The Gwangju Biennale 2018 is showing 22 paintings from North Korea to the South Korean public for the first time through the extraordinary and courageous efforts of curator, B.G.Muhn, Georgetown Art professor and artist. My expectation of North Korean art was cartoonish social realism, but in these paintings changed my view completely. I am struck by the expressiveness, the vibrant colors, rhythmic lyricism, playful sentimentality and sense of togetherness and humanity. I wish I knew what the poster behind the bus stop said that no one is noticing. The women around the laptop is a fascinating scene as is the way the pink and yellow fabrics are painted in contrast to the drab surroundings. My father was from Anju in North Korea. His family fled and became refugees in 1943 when he was 9 years-old. Seeing these images feels healing. Thank you B.G. Muhn for pioneering this connection to artists in North Korea. You have made a bridge so that we can see each other with more humanity.
Comments are closed.