SKorean Artists Try to Carry Out the Dreams of the Young Sewol Victims Posthumously


Of the 325 high school students aboard the Sewol ferry that sank off the Korean coast in April, only 75 survived. With the deaths of these 250 teenagers, their hopes and aspirations died with them. However, in a touching tribute, various South Korean artists are trying to carry out these youths’ artistic dreams posthumously, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

In honor of Sewol victim Park Ye-seul, who aspired to become a fashion designer, for example, Seoul’s Seochon Gallery is featuring 40 of the late student’s designs in an exhibition that opened July 4. Titled “Park Ye-seul Exhibition, Danwon High School, 2nd Grade 3rd Class 17th Student,” the display has already been visited by over 5,000 people. The artwork ranges from Park’s childhood crayon doodles to some more recent, developed sketches of shoe designs.

“I hope visitors can take a moment to think about Ye-seul’s dreams and remember the tragedy, and also take the opportunity to reflect on the surviving children and their dreams,” Jang Young-seung, head of Seoul’s Seochon Gallery, told the Hollywood Reporter.

Fashion designer Lee Gyeom-bi is also helping to bring Park’s dreams to fruition by creating two pairs of high heels based on the student’s designs, the article said.

Park's Shoe drawing

Park Ye-seul’s shoe design sketch. (via Korea Times)

Meanwhile, K-pop songwriter Yoon Ilsang, who had previously composed a song titled “Budi” (“Please”) to honor the victims, is working on creating a digital album of  the songs written by deceased student Kim Se-yeon, a budding film score composer and head of her school’s theater group. Yoon is hoping to release the album in August, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Other artists, including singer Shin Yong-jae and the band Sinawai’s Shin Dae-chul, are also working on similar projects with music composed by some of the deceased students, including an unfinished love song by teens Lee Da-un and Nam Hyeon-cheol.

The Seochon Gallery will exhibit Park Ye-seul’s artwork indefinitely, and the Korea JoongAng Daily reports that the gallery would like to add more works of art from other victims, so the people who perished in the Sewol tragedy—and their dreams—are not soon forgotten. “Although those children have not come back, it is our duty to make them live in our hearts,” said gallery head Jang Young-seung, as quoted by the Korea Times

Image at top: A poster of the art of fallen Sewol victim Park Ye-seul, an aspiring designer.