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Remembering S. Korea's hidden independence heroines through portraits Updated: 2021-03-01 14:14:57 KST


A woman waits for the train in a blue Chinese dress -- her name is Jung Jung-hwa, and she's a hidden supporter of the Korean provisional government.
Disguising herself was the only way to survive the arduous 5-thousand kilometer journey to secretly raise funds for Korean freedom fighters.
In Manchuria, Nam Ja-hyun served in a revolutionary independence organization. She cut off her finger and sent it to the Lytton Commssion under the League of Nations to plead for the Korea's freedom.
Another heroine, Park Cha-jeong, was better known as the wife of independence activist Kim Won-bong.
But in fact, she joined the independence movement as a young student and took up arms herself.
Many of these hidden heriones suffered not only the pain of losing their own country, but also the gender discrimination that prevailed during the Japanese colonial era.
Fighting against all odds, their eyes shine with hope in portraits by the well-known Korean feminist painter Yun Suk-nam.


"Who are the people who have restored women's dignity? To me, they were female independence activists. But [back then] I knew only of Yoo Gwan-sun."

After exploring more than 20 of the country's independence heroines, she shed light on them through her paintings.


"Fighting for the country is something everyone can be proud of, including women. So why separate the genders? It's just amazing how they had the spirit to fight for the country's independence at all costs."

Yun has an even bigger goal now -- to paint portraits of a hundred female independence activists.


"I must work hard for them. I think, as human beings, we need to make real our existence at some point before we die."

Kim Sung-min, Arirang News
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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