Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hidden in plain sight

We’ve always had a soft spot for camouflage and OTN has made the camo art link many, many times (you can check out all the camo posts below). But when we entered the Demilitarized Zone between North Korea and South Korea we saw the camo art combo in its full glory and more as art than disguise. It turned out that despite the real tension on the border, most of the military paraphernalia and architecture was in fact a series of elaborate art and architectural metaphors for we-are-more-successful-more-peace-loving-and-all-round-better-human-beings-and-citizens-of-the-world-than-you. A large snazzy railway station in the South zone is poised to send travellers via the Trans-Siberian rail to Europe if only it could. Unfortunately this is not possible without access through the North. A modern cluster of tall apartment buildings you can see in the North was built with no glazing and no residents but as a sign of progress and prosperity. The camouflage too is mostly pure decoration (indeed kind of gaudy) to brighten up playgrounds, entrances to buildings and any spare wall. When you do see a real lookout post painted so that it blends into its environment the effect is very different.

Images: top three show camouflage as decoration and bottom, the real thing at work on the border of North Korea and South Korea

OTN on the camo trail:

All the camo fit to ship
Art camo
Contemporary art camo
Koons and camo
Camo heads up
The book that started the whole thing (thanks e)