Crossing the Line (2018)

Crossing the Line, 2018, installation, tablets with digitized bureaucratic documents (overseas adoption and citizenship recovery), quotations by Malcolm X and Trevor Noah, solo exhibition view: I like Korea and Korea likes me, Gallery damdam, Korean Cultural Center, Berlin, curated by Ka Hee Jeong, photo: Aleks Slota

Two digital tablets, placed back-to-back, display the paper trail of quiet violence of forced migration, detailing RHEE’s shifting identity, including the immigration process of her American adoption and naturalization to becoming a US Citizen and the painful emotional and bureaucratic journey she undertook in 2017 to reclaim her legal original South Korean identity. Installed in the Korean Cultural Center Berlin, located at Leipziger Platz, a foot-wide gap separates the two tablets, marking the actual line through the gallery where the Berlin Wall once ran through the city. This work evokes larger global and historical issues surrounding identity records and archives, while underscoring how the power of documents control, hinder and grant mobility. While the artist was fighting the recover her lost nationality, thousands of refugees and migrants were risking their lives to seek a better place in Europe and the United States.