©KIM Seo kyung , KIM Eun sung


KIM Seo kyung , KIM Eun sung


Statue of Peace





2012年、東京都美術館でのJAALA国際交流展でミニチュアが展示されたが、同館運営要綱に抵触するとして作家が知らないまま4日目に撤去された。戦中から現在までの長い歳月、女性の一生の痛みを表ハルモニおばあさんになった影、戦後も故郷に戻れず、戻っても安心して暮らせなかった道のりを表す傷だらけで踵が浮いた足(これは韓国社会をも省察したもの)など本作の細部に宿る意味も重要だ。 (岡本有佳)

The title of this work is Statue of Peace (formal name is Monument of Peace,not Statue of Comfort Women).The Korean sculptor couple, KIM Seogyeong-KIM Unseong, who were part of the cultural movement Minjung art (People art), created the statue. Minjung art occurred uniquely in Korea as the artistic response towards the dictatorship in the 1980s, and its spirit to stand against injustice has been inherited over generations. Commemorating the 1000th Wednesday demonstration that had been taking place for 20 years in front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul to retrieve the human rights and honor of the victims of the Japanese military sexual slavery, this work was erected as a memorial monument to honor and inherit the fight for human rights of the women with its plan proposed by a citizens’ group and the funds raised by the citizens.

Its largest feature is that the statue is designed so that the viewer can communicate with it. With the pedestal kept low, the viewer’s eyesight comes at the same height as the girl when the viewer is on the chair. The artwork achieved exceptional success and made itself a public art that continues to move people’s hearts. Statue of Peace has now become the symbol of the “struggle over memories” to eradicate war and sex crimes, and has spread over Korea as well as the world. On the other hand, the Japanese government has been announcing that the statute infringes the Vienna Convention and that the statue should be removed and relocated from the front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul. However, objections against it have been raised based on global precedents and aspects from International Human Rights Law, and have caused a larger dispute.

In 2012, a miniature of the statue was exhibited at the JAALA International Exchange Exhibition held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, however, was demolished on the fourth day of the exhibition without informing the artist, as the museum claimed it infringed the museum’s operation outline.

Details depicted in this sculpture, such as the shadow of a halmeoni (old woman) indicating the life-long pain of the victims who had suffered for such a long time since wartime till today, as well as the heavily injured feet floating in air indicating how they could not return to their hometowns, or even if they did, how insecure their lives had been there (reflecting the Korean society as well), are truly significant as well. (OKAMOTO Yuka)

More stories are available on the Artists Page.