Queensborough Community College (QCC) announced the construction of a permanent exhibit in honor of the Korean Comfort Women of WWII today at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center and Archives (KHRCA), located at 222-05 56th Street in Bayside.
The opening art display of the new exhibition by artist Steve Cavallo entitled, “Eulogies,” shows numerous watercolor portraits of the Korean teenage girls, forced into sexual servitude by Japanese armies in 1937.
With an estimated cost ranging from $50,000 to $80,000, the new exhibit is expected to add to the awareness of these young women and survivors by engaging the students and surrounding community.
Three years ago, KHRCA executive director Arthur Flug began working with The Korean American Association of Greater New York (KAAGNY) to further the education surrounding the issue. Since then, they have worked together to create a partnership between the two communities out of the tragedies experienced in WWII.
“When we were approached by the people of the Korean community – who said can you please help us with this – the more we looked at it, we couldn’t find a reason to say no,” Flug explained. “What was happening to these young women in Asia during WWII, was happening to the people who are Holocaust survivors today.”
Since teaming up with KAAGNY, Flug said both Holocaust and Comfort Women survivors have met and formed what they call the Sisterhood of Survivors.
“Now there are very few people on campus who have not heard of the Comfort Women,” he said. “People come in here, not because they’ve been assigned to do a project by their professors, but they heard of the Comfort Women and they want to see the exhibit.”
With the new exhibit, Flug said the school plans on finding new ways of engaging the students as well as potentially releasing a new speaker program to further the discussion.
KAAGNY president Sung K. Min joined Flug at the KHRCA to announce the pending opening of the new exhibit.
“This is not a political issue, this is a human rights issue,” Min said through the help of a translator. “This is to raise awareness and to protect our countrymen and women.”