Art & Exhibition


23 April – 2 July

In collaboration with the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Sydney and Anzac Memorial in Sydney, the Korean Cultural Centre Australia is proud to present ‘1951: the critical year of the Korean War’.

‘1951: the critical year of the Korean War’ marks the 70-year anniversary of the renowned Battle of Kapyong and the Battle of Maryang San. These landmark actions saw United Nationals Command forces fight valiantly against the massive Chinese offensive of 1951. A strong contingent of Australian troops played a seminal role in both battles, ultimately dissuading the Chinese from continuing their attack.

Curated by Senior Historian and curator of Sydney’s Anzac Memorial, Bradley Manera, this exhibition is a clarion call to remember the Korean War; which is often overshadowed by longer, most costly battles waged in Vietnam and the Middle East over the ensuing decades.

In particular, it acknowledges the immense contribution that Australian soldiers made to the war, and on the frontline of these two decisive battles. Their efforts are considered critically important in blunting the Chinese offensive and defending Seoul from recapture.

This is a fitting focus, given that the exhibition also aligns with the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Korea. ‘1951: the critical year of the Korean War’ serves to celebrate – and strengthen – the ongoing alliance and offer deeper insight into what this looked like through the lens of the Battle of Kapyong and the Battle of Maryang San.

The exhibition showcases interactive walls that feature objects and images from both battles and an interview film with veterans.

As visitors interact with the display, they will be reminded of the 17,000 Australian sailors, soldiers and airmen who served during the Korean War. In the lead-up to Anzac Day, the exhibition’s focus on commemoration, sacrifice and heroism is made all the more potent.

Curator Bradley Manera says:

“Over the decades, the Korean War has slipped from public consciousness. This exhibition will be a timely reflection on its significance and how it forged an unbreakable link between Australia and Korea.  Ahead of Anzac Day, lest we forget the Australian soldiers’ innumerable honours and legacy.”




Slide Image: Kapyong Valley, Korea, 18 April 1952. This photograph, taken a year after the battle, shows the road to Seoul, around which the battle of Kapyong was fought. AWM 147844
Image: Lieutenant Leonard Montgomerie (centre, front row) with his men, shown resting after the battle, April 1951. AWM 147350