Journal #20 – Faceless artist from North Korea
The “Faceless” artist from North Korea
Sun-Mu, the “Faceless” artist, hides his identity because he wants to protect his family in North Korea. Because he is creating parodies of the North Korean propaganda, the North Korean regime would not like this; his family could be harmed because of his artworks. He also does not want to show his identity because it could alter the meaning of the artworks. He wants to make his paintings look and protray it in a certain way and maybe his identity could create a biased result.
Sun-Mu’s art is considered to be controversial because the paintings are very similar to the propanganda made in North Korea. Many South Koreans are still frightened by the North Koreans and anything that alarms them would seem unlawful. Although his artworks are parodies of the North Korean propagandas, many Koreans do not look at the hidden message of the paintings, but rather the outer appearance of the painting; because he had previously been an artist who drew for the North Korean government, he knows how to draw in a socialist realist style, and this makes the paintings more controversial.
His artworks are drawn in a way that depicts life in North Korea, but in a exaggerated or rhetoric style. Children are painted smiling in a creepy way. The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Ill, is drawn wearing a pink Nike jacket, red Adidas pants, and mismatching shoes. He draws in the socialist realist style, but the result is far from propaganda.