Ik-Joong Kang's Floating Dreams is a compelling, large-scale installation situated in the centre of the River Thames by Millennium Bridge, constructed from 500 drawings and illuminated at night. The lantern acts as a memorial to the millions displaced and divided during the Korean War (1950-53), read the second in our blogs from some of the participants sharing their experiences and drawings.
Very close to the demilitarized zone is my home town called Gaesung. My father was the owner of one of the biggest hospitals in that town. I came to the South leaving my beloved home and family. Following my father’s footsteps, I also studied medicine and became a doctor. I would like to return one day to the hospital that my father built in the North. I waited for the reunification of North and South for so long but sadly, it is taking so long. But I am still waiting.
Hyosoup Hwang, 80 years old
My father, my sister and I unwillingly left my mother and my other siblings in the North and escaped to the South when the war broke out. My sibling who escaped with us got sick in Busan and died and somehow I was left alone in an orphanage. It was a very hard and lonely childhood. A day didn’t go by without me thinking about my family. What helped me survive all these years was the hope and dream that one day I will go back to the North to rejoin with my family. It has been a hard life.
Eunsuk Kim, 80 years old
How can I even begin to express in words the continuous longing for my family and my home town. I have waited so many years with hope that one day I may return but I am getting old...and tired. It hurts so much to even think about it so I try to not think. But it’s difficult to erase a part of my life that is so dear to me - a place with wonderful memories where I laughed and cried with my family and friends. Do you think that one day I will be able to go back and fulfil my dream?
Jemeng Lee 87 years old
Floating Dreams by Ik-Joong Kang until 30 September, on the River Thames by Millennium Bridge