05 December 2022
“Breaking Barriers One Brushstroke at a Time”: Artists Challenge How People with Disabilities Are Seen in Society
“Breaking Barriers One Brushstroke at a Time” is a short documentary that reveals how individual artists with disabilities create new perspectives for society as a whole. The documentary looks through the eyes of South Korean artists with disabilities to reveal a new perspective for whole societies on the true meaning of inclusion in today’s diverse world. “Breaking Barriers One Brushstroke at a Time,” takes viewers inside the homes and lives of two artists with disabilities who communicate through their paintings, and in the process teach audiences to listen with their eyes. Far more than an exercise in social development, the fine works of these artists with autism carry intrinsic artistic value evidenced by their commercial debut at the Seoul Arts Center, the largest and most prestigious venue of its kind in the country. The United Nations estimates that 15 percent of all people – one in seven – has a disability. Understanding is key to ensuring that these more than one billion people lead fulfilling lives where they are fully integrated into a society that respects their rights and benefits from their contributions. Through interviews with the families and intimate glimpses at the lives and loves of two artists, Hansol Kim and Hyeshin Park “Breaking Barriers” tells a specific story of struggle that also has universal themes: finding voice in a world that doesn’t listen, expressing truths that rises above the noise, and coming of age by coming to terms with who one is and what they have to contribute to society. With a temperate pace and imaginative sensibility, “Breaking Barriers” conveys a message without words: that inspiration is everywhere, and disability is a matter of perspective, and all of us share a common humanity that is captured and comprehended through art.