Artwork of soldier holding Campbell's soup can
“Let Me Taste It” (2010)
Song Byeok
Song Byeok

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 Hawaiʻi 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.

The event is organized by UH Mānoa’s Center for Korean Studies and is supported by the Core University Program for Korean Studies through the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Studies Promotion Service of the Academy of Korean Studies.

Conference schedule

Welcome, 2–2:05 p.m.
Tae-Ung Baik (Center for Korean Studies, William S. Richardson 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)

Questions and Answers, 4–5 p.m.