National Museum Of Korean Contemporary History

Special Exhibition

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At the Scenes of the Pandemic
International Press Photo Exhibition

At the Scenes of the Pandemic

National Museum of Korean Contemporary History 3rd Floor Exhibition Hall

Nov. 24th, 2020(Tue) - Mar. 1st, 2021(Mon)

  • Price : Free
  • Hours :10:00 – 18:00
    Opening hours will be extended to nine o’clock in the evening on Wednesdays. (Last admission is one hour before the closing time.)
  • For additional inquiries call : +82-02-3703-9200

Opening the Exhibition



When the history of 2020 is written about in the future, COVID-19 will most definitely take up a large portion. The world has faced countless cases and deaths due to the pandemic, which has completely changed life so much that people have begun dividing time into “pre-COVID” and “post-COVID.” Although there is no way of knowing when this crisis will end, we must never give up hope.

Yonhap News Agency and the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History have organized an International Press Photo Exhibition, At the Scenes of the Pandemic, with the intention of delivering a message about sharing the difficulties of our fellow people enduring the crisis and joining forces to get through this together. Photos of 76 cities taken by 47 news agencies from global communities will be on display, as will photos captured by journalists, who put themselves at risk of contracting the virus, around the world in places such as China, Japan, Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Azerbaijan (Baku), Czech Republic (Prague), Morocco (Marrakesh); and Brazil (Rio de Janeiro).

These records of the world amidst the COVID-19 pandemic are evidence of our struggle in serious crisis to survive and uphold the dignity of humanity. They demonstrate not only the suffering and death caused by the virus but also the care and dedication of our fellow human beings in the face of danger, their warm-heartedness and sympathy towards one another in a newly contactless society, and the alliance for international support and cooperation. The exhibition resonates with energy as if to say that we are all in the same boat despite differences in nationality, region, race, and religion.

