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Korean artist Minouk Lim’s installation, which homes in on the function and consequences of national borders, is arguably the strongest presentation in the triennial. It’s a Name I Gave Myself (2018) is composed of excerpts from the live TV broadcast Finding Dispersed Families (1983), which sought to reunite lost family members 30 years after the Korean Armistice Agreement established the demilitarized zone (DMZ). Condensing more than 453 hours of footage to just over 20 minutes, Lim’s work emphasizes the loss of identity, memory, and histories caused by the division of the Korean peninsula. Many of the individuals shown in It’s a Name I Gave Myself were too young at the time of separation to remember their age or the names of their family members, offering only fragments of their childhood in the hopes of being identifiable. When one man is asked if he is certain of his name, he replies, “No. It is a name I gave myself.” Like many, often renamed by an orphanage or adoptive family, his birth name eludes him.

-Harley Wong

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