Seodaemun Prison History Hall is a museum and former prison in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It was constructed beginning in 1907. The prison was opened on October 21, 1908, under the name Gyeongseong Gamok. The prison was used during the Japanese colonial period to imprison Korean liberation activists, and could originally hold around 500 people. In 1911, Kim Koo was imprisoned. He was one of the more important figures in the Korean liberation movement. In 1919, shortly after the March 1st Movement, the number of imprisoned increased drastically. About three thousand liberation activists were imprisoned, and shortly before the colonization ended in 1945, the number of prisoners was at 2980. Among imprisoned after the March 1st Movement was Ryu Gwansun, who died from the torture inflicted on her. After the colonial era ended in 1945 as part of the surrender of Japan in World War II, the prison was used by the South Korean government, and was known by various official names, including Seoul Prison until 1961. In 1992, the site was dedicated as the Seodaemun Prison History Hall, part of Seodaemun Independence Park. Seven of the prison complex’s original fifteen buildings are preserved as historical monuments. The History Hall showcases all those imprisoned during the Japanese colonial period and continues to serve as a memorial hall.
When I was younger than now, I often went to the Han River to take pictures. Because the Han River is quite wide, I could see the city center from the far side. It was an awe-inspiring experience to see the city from a distance while staying in the city center. It was good to feel the distance between me and the world again through the pictures I took. When I look at the pictures, I always feel like I’m back at that time and feel like I’m back on the spot. I think there is a desire to return to the landscape in my mind.