We hope that this exhibition will be a comfort to all as we continue going through difficult times.
COVID-19: A Beginning without an End
The COVID-19 outbreak resulted from a cluster of cases reported as pneumonia in December 2019. First considered a respiratory disease of unknown cause, it was found to be a fatal infection created by a new type of virus. Starting in Asian countries, it spread across Europe, North America, Africa, and South America in less than two months. Death was reported everywhere around the world, and streets and buildings, normally full of people, were instead full of disinfectant. When will this end? We have come to a new age with a question to which no one has an answer yet.
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1. San Jose de Flores Cemetery Photo of the section destined for the victims of COVID-19 of the San Jose de Flores Cemetery on August 2020 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.Buenos Aires, Argentina TELAM Ramiro Gomez 2. An employee and a patient in a hall of the COVID-19 treatment facility at Pirogov City Clinical Hospital 1. The infectious diseases hospital treats COVID-19 patients, patients with suspected coronavirus and patients with viral community-acquired pneumonia.Pirogov, Russia TASS Sergei Karpukhin 04/20/2020 3. Health workers place a ventilated patient in prone position in the intensive care unit of COVID-19 patients at Santa Maria Hospital, in Lisbon, Portugal, 06 April 2020 (Issued 09 April 2020). Lisbon, Portugal LUSA Mario Cruz 04/09/2020 4. Municipality officials carry out disinfection works at Grand Bazaar, which was closed on March 23 within the coronavirus (Covid-19) measures, ahead of its opening on June 1, in Istanbul, Turkey on May 30, 2020. Istanbul, Turkey ANADOLU Elif Öztürk 05/30/2020
Control vs. Freedom
The world had no choice but to take the highest level of preventive action against the infection, such as by isolating confirmed cases, prohibiting gatherings, initiating lockdowns, and setting regional quarantines. There was a strong backlash when people were banned from traveling or engaging in leisure activities, visiting sports stadiums and participating in religious activities, and were ordered to wear face masks at all times. There was great confusion in the global community due to the virus’s rapid spread.
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1. Residents of a quarantined housing complex stand by the fence and clap their hands during a rally. The city government has quarantined an entire residential complex to contain the coronavirus on Groner Landstrasse. Goettingen, Germany DPA Swen Pförtner 06/23/2020 2. Delhi police officer wields his baton against a man as a punishment for breaking the lockdown rules after India ordered a 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in old Delhi, India on March 29, 2020. Delhi, India ANADOLU İtiyaz Khan 03/29/2020 3.Huoshenshan Hospital: A Race Against the Epidemic Aerial photo taken on Jan. 24, 2020 shows engineering machinery working at the construction site of Huoshenshan Hospital for admitting COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province. China has built the makeshift hospital with a capacity of 1,000 beds in 10 days to battle against novel coronavirus in Wuhan. Wuhan, China XINHUA Xiao Yijiu 01/24/2020 4. Military personnel are getting ready to donate blood in a field hospital Iran IRNA Hassan Shirvani
World in Standstill, Contact-free is New Norm
COVID-19 has left streets much emptier, and the economy almost came to a stop. People suddenly reduced their spending, and many lost their jobs. Nevertheless, people found ways to move on with their lives such as by working from home, implementing large-scale online classes, wearing face masks when working out, sitting far away from one another at churches, and putting on protective equipment before hugging a family member in a care center. The contactless lifestyle has replaced our previous way of life.
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1. One of the main underground lines in downtown Lisbon, Portugal 15 November 2016 (up) and today, 18th March 2020 (down). Lisbon, Portugal LUSA Miguel A. opes / Andre Kosters 11/15/2016 / 03/18/2020 2. Coles Epping Toilet Paper Queue People waiting in the toilet paper aisle for a delivery of toilet paper and paper towel at Coles Supermarket in Epping, Sydney, Friday, March 20, 2020. Supermarkets have been struggling to keep up with demand for products such as toilet paper in recent days, as panic buying grips the major centre's as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sydney, Australia AAP James Gourley 03/20/2020 3.The shrine of “Fatima bint Musa” in Qum City, normally a very crowded place, is closed to fight the pandemic. Qum, Iran IRNA Abbas Monajjemi Gilani 4. Pastor Scott Holmer (L) hears confession at his drive up confessional necessitated by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic at St Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Bowie, Maryland, USA, 20 March 2020. Maryland, USA EPA-EFE Shawn Thew 03/20/2020 5. Ben and Isaac talk to their grandmother Sue through awindow, as she and her husband Alan self-isolate due at their home in Knutsford, Cheshire Cheshire, United Kingdom PA Alan Rickett 6. A Thai nurse puts face shields on newborn babies as a precaution against the Covid-19 pandemic at PRINC Hospital Suvarnabhumi, in Samut Prakan province, Thailand, 08 April 2020. The hospital provides face shields to newborn infants to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Samut Prakan, Thailand EPA-EFE Rungroj Yongrit 04/08/2020 7. LOVE A woman (L) embraces her son (R) through a plastic device after three months without a hug at a nursing home in Valencia, Spain, June 19, 2020, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Valencia, Spain EFE Biel Alino 06/19/2020
Cooperation, Togetherness
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of medical teams, we have been able to get through the challenges posed by COVID-19 thus far. People have expressed their appreciation and respect for their silent commitment. Everyone stepped forward, donating money to bring relief to the poor and cheer one another up. The global community provided help and support wherever and whenever needed, as an act of love for humanity. Meanwhile, competition rose to dominance in the market for protective equipment and vaccines. Nevertheless, an important fact is that no nation or person is safe from the virus until there is a definite cure for everyone, because it is impossible to survive without being connected to the global community.
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1. Brief Rest Daegu, Republic of Korea YONHAP Lim Hwa-young 02/23/2020 2. Congratulations Workers of the Celanova’s nursing home celebrate one of their resident's 98th birthday in Galicia, northwestern Spain, May 8, 2020. This nursing home is one of many that started to see the light at the end of the tunnel at that point, after hundreds of residents died due to coronavirus during the pandemic crisis. Galicia, Spain EFE Brais Lorenzo 05/08/2020 3. Solidarity Volunteers prepare more than 200 portions of food to give away at St Anna Church in Barcelona, Spain, May 18, 2020, as the country faced then a lockdown due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Entities like the Food Bank have seen the demand of food increased as many other charity initiatives have emerged to help the most vulnerable. Barcelona, Spain EFE Quique Garcia 05/18/2020 4.A young man wearing a full face gas mask to protect himself against COVID-19 walks across the desolate Charles Bridge as he distributes food in Prague, Czech Republic, March 17, 2020. Prague, Czech Republic CTK Vit Simanek 03/17/2020 5. A couple and their dog, all wearing face masks, ride a scooter in Hanoi, Vietnam, 11 August 2020. Vietnam saw an uptick in coronavirus cases in early August after being free of domestically transmitted infections for 100 days. Hanoi, Vietnam EPA-EFE Luong Thai Linh 08/11/2020

Epilogue - We are all in the same boat

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1. Students are seen with their handmade face masks at the Julio Cesar Turbay school located at the urban area of the municipality of Soacha, a sector stigmatized by violence and lack of resources in Soacha, Colombia on March 11, 2020. In Colombia, students make their own face masks with recyclable and biodegradable waste (banana leaves, cloth, plastic bottles, cups of used bras, cob shells, among others) their own masks, after the high value of the conventional ones and the scarcity of them in supermarkets and drugstores, the problem comes from the high contamination of the sector, which presents alarming levels of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere and now added to the coronavirus pandemic COVIC- 19. Soacha, Colombia ANADOLU Juancho Torres 03/11/2020 2. People wearing face masks are seen during the rush hours amid restrictions against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Tokyo, Japan on April 02, 2020. Tokyo, Japan ANADOLU David Mareuil 04/02/2020