Lost Origins Gallery Presents Graphic Novel: A (North) Korean Story by Song Byeok

By Editorial Team on January 6, 2020

Sat, 11 January 2020 - Sun, 23 February 2020

Courtesy of Lost Origins Gallery.
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 11 from 7pm to 10pm


Lost Origins Gallery is excited to kick off 2020 with an AMAZING exhibit of satirical propaganda by North Korean artist Song Byeok. Song utilizes a new found creative freedom with the techniques he learned as a propaganda artist for the North Korean regime.  Images of political satire are shown in stark contrast to those depicting the reality of everyday life in the Hermit Kingdom. The viewer is confronted with a divided, forgotten people alongside larger than life world leaders. By repurposing the very skills learned to further the work of the regime, Song amalgamates art and activism, thereby asking the audience to enter into the (North) Korean Story.

Watch this BBC feature on Song Byeokhttps://www.bbc.com/news/av/magazine-20500030/north-korean-propaganda-artist-song-byeok-turns-satirist

Artist Statement 
There are many peoples and nations in this world. Within each people group and nation there may be differences in status but for each human there exists the same dignity. But under the same sky we look upon tonight, there is a nation of people that live under oppression; they live without knowing their own worth as human beings. They have no sense of their own dignity. The concept of human rights is foreign to them. These people live their lives in a darkness that lacks the basic freedoms and rights. In this place there is only one person who has worth, this person is their sun, their god. To them to survive with hope for tomorrow is more precious than anything else. Everyone in this world is equal and should be respected as a human being. Freedom of religion, freedom of art, freedom of speech, freedom of expression; these are the most fundamental freedoms of man.

I have lived in oppression for over 30 years, deprived of all freedom under the North Korean regime.

Through my paintings I want to say that all human beings are created by God and are created equal and should be respected as such. One regime, one individual, cannot take away the dignity that God has given to us.

Song Byeok was born in Hwanghaedo, North Korea. He was a painter of propaganda posters for the regime until he fled to South Korea in 2002. Song received his Bachelors in Art Education from National Gongju Univeristy and his Masters in Oriental Studies from Hongik University. He went on to be a professor in the Fine Arts Department at National Gongju University. Song’s work focuses on human rights violations under the  North Korean regime. Song has exhibited his work since 2007 and had his first exhibit in the US in 2012. Song’s efforts led to the 2016 United States Delegationn’s “Influence of External Information Influence” event. Song was awarded the 2018 Global Artist Award for his work concerning the North Korean human rights crisis. Song has been featured on CNN, Washington Post, the BBC, and Asahi in Japan. Song’s masterpiece is the satirical “Get Naked” (2010) featuring Marilyn Monroe’s body and Kim Jong Il’s head.