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'The Girl in the Picture,' a special storytelling concert about 'comfort women,' returns after 6 years

By Park Ga-young

Published : Sept. 15, 2023 - 14:21

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Poster for Poster for "The Girl in the Picture."

A special storytelling music concert that sheds light on "comfort women" -- South Korean victims and survivors of Japanese military sexual slavery -- is returning with its seventh concert.

“The Girl in the Picture” was started in 2012 by the Yoon Joo Hee Microcosmic Ensemble, combining cinematic elements, music, dance and graphic art to create a unique and visually striking show. It is a story about girls who came to be later called comfort women against their will and is a performance by artists who remember and support these survivors.

The performance features a total of 11 world music artists who gather with a shared purpose -- including the Yoon Joo Hee Microcosmic Ensemble; singer-songwriter Sunwoo Jung-A; singer Drain; and acclaimed 2020 film "Minari" actor Han Ye-ri -- who will make special appearances as choreographers and dancers.

Yoon Joo-hee, who is responsible for the production and direction of the performance, is a haegeum (Korean traditional string instrument) player and composer.

While it deals with the theme of comfort women, it has received praise for breaking down the biases associated with previous performances on this topic and has undergone upgrades through various theater venues, including the National Theater of Korea.

This work has been recognized as an excellent traditional Korean musical work supported by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2016 and as the Repertoire of the Year by the Korea Arts Council in 2017. It was also selected as part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage series by the Traditional Performing Arts Promotion Foundation in 2019.

“The Girl in the Picture” will take place at Sejong Center for Performing Arts’ M Theater in Seoul at 7 p.m. on Oct. 7, where it first premiered 11 years ago.

As of September 2023, there are only nine surviving comfort women in South Korea.

"The Girl in the Picture" (Yoon Joo Hee Microcosmic Ensemble)