CHEIL WORLDWIDE, Seoul / SAMSUNG / 2016
This idea was developed to bring some measure of comfort to those who’ve long been weary of the wait and fulfill their last wish.
The idea involved old photographs and KIST’s 3D age progression technology, originally developed to identify criminals and missing persons.
This software was used to predict the faces of the divided family members by drawing from the faces found in old photographs dating back to before the war. At least this way, families in North and South Korea who have been separated from their loved ones can be reunited in the pages of photo albums.
We reached out to 23 persons who fortunately had old photographs taken before the Korean War 70 years ago. The likenesses of the family members were predicted using the age progression software. The photographs were featured in an exhibition which was opened to the public to touch more lives through these stories.
We placed phone calls to over 2,000 people who were separated from their families during the Korean War to determine how many still had photographs of their families living in North Korea. We narrowed down the candidates and visited them at their homes. Twenty-three respondents had actual photographs we could use, and these photographs were delivered to KIST (Korea Institute of Science and Technology). Using 3D age progression software, KIST created images of the current likenesses of the missing family members by predicting what they must look like today. We then provided the computer graphic design work to produce photographs of the families from both South and North Korea. These unique photographs, together with the stories of the families who have been separated for over 70 years, were featured in an exhibition that was viewed not only by the separated families and senior citizens, but by young people as well.
Major media outlets across the Republic of Korea featured this story, with much of the press and various media channels announcing the opening of the photo exhibition. Online, the promotional video for this exhibition recorded over 400,000 views (as of August 21). Throughout its three-day run, the exhibition drew nearly 1,000 visitors who came to share the emotional moments.
What was especially meaningful was seeing the divided families who had been lost from their loved ones for nearly 70 years find comfort in the photographs. This campaign was meaningful for Korean citizens as well, as it gave everyone the opportunity to remind themselves once again of the families’ sorrow.