Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sewol Ferry Victim's Art Exhibition

On the morning of April 16, 2014, a Korean ferry called the Sewol was making it's way from Incheon, South Korea to Jeju Island when it capsized and sank taking with it around 300 souls. Most of the victims were students from Danwon High School. You can read more about the details of the sinking here. There is a lot of speculation as to what caused the sinking and the Koreans are blaming everyone from the Korean president to the Captain of the Sewol who was not at the helm during the tragedy. He did survive and is presently in jail charged with murder.
My intention is not to place blame but to share with you some of the amazing talented students who perished. I had heard about an exhibition that showcased the artwork of some of the students who perished. I knew that this was one exhibition that I had to see and KJ was kind enough to take me to it. It was on the second floor of a nondescript building in northern Seoul. The first floor of the building was a coffee shop with a sign telling you that this was not the entrance to the exhibition and that is was around the corner.
As we climbed the stairs, we found the walls covered with Post-It notes from family, friends and visitors to the exhibition.
                                         I had never seen so many Post-It notes in my life.

                         Some even left drawings. It was so moving to see but heartbreaking.


The following photos are from the victim's families sharing last moments of their beloved children. Cellphones recovered from the victims were returned to their families where family members found photos but also videos which I will share at the end of this post.

As you enter the exhibition, there is table for you to sign in and also offering these free bracelets.
This is the exhibition room.
           The following photos are artwork of some of the students who lost their lives on the Sewol.








Flowers and favorite snacks of the victims were left by friends and family members and they lined the walls of the room.


I saw this dead flower arrangement in the corner of the room and it brought so many emotions out in me. Anger that this had even happened. Profound sadness at the loss of life. Sympathy for family and friends that are left to carry on. And hope that this will never ever happen again.

On our trip to Korea, we saw Sewol demonstrations every day. There is so much sadness in Korea right now and I believe there will be for some time. It was a difficult exhibition to view but I'm profoundly changed by it and it reinforces my belief that every day is precious.

Here are some videos taken inside the Sewol by students:

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