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Zinnia Elegans

Short Animation

Duration time:

2min 38sec

Collaborative work: 

team of 2

(roll: storyboard, artwork, animating, narration)

Digital Painting

2015

’Comfort women’ refer to women who were forcibly mobilized and forced to live as sex slaves by the Japanese military during World War II. The women were forced to have sex with their captors under brutal, inhumane conditions such as repeated rapes, agonizing physical pain, pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and bleak conditions.

Even after the liberation of Korea, the surviving victims continuously suffered from severe physical and mental aftereffects after returning to their homelands. For decades, the history of the “comfort women” went undocumented and unnoticed since mostly incinerated by the Japanese military and government at that time to avoid being charged with war crimes.

Without a sufficient apology from Japan, the fight for comfort women continues with only a few dozen alive victims. This project aims to raise awareness of a buried historical issue of ‘Comfort women’ in Korea.

Idea

How should we remember?

Idea Development

The original story

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Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl in a small village near the sea. They were deeply in love with each other. There existed a three-headed monster called ‘Imoogi’, and one day, it appeared in the village. The Imoogi threatened to turn the village into a sea of flame, if a young maiden were not offered up as a sacrifice every year.

 

The boy disguised as the girl and went instead of her to kill the monster. The boy wore the girl’s clothes and cut off one of the Imoogi’s heads. Afterwards, the boy took her hand and ran away into the deep forests. He promised her one hundred days killing completely the monster. She held onto the boy in tears. The boy said he will come back with a white flag if he defeat the monster, but a red flag would mean he failed. Finally, the boy won the battle with the Imoogi, but his white flag was smeared with the blood of the Imoogi.

 

The girl saw the red flag and believed the boy was dead. The girl took the boy’s flag and rushed to the place in tears, where they promised to meet each other again. The girl threw herself off a cliff after pining for the boy.

 

As time passed, some unknown flowers came up in the place where the girl waited so long for the boy. The flowers were later named “Baek-il-hong (Zinnia elegans in English)”, meaning “flower for 100 days”.

Figurative Expression

The original story about the tale is explained with a verbal commentary. The animated images help not only visualization of the story but also reinterpret the dark age of the Japanese colonization in a figurative way.

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Design Concept

Simple but strong graphical techniques were used to effectively express the darkest and hopeless time of Korean history.

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Symbol

Images from the original story are reinterpreted as the Japanese colonization.

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Storyboard

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Character

The two main characters of the story, i.e. the boy and the girl, were designed based upon facts from numerous sources of information on the Korean society under Japanese rule.

Background

The backgrounds of the story, were designed based upon facts from numerous sources of Korea under Japanese occupation. The Japanese Government General of Korea arises with a deep and wide shadow in order to show invasion of Japan. 

Acting Animation Breakdown

Mood Board

Artwork

Premiere

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Premiere