Show imagines Korean unification

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Show imagines Korean unification


North Korean oil paintings with propagandistic themes are on display at the Seoul Museum of Art. Loaned by Dutch collector Ronald de Groen, they are being shown in the South for the first time. Provided by the museum

An exhibition that provides a rare glimpse inside North Korea opened at the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) on Tuesday to commemorate the 70th National Liberation Day that will fall on Aug. 15.

Regarding the intention of the show, titled “NK Project,” the museum said, “We need to put our heads together and discuss how we should represent, imagine and connect with North Korea as the very close but distant ‘other,’ before it is too late.”

The show is divided into three parts. The first part features North Korean oil paintings with propagandistic themes, posters and stamps.

They can be summarized as North Korea viewed from a North Korean perspective - not by North Korean people but by the regime.


Kang Ik-joong’s installation piece “Geumsugangsan,” which portrays his hope for unification of the two Koreas, is part of the “NK Project” show at the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA). The title means the beautiful natural scenery of the Korean Peninsula.

The oils and posters, loaned by Dutch collectors, and the stamps, loaned by a South Korean collector, are being shown in the South for the first time.

The second part consists of photographs of North Korean scenery and people by foreign artists - North Korea from an outside perspective.

The third part includes photos, media art and installation pieces by South Korean artists including Kang Ik-joong and Noh Suntag. They depict political tension and unification issues between the two Koreas.


The show runs through Sept. 29. Admission is free. The museum is closed Mondays. For details, visit or call (02) 2124-8800.

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