27 November, 2012
Artwork by Song Byeok
Song Byeok’s artistic skills were made famous at the age of 24 when he became the official propaganda artist for North Korea, portraying glorified images of rulers Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. His loyalty shifted in the 1990s when he saw his family starve to death due to the famine. Song had attempted to defect to China. His father drowned in the Tumen river during an escape attempt, and Song ended up in a prison camp.
Song successfully defected to South Korea in 2002, where he began painting satirical imaes of oppressive regimes from around the world. Watch Song’s interview with the BBC here.
‘Take Off Your Clothes’ by Song Byeok
His first North American exhibit was in Atlanta, GA earlier this year and like all cool things these days, it was made possible by a Kickstarter campaign. Song’s latese work is currently on display at the Woolley Mammoth Threatre in Washington, DC.
For more information about Song, exhibits, and purchasing a print, check out the website www.songbyeok.com.