By Jung-jin Eun (silver@hankyung.com), The Korea Economic Daily

Updated: 2020-09-18 at 11:35 am (GMT+9)

(Original article: https://n.news.naver.com/article/015/0004418753)

Starting on the 19th, the Bucheon International Comics Festival is holding an online exhibition of the Grand prize winners and a special exhibition of independent comics, as well as providing writer interviews, and reviews of winning comics.

The 23rd annual Bucheon International Comics Festival(BICOF) is holding the winner exhibitions and special exhibitions for independent comics through an online gallery for the first time.

The exhibition, which is to be held from the 19th to the 27th, are abandoning the traditional real-life exhibitions through frames and have decided to use a three-dimensional(3D) Virtual Reality(VR) platform. They have prepared virtual experiences within the online galleries through which audiences can interact with characters from the comics on an emotional level, officials explain.

The online exhibition, which is to be provided through the BICOF website, features grand prize winning comics of 2020 and 2019, ‘곱게 자란 자식(A well-grown child)’ and ‘우두커니(Vacantly)’, and the independent comic ‘독립에서 독립하기(Be independent of one’s own accord)’.

‘곱게 자란 자식(A well-grown child)’, a story that takes place during the Japanese colonization of Korea, is reviewed to have successfully depicted a heavy topic through unique wit and humor. The exhibition starts by introducing the antagonist ‘깐난이(Kkan Nan-yi)’ and her family, then shows the atrocities of the Japanese Imperial Army and the suffering it inflicts, mirroring the comic chronologically. In particular, the exhibition space that displays the brutality of the Japanese Imperial Army is highlighted with a strong red background, symbolizing the pain and suffering of the victims.

Highly accepted for its warm depiction of an ordinary household, ‘우두커니(Vacantly)’ is a story about the hardships a daughter finds herself in when her father is diagnosed with dementia. The exhibition is themed after the house that the story takes place in, and uses six main pastel tone colors used in the book. The exhibition also provides a resting area where one can deeply sympathize with the real-life experiences the writer went through.

The independent comic exhibition, aimed to promote diversity within the comic community and to advertise independent comics to the general public, features ‘독립에서 독립하기(Be independent of one’s own accord)’. It is to be provided in a web page view format. Paperback copies can be found on the online independent book store, and the web version can be accessed through the Daum webtoon service.

For the viewers’ convenience, the exhibition provides additional video contents including interviews of writers regarding the making and the behind stories of featured comic, a viewing experience through the gallery with commentary, and a review of the grand prize winners by the movie review creator Rainer.

조관제(Jo, Gwan-je), the chairman of the Bucheon International Comic Festival committee, hopes that “the event can serve as a good opportunity for people to sympathize and communicate as they experience the prepared online content”. Further details about the event are provided on the official website for the Bucheon International Comic Festival.

English translation by Hyunwoo Wang