Wednesday, February 22, 2012

song byeok exhibition - the goat farm

While a lot of this blog is filled with animal prints, macarons, and brunch, I want to dedicate an entry to a cause I've championed since college. As a Korean-American and one whose ancestral roots can be traced to the area known as North Korea today, I've always had a strange fascination with the deeply hermitic state. A part of me has always wondered what luck in the universe brought me to grow up in America when I could have very easily been born in a seemingly alternate universe halfway around the world. It seems like a cruel trick of fate.

The human rights atrocities occurring in North Korea are no secret. Concentration camps, generational punishments, and famine are just a few of the societal problems. But despite all of it - and in this case, from it - beauty arises.


From Feb. 17-26, former North Korean propaganda artist Song Byeok is showing an exhibition of his works at the Goat Farm in West Midtown. Clearly drawing inspiration from his experiences in North Korea, his work jabs at the regime's assertion of Kim Jong-il's godliness. One particular work, called "Take Off Your Clothes," has the former leader's head mounted on Marilyn Monroe's "Seven Year Itch" body. But the work that struck me the most was the mural of the Tumen River (the natural border that divides North Korea and China and a site where many desperate North Koreans perish in their attempts to escape), a reflection upon the fated night Song lost his father. Done in simple black and white, the only color in the piece are the red letters of propaganda messages scattered on the hills. At first glance, you feel nothing but doom and desperation, but upon closer inspection, the paper glistens with glitter - a glimmer of hope, perhaps?


In order to continue his first tour in the U.S., a Kickstarter fund needs $1000 to reach their goal. You can find more information about it here. There are small gifts that accompany each pledge, so if you're looking to make that last minute tax deductible donation before your taxes, now is a great time.


The show runs until this SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, so head down to the Goat Farm to see the work for yourself.

Goat Farm
1200 Foster St., Atlanta, GA 30318
Hours: 1pm - 9:30pm


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  3. thank you for this post! this is a beautiful and inspiring post to read, and i am glad that people like you blog about such important subjects and understand that we are pretty damn lucky for living a free life