©AHN Sehong


AHN Sehong


<Layer by layer – The survived Korean women who had been left in China – Japanese military sexual slavery>






Korean photographer, AHN Sehon found 12 Korean women, who were victims of the Japanese military sexual slavery who had been left in China after Japan’s defeat in the war, and photographed them over five years since 2001. The monochrome photographs printed on Korean traditional Hanshi paper have a unique nuance of shadow and texture. Presented without any captions, the photographs allow viewers to carefully examine their expressions, deeply chiseled wrinkles, gestures of hands, and even ways of existence, and make us delicately listen to the voices of their hearts. These photographs, which even seem to connote the sound of their breaths, were taken through the special relationship AHN had built with the women through her multiple visits where she laughed, cried, held many conversations, helped them with their daily errands, and promised that she would only photograph them at the very end of her visit.

In 2012, these photographs were to be exhibited as a solo exhibition titled JU JU at Shinjuku Nikon Salon, a venue run by the world-widely renowned camera manufacturer Nikon. However, a month before the opening, Nikon unilaterally announced the cancellation of the exhibition due to “various factors.” The exhibition ultimately was presented after AHN had applied for a provisional disposition, and counted a total of 7900 visitors, which became the highest record of the venue.

Later on, the trial that had taken three years revealed the excessive “self-restriction” by the major company Nikon in reaction to the protests towards the exhibition by right wings. In late 2015, the court admitted Nikon’s illegal behavior and AHN won the case. It became a noteworthy decision defining that activities of expressions should not be easily cancelled due to protests, even if a private company runs the facility. AHN has found over 140 victims living in six nations, and still photographs them today. (OKAMOTO Yuka)

More stories are available on the Artists Page.


重重 - 消せない痕跡2、ソウル市民庁(韓国)
Trostlose Trostfrauen、ベルリン rk-Galerie(ドイツ)
重重 - 消せない痕跡2、東京セッションハウス(日本)
重重-中国に残された朝鮮人慰安婦の女性たち、東京 ニコンサロン(日本)