Final for Drawing Imaging: Eternal Flowers

Written Proposal: Drawing Proposal (2)-1wwm7qp

For my final project, I created a narrative montage about Korean comfort women, who were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, which is a controversial issue that the Japanese and Korean governments are still debating over.  For a long time, the victims have spoken up against the Japanese government, asking for their apology and criticizing their irresponsible attitude. I felt ashamed and guilty to be ignorant about the issue and was compelled to do something.  I thought it would be great if I could raise awareness through creatively depicting social issues in my art. My strong advocacy to art’s ability to contribute to positive change led me to create artworks based on social issues, such as the Japanese government’s refusal to admit the crimes committed to Korean comfort women by the Imperial Japanese Army.

My piece depicts the endless pain of the victims and criticizes the Japanese government for not admitting guilt for wartime abuses.  Through my project, I want to show the victims suffering even after their death because the Japanese government has refused to acknowledge the legal responsibility or the “comfort women” issue so far.  In order to convey this message, I wanted to make every single component of this piece to be meaningful.  Therefore, before I began this project, I researched thoroughly on this issue to gain more knowledge and for my better understanding.  I thought this was an important process in order to convey the message to other people, especially to who aren’t aware of this issue. 

To create this piece, I used Photoshop.  First of all, I used dark red (wine) color for the background and applied a linear red gradient to it.  I chose this dark color to accentuate the dark feeling to it.  Anyway, then I used the quick selection tool and decreased the brightness and contrasts, and opacity of an image of the rising sun flag, which is the military flag and ensign used primarily by the military forces of Imperial Japan and Japan’s Self Defense Forces.  Then I placed it on the top of the background layer.  However, I included this flag, because it’s considered offensive to Koreans and many other East Asian countries due to the historical backgrounds.  Next, I used the magic wand tool and the Lighten effect for an image of the comfort women statue (the Statue of Peace), representing the “comfort women” forced to work as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II.  And again, I placed it on the final document.  Furthermore, I, again, used the quick selection tool to cut out the butterfly from the original image.  The butterfly in this piece symbolizes hope and the victims’ reincarnation to a better world.  I also decided to include flowers, specifically magnolia, because in Korea, this flower is used to represent nobility and respect for the victims.  This flower was first used as a symbol to honor one of the victims, Bok-dong Kim, who donated all of her money and is actively involved in social acts.  Also, flowers, in general, represent the youth in Korea.  Moreover, I painted a girl expressing feelings of fear, hopeless, and pain, with watercolors.  Then I transferred the painting to Photoshop and used the quick selection tool for editing.  Furthermore, I added three images of wolves representing the cruelty of the Japanese government and the Imperial Japanese Army.   For the wolves, I used the quick selection tool and the Color Burn and Linear Burn effects.  Finally, I placed a photo of some of the victims next to the statue.  I used the quick selection tool and the Color Burn effect.

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