"Defector artist" from North Korea visits UH Manoa with his art

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Harrison Kim, (573) 777-0844
Department of History
Posted: Apr 4, 2019

Song Byeok
Song Byeok
Let Me Taste It (2010)
Let Me Taste It (2010)

Song Byeok is one of the most acclaimed Korean artists living today. He is from North Korea, where he was a propaganda artist for the North Korean government for two decades. After defecting in 2002, Byeok has turned his prolific creativity into powerful, satirical art using North Korea’s ruling culture as motifs. He has been featured in the Washington Post, NPR, ABC News, Reuters, Huffington Post, The Guardian and CNN.

Song Byeok visits the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa to showcase his art in the exhibit, The Iconoclast: Art of Song Byeok, April 17 and 18, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. at the Center for Korean Studies.

He will participate in a conference held at the Center for Korean Studies on “The North Korean Diaspora: Art and Politics” with other experts on April 17, 2-5 p.m.

Conference schedule:

Welcome, 2 – 2:05 p.m.
Tae-Ung Baik (Center for Korean Studies, School of Law, UH Mānoa)

Introduction of the Conference, 2:05 – 2:15 p.m.
C. Harrison Kim (History, UH Mānoa)

Diaspora, 2:15 – 2:45 p.m.
Leaving Home: The North Korean Diaspora
Sandra Fahy (Anthropology, Sophia University, Japan)

Activism, 2:45 – 3:15 p.m.
Fighting for the North Korean People: Human Rights and Politics
Henry Hyun S. Song (Activist, United States and South Korea)

Art, 3:30 – 4 p.m.
My Journey from North Korea and the Political Potency of My Art
Song Byeok (Artist, South Korea and Germany)

Q&A, 4 – 5 p.m.

Note to media: Song Byeok will be available for interviews at the exhibit at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17. An interpreter will be available.