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Mom meets late child through VR


MBC on Thursday aired a documentary showing Jang Ji-seong meeting her late child through virtual reality. (MBC)
MBC on Thursday aired a documentary showing Jang Ji-seong meeting her late child through virtual reality. (MBC)

A mother featured in an MBC documentary featuring her eight-month journey to reunited with her dead child through virtual reality has gone offline, saying she needed a break from the publicity.

The mother, Jang Ji-seong, felt she had to shut down her blog, the producer of the documentary said on a radio show Friday.






A video clip of the show uploaded on YouTube by the production team had garnered 6 million views as of Sunday.

The production stemmed from the idea that VR technology can allow us to meet people when it would otherwise be impossible to do so.

For the project, the team met with Jang, a mother of four who lost her 7-year-old child in 2016. Nayeon was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, a life-threatening disease of overactive immune cells. She died a month after the diagnosis, on her first day of chemotherapy.


Screenshots of MBC's documentary aired Thursday (MBC)
Screenshots of MBC's documentary aired Thursday (MBC)

The production team worked on the project with VR experts to create a moving installation of Nayeon, using data from photos and videos taken in her lifetime.

The content allowed Jang, equipped with VR gear, to have a birthday party with Nayeon in a park that the two had visited in reality. The installation of Nayeon also had a voice.

After the show aired, Jang shared on her blog, “Nayeon did not smile in my dreams. In my dreams, she always had a resentful gaze perhaps due to my guilt. It was such great happiness to see Nayeon who was calling me with a smile.”

“It was a dream that I always wanted to dream. My lovely three children’s laughter is filling Nayeon’s empty spot a lot,” Jang wrote on her blog before it was taken offline. “I want to live with my three children in happiness, with more love, rather than just mourning and being in pain, so that I won’t be ashamed of myself when I meet Nayeon.”

The next episode of the documentary will be aired March 12, going behind-the-scenes of the project.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)
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