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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Jun Tae-il Street or Bridge to Cheonggyecheon?

Computer-generated image of the future Cheonggyecheon and the proposed art work by Im Ok-sang on the bridge, for which the name 'Jun Tae-il Bridge' has been requested. The work consists of two hands representing hope.
There's been a proposal to name a street or a bridge in the newly reconstructed Cheonggyecheon for Jun Tae-il (Chôn T'ae-il), who was a worker in a P'yônghwa Sijang garment factory and a labor activists, finally immolating himself in desperation in November 1970. The proposition (or 'demand', yogu) has been made by the Jun Tae-il Memorial Association; the Seoul authorities don't seem to be embracing the idea, but do not outright reject it either. They're supposed to make a decision by next week. (Hankyoreh article)

Hunjangûi karûch'im warmly supports commemmorating Jun Tae-il - except that I'm not sure if those two hands as an artwork are a good idea or that too much of commemorating objects are placed in P'yônghwa Sijang, a long 3-story building along Cheonggyecheon.

(On a side note, a paragraph in the article is a prime example of how 'language' and 'writing' tend not to be distinguished in Korea; one part of the proposed commemorating art work would have "'Jun Tae-il' written in several languages like Sumer script, Arabian, Chinese characters, Sanskrit and English." Or perhaps, perhaps we should think that words like ônô (言語), (語) and mal do not mean only 'language' but 'script' and 'writing' as well. 'Jun Tae-il' is how the name is written in the homepage of the memorial association.)

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