The Mural commemorating the June Struggle of 1987 is on our campus. It is a 30-meter-wide and 3-meter-high acrylic colored mural painted on the retaining wall at the side of the access road of the Faculty Center—and is deteriorating and is being covered with ivy.
We received an e-mail asking that we “please preserve the Mural of June Struggle” on Apr. 18. “While collecting pieces of people’s arts, I learned of the mural in your Univesity” said Kim Chang-hwan, a professor of York St. John University, adding “as the mural is peeling away and is mostly covered with ivy, I wish it could be maintained” (Even the e-mail was sent to us DAU Media Center, we delivered it to the General Student Council.)
The Mural of June Struggle was drawn by “Yeollin Geurim Madang (the Ground of Painting)”, an art club of our school in 1888, the year after the June Struggle— it is said that the mural was painted for honoring the memory of Lee Tae-chun who died during the struggle and the democratization movement; for the hope of the unified fatherland. “The mural has a high historical value beside conservatism and progress”, said Prof. Kim. The piece was esteemed for the value of art historical material by the Korean People’s Artist Association in 2007 because few pieces of the peoples art are preserved more than two decades as a mural. “The June Struggle is a very important event playing a crucial role in turning our society into a democracy” said Hong Soon-kwon, a professor of the Department of History, adding “The Mural of June Struggle can be an important piece of evidence proving our school worked actively for democratization. He also added “the painting needs to be preserved to show how youths play a key role in democratization.”
But, the possibility of maintaining is up in the air. “Even students preserved it by painting over until 1990s, it was hard to maintain for the cost of the maintenance” said Choe Seon-dong who worked for three decades as the head of the Administrative Support Office. “It is hard to manage the painting as it was painted without any official permission” he also said adding “nobody is willing to shoulder the responsibility of preserving the painting that isn’t registered with the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea or the Busan Municipality and since the Foundation of June Struggle haven’t spoken their minds.”
The General Student Council once attempted to demolish The Mural of June Struggle. When the Council attempted to demolish the mural, Civic groups including the Democracy Foundation and groups at the school including the Committee of the Commemoration for Twentieth Anniversary of June Struggle strongly opposed. The dispute settled as the opposition claimed “we will preserve it.” But there isn’t any action for preservation after painting over it that year.
“We took the matter to the school after taking the mail from Prof. Kim” said the student council, adding the “school hasn’t decided to preserve the painting as the matter of preservation is under discussion”