Ahn Se-Hong Triumphs While Nikon Cowers

26 Jun

Ahn Se-hong's "Layer By Layer" “Layer By Layer: Korean Women Left Behind in China Who Were Comfort Women of the Japanese Military” proceeded a day later than originally planned, after a Tokyo District Court ordered Nikon Corporation to lift its decision to cancel the photo exhibition by a South Korean, Ahn Se-hong. It’s the first such exhibition by a Korean artist on the controversial topic.

A crowd of protesters gathered outside the gallery as the doors opened at 10:30 a.m. One protester shouted through a microphone: “We don’t tolerate a photo show that defames the Japanese.”

A placard in the crowd read: “The forcible carting-off of ‘comfort women’ is the biggest fabrication in history.”

Security guards were posted outside the venue, and exhibition goers were required to pass their bags through a metal detector before entering.

Some people did brave the intimidating atmosphere to view the 37 photographs by Ahn Se-hong, a 41-year-old South Korean photographer, about Korean women who were forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers during World War II.

“The expressions on the face of every one of the old women (in the photographs) made me realize how much they must have gone through in their lives,” said a 42-year-old woman from Shizuoka Prefecture.


“We decline to be covered by reporters. The matter has created such a major controversy that we cannot deal with it,” said a Nikon representative.


Internet postings have branded the exhibition as an act of treason. Ahn said he received silent phone calls and letters protesting the exhibition, and sources said Nikon was similarly pressured.

Now, there’s a trendsetting corporation that’s not afraid of a little opposition!

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