Nine Dragon Heads 2006 in DMZ & JSA
NNSC ( Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission )

North Korea ( Mt. Geumgangsan ), South Korea( Cheongju )


Go through the gate of DMZ & JSA

Survey to the DMZ & JSA

Briefing ; M.General, Gerhard Bruegger ( Swiss Member. Head of NNSC)

Set up period at NNSC camp / assisit, discussion…

Opening performance for the guests


Concept Exhibition “ Royal Room “

Date / Venue : 15th. April Munsan Royal Hotel

Subject : Artist introduce own concept ( briefing ; Room to Room.)

Susanne Muller ( Swiss )

Slobodan Andjelic Galic ( Bosnia & Hercegobina

Ali Bramwell ( New Zealand )

Alois Schild ( Austria )

Jessy Rahman ( Surinam )

Miles Sanderson ( Norfolk Island )

Kazunori Kitazawa ( Japan )

Hugger – Mugger ( Sweden )

James Clay ( USA )

Shin, Yong-Gu ( Korea )

Park, Byoung-Uk ( Korea )

Yoo, Jung-Hye ( Korea )                        Chae, Myung-Sook ( Korea )

Nine Dragon Heads has worked for ten years to bring artists together from many countries in Korea with an aim of creating a better understanding between each situation and between each person. The project of Nine Dragon Heads brings an understanding of the many ways to express historical reality and social truth as well as wide human existence together with Nature, through art.The human feeling that brings each artist to work with Nine Dragons is towards understanding of each other; to create a healthier and a positive future through the international meeting of artists,

to work together and to learn from one another in formulating new ecological models of relationship with peace and with nature. The kind of cultural mixture that is shown in the NNSC (Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission) is that we can regard the situation also as a unique sociological environment.

The space of art is outside the activity of daily life and in this way comes close to the situation of the NNSC that exists outside the domestic situation of North or South, between people but also apart from daily life and domestic situation.

Opening Perforamance ( Maria and Elinor ) at NNSC

The situation of working in the demilitarised zone is very sensitive and needs a genuine understanding and a serious attitude from artists. The theme of the Nine Dragon Heads project this year is Change Concept and it brings the intention of restorative change for the future into each participating artists mind. The unique environment of the DMZ(Demilitarised Zone) where Nature has been for the last fifty years beginning its own campaign of restoration can be known as the only war nature reserve on the planet.

James Clay ( USA ) introduce work at NNSC

The situation is that after half a century where people have been afraid of minefields and living separate from each other; new plant growth occurs and so rare birds and plants have a new possibility to recover from the pressure of industrial impact. The recovery of the land is an  example from nature that shows that plants and wildlife feel no hesitation from history or war and are only continuing the business of living. Perhaps something from this situation can lead us to better beginning as human beings towards a change of heart and a new concept of relationship.

Slobodan Andelic ( Bosnia & Hercegovina )

The de-militarised zone is physically a break, a line that is not a border exactly but only a resting space where peace exists by agreement, Nine Dragon Heads wants the feeling of restoration and reunification between culture, and between people through the sincere communication of art

Kazunori Kitazawa ( Japan ) and Marcus Dick ( Mayor Security of NNSC-Swiss )

Park, Byoung-Uk ( Korea )


Black Market Wolfgang Amadeus (38,000 + 1)

The worldwide 250 years celebration of Mozart in 2006 was the reason for creating this piece of art in North Korea, which depicts Mozart’s free spiritedness.

The title of the art performance is Black Market Wolfgang Amadeus (38,000 + 1) and it took place at the NNSC (Neutral Nation Supervisory Commission) and in the Environment of DMZ (Demilitarised Zone) between 16th and 20th April.

It plays on the fact that Kim II Sung, the founder of North Korea, had 38,000 statues made of himself. The “+one” represents Mozart; made of steel wire it is flexible and portable.

This work of art was legally imported to North Korea as a “souvenir” which is adorned with swappable Korean inscribed pieces  of cloth , and was installed on Mount Kumgangsan opposite an historical monument.

In collaboration with international artists, who also performed in North Korea, this piece of art should be a manifestation of poetry, freedom, disobedience, imagination, personal expression and creativity.     Alois Schild ( Austria )

Up : Chae, Myung-Sook ( Korea )

Bottom :Miles Sanderson ( Norforlk Island )

Up : Yoo, Jung-Hye (Flowers)&Chae, Myung-Sook (floor installation) / Bottom : Song, Hwa

If I list my wishes here, CAN THEY COME TRUE?"  STILL, I have TIME to make MIRACLE.


Susanne Muller ( Swiss ) Materials-PVC air Bag, Bamboo Sticks, Plag ..

