Korea summit painting's related works at Metropolitan Museum

- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a historic summit last Friday. They sat across from one another in the Peace Room during an intimate meeting. The two leaders even shook hands in front of a painting that has now been seen around the world.

"I am very happy that the North and South Korean leaders met in front of my painting while talking about a possibility of a peaceful future," Korean artist Shin Jangshik said through an interpreter via Skype from Seoul.

Shin Jangsik created the painting of the Diamond Mountains and told us the mountainous range is one of the most iconic sites on the Korean peninsula. The region has inspired cultural peace since ancient times but its location in North Korea has kept it inaccessible to tourists as of late.

"In 2008, with the falling relations between the North and South, tours to the Diamond Mountains stopped and I was forced to stop drawing sketches of the mountains," Shin said.

It just so happens several of Shin's paintings depicting the same scenery are featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's current exhibition Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art.

"Should unification happen or tourism to the site open again, I think for Koreans and global citizens it would sign that there is greater peace on the peninsula," said Soyoung Lee, curator for Korean art at the Met.

That could be as the two leaders made promises of denuclearization and peace in front of the symbolic backdrop.

"I believe that the leaders meeting in front of my painting give a sense of hope for peace for the people and the leaders as well," Shin said.

Diamond Mountains at the Met runs through May 20, 2018.

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