Recollecting Afterimages: Portraits of Survivors

July 15 - August 31

New Art Center of Newton

61 Washington Park, Newton, MA

The role of art in times of war raises fundamental questions about our existence as members of the human race. The exhibition “Recollecting Afterimages: Portrait of Survivors” is an attempt to create a space where the eyes of artists, witnessing the tragedy of violence as a shared story of the mankind, and the eyes of the audience from diverse societies begin to communicate, empathize with each other's stories, and start to restore the relationship as members of one community.

The exhibition is divided into two parts. Part One calls for artworks that depict the life of survivors using self-portrait as a medium. Self-portrait captures the gaze toward the outer world as well as the inside of the subject, therefore containing fundamental questions about our existence. In this medium of self-portrait, the theme of our existence: life after violence will be the content.

Part Two is a special exhibition that invites works dealing with the Holocaust, comfort women in the Japanese colonial era, and North Korean defectors. It will be on view as an online exhibition in parallel with the Part One.

Invited artist Kwang Lee depicts the face of comfort women who forced into being sex slaves by the Imperial Japanese Army during the war. She expresses the face of a survived comfort women standing on the sharp border between life and death.


Another invited artist, Kwon Sun Chul, is one of the last witnesses of WWII. With the face of an older man, he represents the identity of his father's generation. The old man seems to endure pain silently and says, "Yes, I am hurt. I don't harm others, though". Humbly accepting the pain as it is, the face captures the weight of the victim's life with the thick and dense brush touch, as dense as Korean land.


               Kwang Lee Empty House                           Samuel Bak In Search of a Portrait B     Sun Chul Kwon Soul