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Exhibition to be held to remember independence activist

Posted August. 15, 2017 07:16,   

Updated August. 15, 2017 07:26

In the late period of the Joseon Dynasty, rumors quickly spread that six brothers and sisters of one of the most noble families were trying to urgently dispose of their assets. They sold lands and houses in Seoul's central area of Myeongdong, which was three times the size of Yeouido in northern Seoul, amounting to around 400,000 won (351 U.S. dollars) in cash, which is more than 2 trillion won (1.75 billion dollars) in present value. The brothers and sisters used the money to build Gyeonghaksa in Manchuria, China and Shinheung Training School that later became Shinheung Military School. This is a story of Lee Hoe-young, a.k.a Woodang, and his brothers and sisters who endeavored for the independence of the country that lost its sovereign power to Japan in 1910.

In commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of Liberation Day, the Seoul Historical Museum will hold "The Road of Korea, the Road to Freedom," which illuminates the footprints of Woodang and his brothers and sisters, until October 15.

This year marks the 150th birthday of Woodang, and the museum will be displaying 110 related works that sheds light on the activities of late Joseon Dynasty leaders who had agonized over how to genuinely pursue patriotism, as well what life was like back then.

The exhibition will be comprised of four parts, where people can see the persecution that the ancestors suffered under Japanese colony, the poor conditions of independence movement sites in Manchuria, and the chaotic society after liberation. Also being displayed is Lee's "Western Gando" and "Western Gando Record" by his wife Lee Eun-sook that shows the life of western Gando and Beijing.

"I hope the event offers a chance to ponder ways to remember these people who had devoted all their life for the freedom of the country's people as well as how to keep up their spirits," said Hong Hyun-do, liberal arts researcher who took charge of the exhibition planning.

In each exhibition zone, videos explain in an easy way the story of independence activities for better understanding. The event is held not only for children who want to study Korean history in their summer vacations, but also for adults who wish to reflect on the footprints of ancestors. The exhibition is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in weekends and holidays. The exhibition is closed on Mondays. There is no ticket fee. Call 82-2-724-0274 for more information.

Yeun-Kyung Cho yunique@donga.com