Cho Yang-gyu’s series of work created in Japan for 13 years is a consistent embodiment of his thoughts, via more refined metaphor and intuitive motives from the perspective of a bottom feeder, on how Japan had sought profit-making using modern capitalism instead of expanding imperial colonies this time after August 1945, while Korea was going through the liberation period and Korean war. Not only <Warehouse series> and <Manhole series> but also <Little motive> <Mother-child motive> and <Laborer motive>, showing diverse forms of molding under a certain motive, are a good example to believe that Cho Yang-gyu’s thinking motives were expressed persistently in his work.
Such a philosophical perspective found in Cho Yang-gyu’s work is closely related to his new life as an artist, who had had a career of leftism until this involved him in political events and forced him to board a smuggler to Japan. The existing studies connected his past in Korea to the philosophical themes and motifs of the work he created in Japan for 13 years.
So Cho Yang-gyu has been chiefly illuminated by his political movement of leftist thinking in Korean liberation period and his related activity. However, this essay takes notice of his record of performances in Korea which has been unknown so far and the mother and child image found in his course of study. His mother-child image was initiated in his life in Busan in the liberation period and is considered due to Cho Yang-gyu’s unusual family history. This image is also deeply related to Kather Kollwitz by which he was fascinated when attending a teachers’ college and her major motif mother and child.
This article, then, traces the mother-child image he continually sought in his activity as an artist in Japan and interaction with other authors in the relevant period of time. There are not many mother and child images found in Cho Yang-gyu’s work in Japan but, looking by division into work of expressing relational meaning between his mother country (Mother) and him (Child) and reproduction of actual mother and child image in molding, these two types of mother-child image are continually confirmed in his 13 years of activity in Japan. Moreover, relation to mother-child image discovered in interaction with other authors still proves his intentional pursuit of a mother-child image.
To conclude, Cho Yang-gyu’s mother and child image was a fateful image which began in Korea’s liberation period with his personal family history and political movement, routine image sought in performing in Japan along with other philosophical motifs, and continual image sought constantly in performing work and social interaction, although not embodied in many works of his.