About | Mother and Child
‘Mother and Child’ is a memorial to all victims of sexual violence around the world. It is based on the concept of the Strangler Fig tree, a parasitic plant which takes over a host tree by entwining itself around its roots, trunk and branches, and is common in Vietnam. The mother represents one of the Vietnam War’s many victims of sexual assault at the hands of the South Korean soldiers. The child represents one of the Lai Dai Han, born as a result of these acts.
The tree metaphor has the mother rooted to the spot, leaning forward, trying but unable to move forward. The child comes from another tree, roots from a different place (signifying South Korean fathers) but is entwined with her in a loving, tender and sheltering manner.
The mother’s tender and protective hand on the child’s head speaks of the unbreakable bond and unconditional love between a mother and her child, even though the child is a constant reminder of something awful that happened; an act which, although traumatic, gave her a child she loves. The sculpture signifies the juxtaposition between these conflicting events and emotions.