︎︎︎ Island of Stone

Jane Jin Kaisen & Guston Sondin-Kung (2011)

Island of stone documents civilian resistance against the Jeju Naval Base in Gangjeong village, Jeju Island. With the reminiscence of the Jeju April Third Massacre, protesters to the naval base feared that Jeju Island would once again become the center of regional military conflict and cause lasting damage to pristine marine life. Island of Stone was shot during the spring of 2011 when the protest movement transformed from a mainly local issue to a larger international movement. The main video in the installation portrays renowned South Korean film critic Yang Yun Mo, while the other two screens testify to the daily clashes between protesters and the military. A few days after the recording on April 6, 2011, Yang was forcibly arrested for objecting to the naval base construction and went into a 71 days hunger strike while in prison. Island of Stone was posted online shortly after Yang’s arrest and the film went viral on social media networks and was screened as the closing film at the Seoul Human Rights Film Festival. Due to Yang´s hunger strike and the fierce resistance by Gangjeong villagers, the issue reached wide national and international attention and sparked a broad civil movement. The base, which has been officially named the Jeju Civilian-Miitary Complex Port, opened on February 26th, 2016. Fears of the protestors have since been confirmed when an American nuclear-powered submarine docked at the base in November 2017 during escalating tensions in the region.

Archive footage of the arrest of Yang Yoon Mo generously lend by: Kim Min Su
Cast: Yang Yun Mo in the video installation iteration: Choi Sunghee and elderly couple from Gangjeong
Translation: Se Young Oh, Park Jung Joo, Kim Min Jung