Through the writings, paintings, and photographs
March For You, Yoon Sang-Won
In Pursuit of Yoon Sang-Won
The exhibition began with <Life of Yoon Sang-Won – History Documentation> and expanded to <Writing and Ink Painting, Through the Photography, March for You, Yoon Sang-Won>. It started in Gwangju, and now has spread throughout the nation including Busan, Ulsan, Seoul, Suwon, Incheon, Daegu, and Wonju. The exhibition not only became bigger, but also became deeper since it has revelaed and contained previously unnoticed truth in the history.
Like the wildfire, fever of democracy is spreading beyond Gwangju, to Hong Kong, Myanmar, and throghout Asia. The proof lies in the 12-pieces ink painting by Ha Sung-Heub that captures the Yoon Sang-Won guiding and concentrating the energy of struggle in the isolated Gwangju and eventually became oxidized in front of the Jeonnam Provincial Office, in the bust sculpture of Yoon Sang-Won by Kim Kwang-rye, in the <<A Critical Biography of Yoon Sang-Won>> written by Kim Sang-Jip of the Yoon Sang-Won not only capturing the life as a fighter but also his thoughts and philosophy, in the voice interviews of five people who were at the site of May Uprising and in the photography of Sung Nam-Hoon guiding us to the day,
The proof lies there because Yoon Sang-Won is there. He is the symbol of Gwangju People’s Uprising, the brilliant light in the history of Korea’s fight for democracy. He was the publisher of the paper that served as eyes, ears, and mouth for the citizens of Gwangju called ‘The Fighter’s Bulletin.’ He was the spokesperson of the democracy struggle committee, and the central activist for the organized illegal labor movement at the National Federation of Democratic Workers.
He said at the foreign press conference right before was being shot to death, “We will be defeated today, but tomorrow’s history will bring us the victory.” For the next 40 years, we have sung ‘March for You’ so many times but the moment of truth is often being forgotten in our minds. In order to reveal the true nature of Yoon Sang-Won while asking ourselves the truth of history, we have created a section in the exhibition named “Yoon Sang-Won and the Truth of Gwangju Uprising.”
This exhibition will only be the start of what is to come. The hot shout-outs of the May Uprising will be restored. Young generations will learn from the life of Yoon Sang-Won how he threw his own life to the alter of history for the greater goods. We look forward to see younger generations become more like him in fiercely confronting to solve the historical challenges of Korea. Our friend, Yoon Sang-Won, please be with us throughout this journey.
Executive Director of Yoon Sang-Won Memorial Project Association
Lightening Rod of History
Looking back after 40 years, 10 days of Gwangju People’s Uprising in May 1980 flickers with wonderfully flashing moments. After martial law force retreat, the Gwangju was in the state of ‘anarchy.’ However, citizens of Gwangju displayed attitude far from being rioter, they rather have proved an astonishing self-governing ability during the period so called ‘liberated Gwangju.’ If one photography has to be selected to best depict the Gwangju Democratization Movement among many photos that had taken, it would be the scenery of citizens gathered around the fountain in front of the provincial office. The citizens’ rally was taken place for 4 times and the one organizing the rally was Yoon Sang-Won. Yoon Sang-Won began to orchestrate the unpredictable revolutionary situations in isolated Gwangju where most of the central political figures and activists either had fled or placed in the preventive custody, while being completely disconnected to the outside world. By creating ‘The Fighter’s Bulletin’ with his colleagues at Wildfire Night School, he provided the alternative media for the people, and by concentrating the energy and meaning of the uprising in the square in front of the provincial office, he practiced the form of direct democracy. Furthermore, when the martial law force was to re-enter on the 25th, he chose to defend the provincial office with 200 armed young men rather than deciding to surrender. The citizens’ militia defended the Provincial Office until the end, thereby fulfilling the spirit of Gwangju People’s Uprising and completing the legend of “Gwangju in May.” Tracing back his life, it is clear that Yoon Sang-won must have known that the history was calling out to him. He willingly stood there and became the lightning rod of the history. And that is passed onto the death of Park Jong-Chul, Lee Han-Yeol, and many other lightning rods, igniting the uprising of June 1987.
Poet, and Former President of the Korea National University of Art
Hosted by: Yoon Sang-Won Memorial Project Association, Gwangsan-gu in Gwangju
Sponsored by: Hakrim Comrade Socieyt, Korea Democracy Foundation, Jongno-gu Office, Korean Finanacial Industry Union, National Financial Industry Workers’ Union, Korean Bank Labor Union, Salesio High School, Dongnyok Publishers
Lee Yang-Hyun – Plannign committee member of the leadership team during the Gwangju Democracy Uprising
Exhibition hall #1 : Life of Yoon Sang-Won depicted in Ink and Wash Painting by Ha Sung-Heub
Bust Sculpture of Yoon Sang-Won by Kim Kwang-Rye
Exhibition hall #2 : Into the Day in May; following the photographs’ of Sung Nam-Hoon and biography of Kim Sang-Jip
Exhibition hall #3 : Yoon Sang-Won as the Labor Activist seen through his journal
Exhibition hall #4 : ‘Testimony of the Day’ by the video of Kim Ji-Wook
Exhibition hall #5 : Unfinished Song: the Asia photo exhibition by Hkun Lat and Joo Yong-Seong
Special Program : 2021. 11. 17(Wed), 2021. 11. 24(Wed) 16:00
Story Corner Yoon Sang-Won and the Truth of Gwangju Uprising>
Song Corner: Yoon Seon-Ae, Guitar: Choi Han-Sol