National Museum Of Korean Contemporary History

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Hello! Democracy
A Special Photo Exhibition Calling for Peace Hello! Democracy

National Museum of Korean Contemporary History 3rd Floor Special Exhibition Hall

Dec. 14th, 2018(Fri) - Jan. 20th, 2019(Sun)

  • Price : Free
  • Hours :10:00 – 18:00
    Opening hours will be extended to nine o’clock in the evening on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
    (Last admission is one hour before the closing time.)
  • For additional inquiries call : +82-02-3703-9200

About the Exhibition


The exhibition ‘Hello! Democracy’ features photographs that trace the history of democracy in Korea. The country has moved from a period of cold war and division of the country, when human rights and freedom were all but lost, to the present time, when peace and democracy make up the very foundation of life. This journey has been possible thanks to the courage of our people and the sacrifices they made. The people – you and I – are the heroes in this journey. We have fought together for our freedom and our rights; for the diffusion and diversion of power, and for fair and liberal electoral processes. Each of us has contributed to creating a society where mutual respect between human beings takes priority.
‘Hello! Democracy’ not only reminds us of where we have been, but also compels us to consider where we are going. It provides a time for us to reflect on the democracy we have achieved, and what still needs to be done for it to realize its full potential. The photographs in this special exhibition tell the story of the Korean people’s path towards democracy and raise questions about what steps to take next. They offer a glimpse of what it took to create a democracy which is alive in every way and is experienced every moment of every day.
Peace: Enhancing Democracy
The division of the country and its anti-communist structure here in the south were major factors in the decades-long delay in democracy. The threat of war and the military exercises undertaken in the face of this threat intensified the tension between the two Koreas, leaving families divided and painfully isolated. Overcoming the results of this tragic division and bringing peace to the land was a necessity for the future of democracy in Korea. Our journey towards democracy would become a journey of bringing peace to our country.
전시이미지
1.사진:판문점 김녕만 1992 2.사진:강원도 양양군 해안철책선 사진 엄상빈 1990
Labor: Promoting Human Rights
Labor is the foundation of a stable democracy because it is a basic requirement for a decent standard of living. After institutional democracy was achieved through the June Democracy Movement of 1987, workers inevitably stood up for their basic rights as human beings. The labor movement was not only part of the process of fighting for human rights, but was also a catalyst for other democratic movements.
사진:울산 현대중공업 정태원 1987
Labor: Envisioning a Better Life
The word ‘labor’ suggests more than mere economic production and advancement – we also need to put individuals and their envisioning of a better life for themselves into the equation. And yet social polarization and labor fragmentation have worsened with time. Where political democratization does not lead to a better life for the individual, we may see the greatest impediment to the stability and expansion of democracy.
사진:사내하청 해고노동자 윤주형과 그의 묘 박종식 2012,2015
Authority: Inhibiting True Democracy
It is not difficult to observe remnants of authoritarianism still at large in our society, inhibiting democracy even though institutional democracy itself has been achieved. It is for this reason that awareness and reflection are vital to bring about a democracy that is fully-realized.
국회의사당 본관 입구 고현주 2006
Respect: Moving Forward
Respect should be given for the sacrifices people have made on behalf of democracy, and for those who were sacrificed in its name, all towards the single goal of creating a better society. We work alongside them even now as we move forward, pursing an even stronger democratic consciousness.
한 장으로 겹친 강경대 등 85명 열사의 영정들 홍진훤 2011
The Square: Gathering Together
‘The square’ is a space for gathering and participation under the all-inclusive banner of democracy. After the June Democracy Movement of 1987, the purpose of ’the square’ expanded, and voices from all walks and levels of society were given the opportunity to be heard. The national mourning held in front of Seoul Plaza for Lee Han-yeol, a student who died after being hit by a tear gas canister, and the more recent candlelight rallies that covered the whole ground from Gwanghwamun Plaza to the front of the Blue House: these are notable examples of how ‘the square’ has become a space for struggles, commiserations, and joy.
전시이미지
1. 서울 세종로 민중총궐기대회 노순택 2015 2. 탄핵반대 집회 노순택 2015
Participation: Illuminating Democracy
Democracy is all about participation. Democracy cannot exist without the involvement of the people, whether directly or indirectly. It is a process of making a better choice by carefully looking into issues, rather than just accepting what is presented. Participation is what illuminates democracy. We can therefore say: “Democracy is action.”
이화여대 총장 사퇴 촉구 시위 중 촛불 대신 스마트폰을 든 모습 김성광 (한겨레신문) 2016