Take Off Your Clothes,acrylic on hanji, 3.11 x 6.04, 2010
The North Korean painter Song Byeok began his career as an official propaganda artist, painting posters exalting the glory of Kim Jong Il. One day in 2000, everything changed for Song when he and his father attempted to cross a river into China to buy rice for their family. Song's father was swept away and drowned while he -- despite his connections with the regime -- was arrested and spent six months in a prison camp.
A short time later, Song escaped the country and defected to South Korea, where he went on to attend university and study art. Today, the 44-year-old has earned acclaim in his second career, painting subversive and often hilarious satires of North Korean life and politics.
From April 13-20, an exhibition of Song's work will be held at the Dunes gallery in Washington. The artist spoke by phone with FP from his home in Seoul about his work and hopes for North Korea's future.
Courtesy of www.songbyeok.com