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This year marks the 60th anniversary of the ceasefire that bought the Korean War, known as “The Forgotten War” to its stalemate close. It was a bitter three year war which involved troops from more than twenty nations and resulted in a huge number of civilian and military casualties. The succeeding years have seen a cold war conflict with, as we saw earlier this year, the occasional “posturing” threatening the truce.
Soon-hak Kwon – A work for A Soldier’sTale (detail) 2013
In A Soldier’s Tale, organised by ISKAI Art, 14 artists have been inspired by the stories of British soldiers, not as a glorification of war and political views but rather as a depiction of human endurance, despair and comradeship. Visitors will find a mixture of optimism, pain and perseverance that reflects the experiences of both the soldiers and the Korean people.
Yongbaek Lee – Angel-Soldier – 2011
In the first section of the exhibition is a recreated wall from the home of British-Korean War Veteran David Kamsler OBE, showing a mixture of war and personal memorabilia as well as a painting of David himself. Adjoining in the Imjin River room three artists have been inspired by the Gloucestershire Regiment’s famous battle, while in the “The Enduring War” section the works concentrate on the post-war generations.
The exhibition also marks the close ties between Korea and Britain over the last one hundred and thirty years. On the opening night some of the UK veterans were there and rightly so because this exhibition while recognising loss and suffering also shines light on the hopes for the future.
Suknam Yoon – 500-Returned