ArtworksQUILT OF THE DEAD (work-in-progress)Workshops

Chang Yoong Chia - Quilt of the Dead - Workshops - May 18 Memorial Foundation, Gwangju, KoreaPress release for Gwangju citizens to participate in the workshop, published in Gwangju Daily.
May 18 Memorial Foundation, Gwangju, Korea
24 May 2007

May 18 Uprising

Summary of events

  • 15 May, 1980
    Professors and university students in Gwangju, Korea marched along the streets for "The Meeting for National Democratization".
  • 16 May 1980
    "The Meeting for National Democratization" was held around the fountain in front of the Provincial Hall. Police helped the students to maintain a peaceful demonstration and performed traffic control.
  • 18 May 1980
    The military (7th Paratrooper Brigade) arrived and attacked the unarmed student demonstrators, clubbing many to death.
  • 20 May 1980
    Infuriated by the ruthlessness of the soldiers, the whole city of Gwangju protested. The MBC Radio Station was set ablaze by angry citizens for spreading misinformation about the Uprising.
  • Roads leading into and out of Gwangju was blocked off by the military. News about the Uprising were heavily censored and misinformed. The rest of Korea only knew of the real situation in 1987.
  • 22 May 1980
    Some citizen of Gwangju stormed into police stations, and collected weapons, forming the Citizen's Army to retaliate against the soldiers.
  • The Provincial Hall became the nerve centre of the Uprising.
  • Gwangju had become a lawless city. The whole infrastructure of the city was shut down. However, throughout the period Gwangju remained peaceful as there no reports of criminal activities.
  • 27 May 1980
    The military attacked into Gwangju with brute force and retook the city.
  • The May 18 Uprising became the spark that ignited other uprisings in South Korea which ended with overthrowing of the military government in 1997.
  • Officially, 200 people died because of the May 18 Uprising. The actual number of victims is unknown but estimated to be in the thousands.
Chang Yoong Chia - Quilt of the Dead - Workshops - May 18 Memorial Foundation, Gwangju, KoreaA day before - Yoong Chia explained the workshop to volunteers.
Chang Yoong Chia - Quilt of the Dead - Workshops - May 18 Memorial Foundation, Gwangju, KoreaDay of workshop - Participants were briefed about the workshop.
Chang Yoong Chia - Quilt of the Dead - Workshops - May 18 Memorial Foundation, Gwangju, KoreaDay of workshop - Participants embroidered portraits of the victims of May 18 Uprising onto pieces of cotton cloth.
Chang Yoong Chia - Quilt of the Dead - Workshops - May 18 Memorial Foundation, Gwangju, KoreaDay of workshop - Overview of the workshop.
Chang Yoong Chia - Quilt of the Dead - Workshops - May 18 Memorial Foundation, Gwangju, KoreaDay of workshop - Participants installing their works for exhibition.
Chang Yoong Chia - Quilt of the Dead - Workshops - May 18 Memorial Foundation, Gwangju, KoreaParticipant's Quilt of the May 18 Democratic Uprising Victims.