Upside-Down Propaganda: The Art of North Korean Defector Sun Mu

The Wende Museum
The Armory, Culver City, California
Sunday, February 10, 2019 - Sunday, June 2, 2019 

The Wende presents the first U.S. museum exhibition of the North Korean dissident artist Sun Mu. 

Sun Mu – a pseudonym, meaning “no borders” – fled his country (the last remaining Stalinist state on earth) in 1998. Trained as a propaganda-poster artist, he continues to work in the style in which he once glorified the North Korean army and state leaders, ironically turning propagandistic messages on their heads.  

Sun Mu’s first exhibition in Seoul was met with confused responses, as some viewers felt they were being confronted with North Korean state propaganda, and the authorities were called. In 2014, a planned exhibition of Sun Mu’s works in Beijing was canceled at the last minute, following North Korean protests.  

Wende Museum Board members Blaine Vess (who serves on the board of Liberty in North Korea) and Fiona Chalom combined efforts to retrieve Sun Mu's paintings from China and bring them to Southern California, where the Wende will present the first U.S. museum exhibition of the dissident artist's work.  

Click here to view the exhibition catalogue