The Sigh of Fukushima / Young-Whan Bae

Curated by Dooeun Choi for the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial with support from the National Endownment for the Arts

The Sigh of Fukushima, 2012, Three-channel video with sound, 9 min 30 sec.

The Sigh of Fukushima documents the artist and a Japanese sociologist‘s visit to the site of the nuclear disaster in Japan. The video juxtaposes the beautiful seascape of the region with the ruins of the city seen through the eyes of the two observers, and the absolute devastation it depicts arouses feeling of empathy from the viewers in their stark contrast. The subtitle text which accompanies the two screens records a conversation between Bae and the scholar. The dialogue, which begins with the simple yet profound question “how are you?”, captures their sincere empathy for the pain of the victims. When considering the historical relationship between Korea and Japan, and the level of animosity between the two countries that still resides in our society today, the artist’s message of truce and compassion leaves even deeper emotional impact.

ZERO1 Urban Screen
300 S. 1st Street
Screenings through December 8, 2012

Young-Whan Bae

lives and works in Seoul, Korea

Artist website


Young-Whan Bae (b. 1967 Seoul, Korea) studied Oriental Painting at Hongik University. He is an artist who follows the style of Korean Minjung art of the early eighties from the realm of young people's underground culture. Bae was awarded the Young Artist of Korean Art Culture in 2004. Selected solo exhibitions are Nahmoo Gallery in Seoul (1997), Kumho Museum of Art in Seoul (1999), Iljoo Art House in Seoul (2002), and Art Space Pool in Seoul (2005). Selected group exhibitions are in Korean Contemporary Art , Bochum Dahlhausen Railway Museum in Germany (2010) and Art Basel in Switzerland (2009). He is represented by PKM Gallery in Seoul.