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Gongsan Kim: Haan for Korea

May 23, 2019 - July 28, 2019

Gongsan Kim: Haan for Korea
On view May 23 – July 28, 2019

Reception: June 8, 6pm – 8pm

*Haan is a Korean concept of deep and bitter sorrow that remains buried within a person’s heart for a long period of time.

Artist Statement

Having grown up in the aftermath of the Korean War, I have lived with the heartache of seeing my homeland torn in half. My father fled to South Korea during the war and I grew up seeing his tears. Due to the war 10 million families were forcibly separated between the South and North Korea. The war is but a memory now, but the trauma of separation still persists within the hearts of Korean people.

My art is done in a ritualistic manner meant to speak healing to the  wounded spirits, praying for eradication of the roots of their sorrow.  And through my arrangements of scorched burlaps, I express my  compassion especially for those who either died during attempted  escapes across the border, or were captured and perished in  concentration camps. I roll up the fabric and accumulate them to  burn as if I have collected the tragic tales of the victims, the coarse  material symbolizing their tumultuous life and death. I quietly offer  the people of North Korea these half-burnt ashes, knowing that one  day the blood they’ve shed will become sparks that will make bloom  the flower of freedom.


May 23, 2019
July 28, 2019
Event Category:


Building W-16 (Warrior Way Gallery)
9518 Workhouse Way
Lorton, VA 22079 United States

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