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Ordinary days during Korean War captured by U.S. solider

Ordinary days during Korean War captured by U.S. solider

Posted April. 26, 2021 07:22,   

Updated April. 26, 2021 07:22


A photography exhibition, “1952, Quite Ordinary Days,” that captures everyday lives during the Korean War runs from April 29 through July 18 at the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul’s Yongsan District.

The 120 pictures taken by Paul G. Schulessinger who participated in the Korean War as an Army photographer show Korean people going about their daily lives during the war. No tragedy or fear can be found in a shy girl with a smile holding flowers and playful children crossing a stream.

The exhibition hall, which is decorated to resemble South Korea in 1952, is divided into three sub-themes - “nevertheless,” “together,” and “ordinarily beautiful” – and each displays photos of work, play, skin and facial expressions. The War Memorial of Korea said the exhibition includes about 100 works donated in June 2011 and pictures that were selected out of about 300 works that were additionally donated by Schulessinger’s daughter Gail Pellky.

“These pictures show people getting on with their daily lives during the war,” said a source from the War Memorial of Korea. “I hope this gives hope to people who are in war against COVID-19.”

A rubber stamp that belonged to Schulessinger and his wife, Kim Myeong-suk, will also be displayed in the exhibition. Schulessinger met Kim who was a typist in his office at a U.S. military base in Daegu and fell in love with her. As he had to go back to the United States in 1953 following the truce, however, Kim gave him a stamp made with her address in Chinese characters so that he can write to her. After three years apart, they got married in 1956 in the United States and had one son and one daughter. After Kim passed away, Schulessinger expressed his respect and gratitude to her for leaving her own country to spend the rest of her life with him.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com