Why exhibit at a resource center?
Marginalized history is suppressed, it becomes forcefully forgotten, fictionalized, and over time; sanitized through redaction. With a layer of Alzheimer’s; a photo becomes a piece of paper until my generation remembers. I found my voice as an artist through this forgotten figure Kim Sangdon by constructing an archive that unpacks a different glimpse of history that I can identify with, researched within, and began a process to find my own struggle as a Los Angeles native where I felt rootless and unidentifiable without a context to voice from.
Yet the material shouldn't had never survived like many other cases facing turbulent and violent history was preserved by Kim Sangdon as he auto-archived and continually created scrapbooks while leaving vast clues to pick up on. I believe his activities were well documented as a public figure that left fragments of material scattered throughout over thirty sites from art institutions, government agencies, news outlets, whistle blower organizations, archive centers, libraries, and used bookstores. The regimes did well to control and eliminate facts about this figure to the public and the generation that recall him were silenced to speak in fear of the National Security Laws. He can be traced throughout the political discourse of modern Korean history from 1919-1980s, yet there isn’t any serious research, publications, or surveys of his activities still today. There are mentions but never spotlighted.