By Park Hye Ri
A video that has colorized black-and-white photos of Korean independence activists in the early 20th century will be released for the 104th anniversary of the March First Independence Movement in 1919, which called for liberation from Japan’s colonial occupation of the Korean Peninsula.
The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs said on Feb. 27, "We used artificial intelligence (AI) technology to colorize the black-and-white photos of independence activists such as Kim Koo, Ahn Jung-geun, Yu Gwan-sun and Yun Bong-gil and made a video of these photos."
"The video will be screened on the electronic screen on the outer walls of the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History in Seoul's Gwanghwamun Square."
The video will be screened until April 11, the anniversary of the establishment of the Korean Provisional Government.
The ministry said that it planned the video to promote the spirit of independence, which has served as the wellspring for the freedom, prosperity and pride that Koreans enjoy today; and to remind the viewers of the independence activists' love for their country by directly revealing their main quotes.
The video features the following 15 independence activists: Kim Koo, Kim Jwa-jin, Ernest Thomas Bethell, Song Jin-woo, Ahn Jung-geun, Ahn Chang-ho, Yu Gwan-sun, Yun Dong-ju, Yun Bong-gil, Rhee Syngman, Lee Hoe-young, Cho So-ang, Choi Jae-hyung, Han Yong-un and Homer Hulbert.
The work utilized AI technologies such as the generative facial prior-generative adversarial network (GFP-GAN) and face restoration to change the black-and-white photos into high-resolution color photos, based on which the video was made.
Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs Park Minshik said, "Through the video that is screened on the occasion of the 104th anniversary of March First Independence Movement, we hope people remember that today's free and prosperous Republic of Korea stands on the blood and sweat of our patriotic martyrs."