Up: Part of Concept Images from ‘ Room to Room “

Performance by Jessy Rahman ( Surinam ) “ Cherr Up Guarder “

It was during my participation in the 10th Nine Dragon Heads Art Symposium in South Korea, in 2005, that the director and artist of this event, Park Byoung-Uk pointed out that it was about time to introduce the new historic sites in Korea as stage for a special anniversary project. The Communist North Korea and its delimited neutral zone at the border would be for instance an interesting choice. The controversial atmosphere of exhibiting personal art works in an area that is  internationally well known as being heavily stressed can be considered by many artist as an ideal dream place where the freedom of speech and personal expression can be shown as most important message of ones expression through art.

With these facts as a background I initialized my first drafts to create a performance that should be also interesting and understandable for everyone. Some historic happenings that were important to be remembered in 2006 were also considered as an  inspirational component for my  Cheer up performance :  The 250th Anniversary of  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart born in Salzburg, Austria was to be commemorated world wide. The whole world would also recall in silence the 25th year after the death of Robert (Bob) Nesta Marley, from Kingston, Jamaica.

This first pop star from a 3rd world, can still inspire a lot of people with his positive songs.  The growing influence of the Korean filmmaker Kwon-Taek Im who turns to be 70 this year, can be noticed with his internationally successful films,  recognized by his focus on traditional Korean culture and identity. Less well known through the world is  my homeland, Surinam, which commemorate its 30th year of Independence. All these happenings were important for my performance.  I have seen the opera Der Zaubertflote( The Magic Flute),  this masterpiece of  Mozart is also well known for being one of the first important German spoken operas, with a clear oriental infiltration with its mystique and symbolic influences.  That can be noticed by the introduction of an oriental prince who plays the flute and the hilarious bird catcher, Papageno. I have imagined them in a 18th century costume, decorated with feathers and little bells that recall to shamanism, which was specially designed for this event by Dutch artist Marlies Andriaanse. The film Chunhyang, directed by the Korean filmmaker, Kwon-Taek Im, in 2000, is a story of a Pansori singer and actor who follows the sound of a drummer to perform a singing scenario while he folds up a scarf. This duo-operetta is a traditional art form in Korea, and it specially called my attention, a part where the humorous messenger from the mountains swiftly comes to bring a message from the governors son Mongryon, to the heroine Chunhyang.To take place in the performance,

I have commissioned a four meter banner in Korea, colourfully showing a magnified drawing of a mountain landscape between two separated nations, with the words of the song Cheer up of Bob Marley on top. The lyrics are still valid. Marley wrote the song  to cheer up the people in critical times, bringing hope for positive changes.  Also cheerful is Kaseko dance music. The fragment I choose is performed by the saxophonist, George Scheermaker. This instrumental song was recorded in 1975, the year of the Independence of Suriname. Kaseko is a Surinamese dance music that is a fusion of military march beat and European and Afro-American rhythms.

Jessy Rahman The Hague, April 2006.                     (translation by Elina Banno)

Opening Performance ;Shin Yong-Gu ( Korea) 

up; with child at NNSC ( open remaks )

Jams Clay ( USA ) installation ; material –cannon, bean sprouts


Ali Bramwell ( New Zealand ) “ Kiss Protocal ”    

Kisser ; Maria . Miles ( at DMZ & JSA )

This work Kiss Protocol was produced during a Nine Dragon Heads event held in the Demilitarised Zone(DMZ) between the Republic of Korea (ROK, or South Korea) and North Korea in April 2006. This was an historic event; while there have been several large exhibition projects using the DMZ as a theme and focus (such as Front DMZ), none have been held inside the DMZ itself before. The project was hosted by the Swiss Embassy and the Swiss and Swedish delegations to the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission(NNSC). Kiss protocol ; The work is a protocol device to regulate contact.  The correct procedure is:  Step A. approach to device. Step B. place face in range of safety apperture. Step C. detect kissee.  Step D. initiate kissing contact. Step E. disengage without further incident.

The work reflects the inherent paradox of the DMZ situation, referring to simultaneous and contradictory desires to make contact and also to prevent contact. The device provides a protocol to facilitate a specific kind of interraction, while simultaneously limiting and regulating in an extreme and almost punitive manner. The device has an intentional hybrid similarity to a guard post, a carnival tent and a traffic toll booth. Absurd, threatening and pecuniary by turns.  While planning this work I was particularly interested in a brand spanking new train station near the border, the northernmost stop inside South Korea. This station has an unused departures and arrivals platform - to and from Pyeongyang. Opened in 2005 with great ceremony by US President Bush, the station is at first glance a political monument to the idea of warmer relations with the North. This building is fully functional but smells of new plastic, completely unused, unmanned ticket booths and clean rooms made to accomodate and efficiently transit hundreds with no one in them. The arrivals hall is decorated by photographs of Western diplomats shaking hands. It also has a suite of paintings in a romantic style depicting the last train engine on the prewar Doryan-Pyongyeang track as it is now;

