(Co)-Humanitarian used print and visual resources to illustrate the ideological and geographic divisions between South and North Korea. The exhibit also conveyed North Korea’s human rights issues. In 1948 Korea separated into South and North Korea; it has remained a divided country ever since. The exhibit exposed our generation’s role in acknowledging and understanding the differences between South and North Korea with a view to fostering peaceful communication between the separated nations. The younger generation of the Chicago Korean community conceived this exhibition as a way to connect with North Koreans living in Empower House, which is a U.S. North Korean defector shelter located in Hyde Park, through academic education, art activities, and discussions.

(Co)-Humanitarian was a collaboration between the University of Chicago Library and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Each institution had curated display cases on the same topic, but with two different approaches. Emphasizing visual imagery, (Co)-Humanitarian was presented at the SAIC Flaxman Library in January and February 2017 making use of the Joan Flasch Artist Book collections. The exhibit at the University of Chicago Library displayed print publications from South Korea, North Korea, and other countries, focusing on 3 different subjects: North Korean politics, culture, and human rights.

Collection selected by librarians at the University of Chicago: Jee-Young Park, Korean Studies Librarian, and Nanju Kwon, Visiting Librarian Intern

Display designed by student artists at the Art Institute of Chicago: Jae Hwan Lim, Rachel Chung and Eun Pyo Hong

(Co)-Humanitarian Exhibit Poster


A red book cover.
조선 유적유물도감

Joseon Dynasty Ruins & Relics Illustrated Book

A book cover depicting two people holding hands below a cliff.
보물을 찾는 소년들

Boys Searching for Treasure

The University of Chicago Library display cases


SAIC Flaxman Library display case