Graphic Designer and Illustrator

Remember Sewol

This is a story of a fictional character, a girl who drowned in the Sewol ferry. She wakes up somewhere dark and goes back to her school, home and then finally to the port where she meets her dad and eventually confronts her own dead body.

Readers can follow the main character as she witnesses what is happening after the ferry sank. When a boy asks her the time, she looks at the watch to realise that it had stopped. The broken watch indicates that her time in this world has already ended. And later on, her dad identifies his daughter by recognising the watch that he gave to her on her birthday.

Fiction based on disaster

The purpose of this project is to bring the Sewol ferry disaster into light once again so people wouldn’t forget what happened, and would try continuously to find out what really happened, and why it happened. I want my character to speak in first person to create emotional resonance. People would see things in her point of view and be able to connect with a sense of loss, which is far bigger than an individual sense of loss.

On this page:
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3. Image from Ahn Youngjoon/AP
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Defining style

I’ve chosen to turn my story into a short graphic novel. As I aimed to draw attention of the Korean people and connect them with the feelings of Sewol ferry victims, using cartoons would be a good way. Some images needed to be full page for attention and emphasis while others needed to be in smaller panels. I made my characters more simplistic as I developed them.

Colour palette

I worked in pencil using black only, then scanned the images and added yellow and blue to the people and the surroundings with Photoshop. My main character is going to be black and white to implicate that she does not belong to the living world.


I saddle-stitched my work. There are two versions: one in colour, and the other in black considering the case of mass printing.

Final outcome

These are the final images for this project. What I attempted was to bring the universal emotion, sadness, and allow people time to mourn for the victims.
I didn’t just want to describe a historical fact, but wanted to allow people to feel the deep sense of loss that has once affected the whole nation.

Sewol ferry sank on 16th April, 2014 off the coast of South Korea, killing 304 people, mostly teenage students. The ship was over 20 years old and when the ship began to sink, the crew failed to evacuate the passengers. Nine bodies have yet to be found. The accident was a man-made error, due mainly to lack of safety awareness and training. Families held protests and vigils but not much has been resolved since the sinking. This worst ferry disaster in South Korea is still a big grievance and distress to many of South Korean people.