Kim In Sook is a Korean photographer who was born in Osaka, Japan. In Kim’s series, SAIESEO: Between Two Koreas & Japan (2008), she explores the issue of diversity and identity between Korean-born Koreans and Japan-born Koreans with the heavy history between the two nations.
From Kim’s site:
What do Koreans in Japan mean in South-Koreans?
Responses of South-Koreans toward ‘Koreans in Japan’ are usually divided into two types: ‘indifference’ and ‘extreme interest’. The latter generally show strong interest in Koreans in Japan, involving them with social or political issues. In fact, it might be impossible to force indifferent South Koreans to be interest in Koreans in Japan. And, it might be also difficult to expect that biased South Koreans free themselves from prejudices so that they see Koreans in Japan in the different perspective. In addition, vague image, misunderstanding and prejudices about Koreans in Japan, which still remain in general South Koreans, are that ‘they are people who live making money in Japan in spite of Koreans’.
However, isn’t now the time that South Koreans, Japanese and Koreans in Japan have to start recognizing the fact that Koreans in Japan are also ordinary people and live ordinarily?
Obviously, there is the diversity among Koreans in Japan. The diversity means that problems, which each Korean in Japan has, are various. Therefore, Koreans in Japan cannot be uniform, and each person should be drawn attention. As focusing on an individual, we can see ‘a human being’. However, Koreans in Japan have a thing in common. Like the title of InSook Kim’s exhibition, ‘in between’, says, they exist in ‘Sai(the boundary)’, that is, in the ‘boundary’. Both South Koreans and Japanese do not live in the boundary and do not need to live in the boundary. However, Koreans in Japan are born and live in the boundary regardless of their will. It is just so.