Makoso Tshonde, 38, and 11-year-old Morena –who fled the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007 – teamed up with Glasgow School of Art student Mikey Cook to create a stunning piece of "living art" to underline their message on International Day of the Disappeared yesterday.
Mr Cook, 22, painted Makoso's clothes to gradually blend him into the red background that he stood in front of. It gave an impression of Makoso disappearing – or reappearing – while Morena stands beside him, reaching out to his father.
Makoso was spirited out of Congo because of his campaign against the country's then government, which led to him being jailed. He fled to another Africa state before flying to London, from where the authorities sent him to live in Glasgow.
Morena, then six, was left behind in the Congo with his stepmother and stepsisters but they too had to leave their home.
Makoso said: "It was a very bad time for me. I had to leave my son behind and didn't know if I would ever see him again."
Makoso contacted the Glasgow-based Red Cross International Tracing and Message Service and they were able to help him reach contacts in his homeland who found Morena.
With its support, Morena was finally given leave to come to Scotland to be reunited with his father. Now he speaks fluent English – with a Scots accent – attends primary school and loves football.
Makoso added: "It is important never to give up hope. It is important that others facing the same situation I was in realise that there are people like the Red Cross who can help, no matter how bad things might seem. Life is still not easy, but at least I have my son back and together we can build a new future for ourselves."