IF THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT WONDERS why its own people find its modern cultural output stultifying, then maybe it shouldn’t stultify quite so much:
A North Korean defector known for his satirical paintings on North Korean society was forbidden from holding a rare exhibition in Beijing on Sunday, with Chinese police officials removing his artwork shortly before the exhibition began.
The painter from North Korea with the pseudonym Sun Mu, who fled the North in 1998 and resettled in South Korea in 2001, has been called a “faceless” artist as he does not allow himself to be photographed out of fears that his family left behind could suffer retribution. [Yonhap]
This man must be brave to go to a country that’s swarming with regime agents, assassins, and abduction squads. The good news story here is that North Koreans are emerging as a cultural force in their own right. That will eventually make them a serious cultural threat to the regime.