Photos: American University Museum, the Katzen Arts Center
This summer, Washingtonians have the chance to delve into the secretive, oppressive regime of North Korea through an exhibition that takes viewers beyond the country’s signature artistic mix of kitsch and propaganda.
“Contemporary North Korean Art: The Evolution of Socialist Realism” is the first show of its kind in the United States, curator BG Muhn told The Washington Diplomat, and he said he hopes it brings to light elements in the country’s art world that challenge stereotypes about expression inside the Hermit Kingdom.
Socialist Realism was the officially sanctioned art form in communist countries, notably the Soviet Union, that was intended to glorify socialist ideals. “The style is something that most people outside of North Korea have never had a chance to see before,” Muhn said.
The North Korean regime, a totalitarian state with severe constraints on freedom of expression and devastating violations of human