Record A4p3
2005
C-print, framed
size of print: 113 x 133 cm
dimensions variable
The 6th Gwangju Biennale, 2006


Record A4p3
2008
pigment print on paper, framed
size of print: 113 x 133 cm
dimensions variable
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2009


Record A4p3
2012
pigment print on paper, framed
framed element: 111 x 152 cm
Plateau, Seoul, 2013

During Korea’s Fifth Republic, political opposition to Korea’s military dictatorship reached a height. With his inauguration in 1980, President Chun Doo Hwan tried to divert the public’s discontent with the political situation by encouraging sports, tourism, and the sex industry. President Chun’s attempt was quite effective, with economic growth reaching a high point in 1984. Thus, even though the country was divided into intellectuals who opposed the government, favored elites and the rest who were not, the government’s success was so great following the hosting of 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Seoul Olympics that the generally conservative public considered any opposition to the government as simply unpatriotic.
In November 1985, the Seoul metropolitan government received a series of informal measures from the Blue House that would reorganize the city’s administration. The strangest part of the measures was a color and symbol chart delivered to Seoul district offices. At that time, Seoul was divided into 14 districts and the chart was to be used so that a person’s home district could be readily identified according to colors and symbols. For example, residents from Gangnam were to have their right arms painted blue (from elbow to wrist), while resident of Jongno district would have a band of pink paint on their necks. Although many initially rejected this system, it became a craze among the younger generation so that gradually everyone took part in this strange affair. Not only was it used to collect statistical census data and to note the transit routes of Seoul citizens, but was also utilized to raise citizens’ district pride. Even a year after the measure was placed into effect, Seoul citizens willingly displayed their identities, turning the streets of Seoul into a colorful spectacle, as people flashed their color codes even in the cold winter season.
Many people falsely painted their arms blue in order to be seen as residents of Gangnam district, where many wealthy people live. As such, the expensive night life areas of the city teemed with these blue-armed people. It is said that the dissident groups persecuted by the government at the time painted their soles red regardless of the color of their home district, establishing a sense of solidarity with each other. The president who established the measure did not have a symbol for his office, except when he was covered by the media, at which time he showed the symbol of his previous residence in Seodaemun. Those from Seodaemun district are recognized by a forehead painted in white.

floor text:
Attention, Americans who can read or speak English.
If a Korean viewer asks about the meaning of this work, please use the following to explain it instead.

Once upon a time, there lived a golden dragon. One day, his neighbors the red dragon, blue dragon, white dragon, black dragon, and pink dragon, sought him out. They said to him, Golden Dragon, even though the colors of our bodies are diverse, the fire that we spew forth is always golden. They said that this was a sign that the golden dragon was the most superior among them, and asked him to rule over the world. The golden dragon willingly agreed and asked them to live together right there. A top a red mountain and beneath a blue sky, they built a pristine white house, and settling upon a black river to munch upon crisp, red apples, they lived happily ever after.
However, they were unable to see the golden dragon during the daytime because of the blinding rays of the sun. Soon they grew impatient. They eventually pushed the golden dragon into the black river in front of the house. There, the golden dragon died. Astonished, they pulled out the golden dragon’s body. But his body was no longer golden. Gazing down at the body that had turned to the color of shit, they no longer felt remorse.