The second “Statue of Peace” exhibition will be held in Tokyo at the end of this month. It has been six years since Kim Seo-kyung and Kim Eun-sung, the creators of the statute, held the first exhibition at Huruto Gallery in Nerima City, Tokyo from January 2015 to February 2015. It the first exhibition in two years, since the statue had to be withdrawn only after three days from the Aichi Triennale, an international art festival held in August 2019 in Nagoya, due to the strong opposition of the right-wing. And now it is garnering much attention.
The “Statue of Peace” exhibition committee announced on Wednesday that the statute will be showcased at an art museum in Shinjuku, Tokyo for 10 days from June 25. “After the exhibition in Tokyo, it will be showcased in major large cities, including Nagoya from July 6 to July 11 and Osaka in August,” said a member of the committee.
The committee said that preparation for the upcoming Tokyo exhibition was also quite challenging due to interruptions by the right-wing as it was for the Nagoya exhibition two years ago. The exhibition was originally scheduled for February this year, but it was delayed to June due to the threats and complaints of the right-wing, as well as COVID-19. “The possibility of withdrawing the exhibition cannot be excluded in the worst-case scenario as the case of Nagoya,” said a committee member. “Promoting the exhibition with its location and dates has not been easy. The schedule may change later.”
“I am considering an option to attend the Tokyo exhibition via video conference,” sculptor Kim Seo-kyung said in an interview with The Dong-A Ilbo. “This year is meaningful as it has been 10 years since the creation of the statute and 30 years since late Kim Hak-soon shared the story of comfort women for the first time.” She stressed that she hopes the message of peace in the statute can be shared across Japanese society.
“It is regrettable that the right-wingers cannot understand the fact that the history of war should be faced directly, not avoided,” said Daisuke Tsuda, the then-art director of the Aichi Triennale who hosted the Nagoya exhibition two years ago. “The exhibition should not be feared for Japan’s development into a healthy democratic country.”