80 Washington Square East, NYU

Joeun Aatchim


March 20 – April 30, 2014

Broadway Windows

“Souvenirs” is a site-specific installation by artist Joeun Aatchim from NYU Steinhardt's BFA in Studio Art program. 
Color blinds. "Souvenirs" provokes awareness of the forgotten wartime violations that occurred during WWII. After finding some “beautifully hand-colored” souvenir postcards from the colonial era while traveling through Insadong, a reasonably popular tourist town in Korea, I started investigating the darker currents embedded within the deceptive beauty of these seemingly banal, “antique,” commoditized images. These pictures revealed the cruelty of wartime crimes, like the Comfort Stations--military brothels that systemically drafted girls from the colonies who were under the rule of the Imperial Japanese Army during the war. The history of the Comfort Stations continues to be neglected despite the tireless efforts of the victims to reveal the truth. By altering these images, I hope to bring up a variety of uneasy tensions within these “lovely,” hand-pigmented visual commodities, and to make an indelible record of these abuses by pairing these images with personal testimonies from women who survived sexual slavery during wartime. I want the viewer to consider the fallibility of the historical archive, which often leads to the denial of historic truth. --J.A.