s Martyred Intellectuals

What: Sculpture of the Martyred Intellectuals Where: Mujibnagar Memorial Complex, Meherpur, Bangladesh The Bangladesh Liberation War between East Pakistan and West Pakistan ended on 16 December 1971 with the establishment of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in the east. Although only lasting 9 months, the war was shocking in its brutality. During a series of genocidal atrocities perpetuated by the Pakistan Army against the Bengali … Continue reading What & Where: Sculpture of Bangladesh’s Martyred Intellectuals

Sculpture at Korea’s Secret Tunnel

Following a tip-off from a North Korean defector, on 17 October 1978 South Korea discovered the existence of what is now known as the Third Tunnel of Aggression. It is the closest to Seoul of four such tunnels, secret passageways linking the two territories that were chiselled out of bedrock to prepare for a surprise invasion from the north. There are believed to be up … Continue reading Sculpture at Korea’s Secret Tunnel

Youth Mao Zedong Statue

On 1 October 1949 Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. Over the next half a century the country witnessed the trauma of the Great Leap Forward and social upheaval of the Cultural Revolution, and gradually progressed to become a superpower. Although now a technologically-advantaged nation with a booming economy, the visual culture of Mao’s China continues to loom large … Continue reading Youth Mao Zedong Statue

Golden Statue for Laos’ Secret War

After years of French colonial rule, Laos was finally granted autonomy on 19 July 1949 before achieving independence in 1953. Yet its celebrations would be short-lived. Barely a fortnight afterwards a bitter civil war broke out which would divide the country for over two decades. As the conflict rapidly became a high-stakes Cold War proxy war, the revolutionary communist group, Pathet Lao, and the Royal … Continue reading Golden Statue for Laos’ Secret War

The Divided Brothers of the Korean War

On 25 June 1950 North Korea surprised its southern neighbour with a sudden invasion, sparking the start of the Korean War. As the United States entered the fray on the side of South Korea, while China lent support to its communist ally, a bloody battle ensued that lasted until 1953. In 1994 the War Memorial of Korea opened in Seoul. As visitors approach they are … Continue reading The Divided Brothers of the Korean War