WWHR Museum opened in may 2012 to stop violence against women in armed conflict regions that is happening around the women in addition to internationally arising issue of “comfort woman” who were forced to be sexual slaves for Japanese soldiers during Pacific War Period by Empire of Japan. The museum records the turbulent history of women drafted into sexual slavery by the Japanese military and is the result of nine years of efforts by civil society.
Built in a renovated home on the foothills of Mt. Seongmi in Seoul’s Mapo district, the museum has two stories and a basement level, for a total area of 308 square meters. The overall flow of the museum progresses as a narrative museum, where the orientation of the exhibits goes through recollection, reflection, recovery and record. The stone walls of the staircase leading up from the basement are engraved with final words from former “comfort women” who have since passed away.
Black bricks, main building material of the Museum, symbolizes a epitaph of tragedic history of comfort woman who are grandmother or passed away. The brick screen wall conveys the layered history of old and now as linked to the present. The space behind the brick screen wall is moaning place for passed-away grandmothers who had painful memory. On each brick, there is a photo and remain words of the grandmother. Someone left a in between bricks. Each brick of the façade is suggestive of suffering and plight of women throughout history.