Press Release, 2004,

Happy World at Princeton Public Library

Would you like to build a wall of peace?

Nancy Russell



Would you like to join an artist¡¯s dream of creating a virtual mural using children¡¯s drawings? Artist Ik-Joong Kang, who is known for his large-scale projects that are composed of thousands of 3¡± x 3¡± small paintings, sculptures and text art, dreams of collecting one million drawings from children all over the world and creating a mural of art on the internet where children can locate their own drawings, scroll across the virtual wall to look at other¡¯ children¡¯s work and share their dreams and messages in a world without boundaries.

¡°World peace is a big room. To get in there, the key is children¡¯s dreams,¡± Kang says.

Kang worked with children in South Korea in 1999 to create ¡°100,000 Dreams¡±.  Thousands of drawings made by South Korean children were displayed inside a one-kilometer long greenhouse near the demilitarized zone, that was lit up at night, one writer explains, as if to lure ¡°North Korean children on the other side to come out and play.¡±

Kang followed this project with ¡°Amazed World,¡± an installation composed of 34,000 children¡¯s drawings from all over the world, at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York.  The installation was to open on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Kang, who lives in New York, was in the U.N. building when tragedy struck in lower Manhattan.  ¡°The children¡¯s dreams were uptown, but the public couldn¡¯t see them because downtown was on fire,¡± he says.  He had assembled thousands of drawings from children living in more than 125 countries into a large-scale installation which remained on display for one year at the U.N.  From the mountains, the cities, the seaside, ¡°children were able to sit alongside each other,¡± Kang says, because ¡°although they never met, the drawings were displayed on the wall together.¡±

Now the Korean-born artist would like to collect a million drawings and take children¡¯s dreams to a bigger stage.  ¡°Amazed World 2¡± will extend his vision of building a ¡°wall of peace through children¡¯s dreams¡± on the Internet, by posting children¡¯s drawings on a virtual mural on the internet site,

The drawings should be drawn in crayon on a 3-inch by 3-inch square piece of paper and the artwork will be scanned onto a virtual mural on the internet at Children will be invited to submit drawings in crayon on a 3-inch by 3-inch square piece of paper via the mail and also electronically, that depict their dreams for themselves and the world, ¡°what they wish for, what they would like to share with others,¡± he says.  Each drawing will be assigned an address or identification code so that children will be able to log onto the website and locate their own drawing, as well as enjoy the art work of others.

When Kang has accumulated enough drawings, he would like to incorporate them into a 15-foot-high, one-mile-long curtain of laminated art that will stretch across the Imjin River that divides North Korea and South Korea.

¡°Children¡¯s art and children¡¯s dreams can connect the two countries, which have been separated for over 50 years,¡± he says. ¡°This will be like a wall of art that can break down the wall that has caused pain, hunger and suffering on both sides.¡±

¡°The division of North and South Korea is not only a Korean problem, it¡¯s a world problem. If we can solve this problem, we can solve the world¡¯s problems.¡±