National Museum Of Korean Contemporary History

Special Exhibition

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1987년 민주화30년 기념 사진전

Special Photo Exhibit for the 30th anniversary of Korea’s Democratization in 1987

Exhibition Period : 2017.06.10 (Sat) ~ 2017.08.27 (Sun)

Place : Front of the main entrance, National Museum of Korean Contemporary History

  • Price : Free
  • Opening Hours : 10am – 6pm
  • For additional inquiries call : +82-02-3703-9200


It is June of 1987. The Korean people, through pain and hardship, now stand proudly. Their country has at last become a proper democracy, with a Constitution that ensures it. This is the time of the June Democratic Movement-when Koreans took to the streets to demand a government for the people.

This photography exhibition takes us back to that time-1987-when a wave of pro-democracy protests finally led to the Korea’s proper democratization, establishing the foundation to build toward a more mature democratic system in the future.

Stirrings of the movement began in 1986, when students, the public, and opposition parties began holding rallies to demand direct election of the president. The military government attempted to strong-arm the protestors into stopping the rallies, but the protests only grew, swelling to unprecedented numbers. In the end millions of people from all walks of life –including so called the “Necktie Units,” who were middle class, white-collar workers – had joined in the movement toward democracy and away from dictatorship.

Pushed to the brink, the military government had no choice but to relent. The ruling and opposition parties came to an agreement on a set of constitutional amendments for direct election, which gained strong popular support in a referendum held soon after. The South Korean people were thus liberated from the darkness of authoritarianism, and began a journey full of hope toward a better, democratic society. Thirty years ago this June, a new chapter in the history of democracy was written. And just as the Korean people have done until now, they will continue striving for yet a better democracy.

<Rules of Engagement for the 6.10 Popular Rally>

A mass rally was held on 10th June 1987 to protest the refusal of South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan to amend the constitution. These are the rules for protestors, the title reads:


From the cold winter to the sweltering but solemn summer of 1987, countless noble sacrifices and acts of bravery marked the way toward democracy. Many young lives came to an unjust end at the hands of a wicked regime-but we remember them as the heroes they were; as some people willing to risk everything for freedom and democracy. We remember their voices, as they took to the streets to cry out slogans of protest; to demand what was right and true.

In this exhibition, we honor their memory. We honor the memory of all that stood up for freedom. And we remember the path South Korea took to becoming a new democratic republic.

We remember.

We remember the power of the South Korean people who carved the path toward free and fair elections, the separation of powers, and a nation where the rights and freedoms of all citizens are respected.

We remember.
<사진 캡션> 고 박종철 범국민추도회, 1987.2.7. 대한민국역사박물관/전민조 Protests at Myeongdang Cathedral against the torturing to death of Park Jong-cheol, MuCH/Jun Mincho 경찰도시, 1987.2.7. 대한민국역사박물관/전민조 City of Riot Police, Gwanghwamun in the center of Seoul filled with riot police, MuCH/Jun Mincho 경찰은 고 박종철 범국민추도회를 원천봉쇄하기 위해 경찰 사상 최대 규모의 '2.7 작전'을 펼쳐, 명동, 을지로, 광화문 등 중심가 전역에 경찰병력을 배치했다. 6.26 국민평화대행진 시위 1987. 6.26. 대한민국역사박물관/구와바라 시세이 The People's Demonstration and March for Peace, held on 26th June 1987. MuCH / Kuwabara Shisei 이한열 장례식-시청 메운 애도 시민, 1987.7.9. 대한민국역사박물관/고명진 Lee Han-yeol's Funeral - grief of the people, in front of City Hall 이한열 군의 장례식에는 각종 만장이 영결식장 주변을 가득 메웠다. 장례식장에는 세브란스 병원에 입원 중이던 환자들까지 나와 추모를 하였다. MuCH / Ko Myungjin 최루탄 쏘지 마세요, 1987. 6.15. 대한민국역사박물관/고명진 "Don't fire those tear gas bombs”MuCH / Ko Myungjin 명동 로얄호텔 앞에서 경비 중인 전경들에게 한국여성연합회 회원들은 경찰도 대한민국 국민이고, 또 최루탄을 쏘지 말라는 뜻으로 경찰들에게 카네이션 꽃을 달아주었다.