The exhibition of “Statue of Peace” depicting the “comfort women” or the Asian women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II, was closed on Sunday owing to censorship at the 2019 Aichi Triennale, the biggest arts festival in Japan, and an online campaign is going viral where Japanese citizens are sharing the pictures they took with a miniature Statues of Peace on social media platforms.
Starting in March this year, a Japanese civic group named “Korean Annexation 100 Years Tokai Haengdong” has staged campaigns to spread the miniature Statues of Peace in which citizens take pictures of themselves spending time with a mini statue of peace and upload them on their social network accounts. The miniature with the same design with the original version is designed by Kim Seo-gyeong and Kim Woon-seung, the artists who built the original State of Peace whose exhibition has been suspended.
The campaign was kicked off as part of the effort to make more people emphasize with the stories of the victims of forced sex labor through the presence of the statues. The civic group Tokai Haengdong procured the miniature statues from the two artists and sent them to voluntary participants without making additional charges. Currently, there are about 120 photos shared online.
The citizens participating in the campaign are getting across the message that the tragedy of war and violence must not be repeated. “An operation is underway to remove the unexploded bombs near my house. It has been more than 70 years since the war ended, but its scars are scattered everywhere,” said a Japanese citizen. “The Japanese military must apologize and compensate for the crimes they committed to the victims.”