A celebration of the 5.18 Democratization Movement, "to where the flowers are blooming" began in Seoul, Korea, in May 2020 and toured around Taipei, Cologne, and Gwangju to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the movement and disseminate its legacy to the global community.
The title of the exhibition is borrowed from the phrase “to where the flowers are blooming” from Han Kang’s novel “Human Acts”, which traces the ten days since May 18, 1980 and the passage of time from the incident to the present day. The narrative expands to describe how those who are left behind deal with the lasting trauma of May 18 and questions which historical memories must be most tightly held onto. The sixth and final chapter, narrated by a mother who lost her son, leads to a brighter place away from the darkness, “to where the flowers bloom.”
The exhibition is largely composed of three sections with eleven participating artists from Korea and abroad: an archive section that outlines the 5.18 Democratization Movement and the history of democracy in Korea, a section of commissioned works from the Gwangju Biennale, and a section on Gwangju’s spirit and contribution to Korea’s democratization. The 5.18 Democratization Movement Special Exhibition “to where the flowers are blooming” will serve as an opportunity to share thoughts and seek future directions with artistic language and imagination as its media.