Among the lesser known victims of World War II were some 200,000 young women in Asia who were systematically exploited as sex slaves by the Japanese military. The plight of the so called “Comfort Women” will be the subject of a Fine Arts and Lecture Series program Wednesday, February 19, at Dalton State College.
“War produces much violence off the battlefield, especially against women,” said Dr. Robert Clay, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and member of the Fine Arts and Lecture Series committee at Dalton State. “Chang-Jin Lee presents ‘Comfort Women Wanted’ as a specific part of the larger problem of violence against women.”
“Comfort Women Wanted” is a reference to the actual text of advertisements that appeared in newspapers during the Second World War seeking young women to serve the Imperial Japanese Army. Lee, New York City-based visual artist, will present a lecture, video screening, and panel discussion geared towards bringing to light this instance of organized violence against women and to create a constructive dialogue for the future by acknowledging their place in history.
Ms. Lee, a native of Korea, has exhibited her art internationally, including at the Queens Museum of Art in New York, the Kunstmuseum Bonn in Germany, the Incheon Women Artists’ Biennale in Korea, the Peace Memorial Museum of the Comfort Women in Taiwan, and the 1a Space Gallery in Hong Kong. Her multicultural background and experiences have driven her interest in investigating the diverse cultural and social issues occurring in today’s world.
Ms. Lee’s award-winning artwork focusses on subjects such as identity, gender, globalism, nationalism, human trafficking, and religion, Clay said. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the New York State Council on the Arts Grant, the Asian Cultural Council Fellowship, the Franconia Sculpture Park Jerome Fellowship, and the Korean Ministry of Gender Equality Award.
“Ms. Lee started her work on Comfort Women just in the nick of time,” said Dr. Clay. “The women she interviewed in several countries in the Asia Pacific region were in their 80s and 90s and most of them are now dead; thus, her foresight prevented this important part of WWII history from being lost.”
“Comfort Women Wanted” contains mature content and is not suitable for children. The presentation will take place on Wednesday, February 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Goodroe Auditorium of Gignilliat Memorial Hall at Dalton State College. The program is free and open to the public, and seating is first come, first served. Those with questions are invited to call 706/272-2985.