This bold and transformative video art exhibition, filmed in seven countries and six years in the making, brings into sharp focus the intimate, singularly lived experiences of 100 former orphans born in South Korea, now adults living around the world. Conceptualized and directed by filmmakers Glenn Morey and Julie Morey, this immersive, 12-channel audio/visual installation charts the lives of transracial adoptees to raise vitally important questions about human suffering and resilience.
Fresh off its world premiere at the International Korean Adoptee Association (IKAA) 2019 Gathering in Seoul, South Korea, this exhibition will serve as the US premiere for the Side by Side installation. An abridged version of the Side by Side short documentary was released as part of the widely acclaimed New York Times' Op Docs series.
Side by Side examines the lives of transracial adoptees, orphans, and “social orphans” — born in South Korea between 1945 and 1995 — drawing from a diverse representation of the millions of infants and children separated from their families of origin and institutionalized in orphanages. The project began filming in South Korea, with 11 nationals from the Republic of Korea who had aged out of orphanages. From there, Glenn and Julie turned their lens on the U.S., traveling from coast to coast to document the stories of adopted Koreans. Over the course of the next three years, the pair traversed seven countries in search of the untold stories of South Korea’s 60+ years of intercountry adoption.
Perhaps more than anything else, it is a personal project for Glenn Morey—himself abandoned as a newly born infant in 1960, processed through Seoul City Hall, placed in a local orphanage, and adopted out to become the first son of an upper-middle class family of five, living in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. After a lifetime career in filmmaking, he began the process of understanding his origin story, and embarked on a journey and evolution of his self-identity.