Sunday, February 06, 2011

“Forever Freedom"

Before his father’s death and his own incarceration for attempting to cross illegally into China, Song Byeok didn’t dare grumble about his life in North Korea. He was just hungry. That’s all he complained about.

his horrifying experiences in prison planted the seeds of hatred towards the regime, and having now made it to Seoul, the 42-year-old Mr. Song expresses himself in art.

The soft-spoken, bespectacled Mr. Song spoke to the Wall Street Journal a day after he opened his first exhibition in Seoul. About 30 paintings are on display at the show, titled “Forever Freedom,” and most are bitterly satirical takes on North Korean society and Kim Jong Il.

One of the most striking works features the torso of Marilyn Monroe in the iconic white halter dress from the movie ‘The Seven Year Itch’, topped with the head of Kim Jong Il. Mr. Song says the picture, titled “Take Off,” aims to deliver a message to Kim: Stop hiding the truth from people and let them see.

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