Alois Schild ( Austria ) Group of Artists inside the empty station,  Bottom; Mt. Geumgangsan               a steel hulk lying rotting in the no mans land where it was derailed and burst by artillary fire nearly five decades ago. The contents of the interior decorating, both the people shown and the images of the iconically matyred last train engine, are fairly guaranteed to anger the visiting neighbours the building is supposedly designed to welcome. Meters from the empty station in all its modern splendour is the 'western transport corridor' a section of heavily fortified road that is one of only two land routes between the two territories. On this section of road is a seemingly endless flow of dump trucks passing in both directions, carrying North Korean sand to a South Korean Cement company and returning empty. The Sand Caravan is just one of several extremely pragmatic North-South business arrangements using resources from the North to fuel Southern industry.

Kaesong Industrial Park is another, built with Northern labour inside Northern territory with Southern direction and finance. The partially built industrial complex houses factory's belonging to South Korean business using North Korean labor force. Who benefits from this arrangement and how it operates is similar to what happens when any corporation shifts its production operations into a more economically depressed area.  These business factoids become more interesting when contrasted against the conspicuous and well publicised emptiness of the new train station at Doryan.

The DMZ has a thriving tourist industry that is both dependent on and reinforces the mechanisms of division. Over time guided tours, educational activities and facilities have been developed where that education is unnervingly close to propoganda and clearly intended to remind its audience of past greivances (as opposed to facilitating reconciliation). The entire zone has begun to resemble a military theme park complete with caricatures of the Good Guys and the Bad Guys.

The political history is very sensitive and unresolved conflict is both real and profound, but two things seem evident; that a state of war does not prevent the progress of business, and all present have a heavy investment in the status quo. Kisses may be taken through a small apperture. materials: steel, cloth, bolts, cardboard, paint, rope, kissers and kissee's. Background information about the event  This event was more challenging than usual. Nine Dragon Heads Director Mr Park, Byoung-Uk managed a political miracle in gaining access of this nature in the first place, after a year of delicate negotiations at a time when relations between the two Koreas were cooling. As it was a risky experiment for all parties the event was approached with some caution. In practical terms this meant restrictions on our movements. We were escorted at all times while inside the Zone, to our great fortune our escort was General Bruegger from the NNSC Swiss Delegation. Being escorted by a general meant we were spared many of the normal security proceedures when entering. We were required to carry our passports at all times inside the zone, to adhere to a dress code and to refrain from taking photographs except when given express permission. Our hosts treated us with great courtesy, a full day of guided orientation that included: tour of Camp Bonafis and the entire Neutral Nations complex, a breifing about the military and organisational history of the zone, entering an underground tunnel (one of six discovered that are beleived to have been dug as part of a new North Korean invasion plan), visiting the headquarters and military museum of the ROK 1st army Division, an unused train station -destination Pyongyang, and a fabulous three course lunch provided by the Swedish Delegation.  As an artist who prefers to work in direct response to site, I didn't pre-prepare a work. I did have a series of ideas percolating about the unique circumstances, but knew that I couldnt begin working until I had walked onsite. Because of the physical restrictions we literally had only a few minutes to survey the exhibition area during the orientation tour. After the tour day we had another two days to produce something before returning for a single afternoon to present our work. During this time we lived in the border town of Munsan, using our hotel bedrooms as studios.  The exhibition event was held in the buildings and gardens of the NNSC, around 200 meters away from the military demarkation line in the center of the DMZ and in view of North Korean guard posts. We had a strict timetable limiting our access, arriving at 11am and re-boarding our bus to leave the zone at 4pm. This time included all curatorial and set-up activities, a fairly frenzied period of activity before the official opening at 2pm. During the two hour exhibition period all the artists presented their work to the guests and each other.   

Ali Bramwell. New Zealand 


Special thanks to Mayor General ; Gerhard Bruegger, Security Marcus Dick ( NNSC-Swiss Delegation and Swiss Embassy Roland Viotti, Suna-Kim


Time Capsule

The Memorie of Nine Dragon Heads 2006 in DMZ & JSA

Venue : JSA / NNSC – Swiss Delegation

Date : 16th. April. 2006


250th Celebrate W.A.Mozart Concert

19th. April. With Cheongju Philharmonic Orchestra

20th, April. With PAN-Philharmonic


Artist Talk

Venue : Insadong, Seoul ( images work by Susanne Muller )

Date : 24th. April. 2006