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press: haegue yang’s radical art of obscure delights

When the South Korean artist Haegue Yang went to see one of her sculptures while it was installed outdoors last year, she was required to strap on a bulletproof vest and a helmet, pass through military checkpoints and leave her phone behind. Finally, just a mile south of North Korea’s border in the Korean Demilitarized Zone, she reached her piece, a roughly five-foot-tall block of gray soapstone with a translucent bird perched atop it.

It is a deceptive artwork. From some angles, the stone resembles a sphere, but it is actually a thinner, lenslike shape, and the bird — a pale thrush, 3D-printed in resin — has been separated from its center, though that, too, can be understood from only certain perspectives. “I knew from the beginning that almost nobody would see it in person, and I think it will be more surveilled than visited,” Yang said, recalling her trip during a video interview here one April morning. “I wanted to make something that is hard to believe but became a fact,” she said.