Opening reception Thursday, November 1, 6-8pm; Exhibit runs November 1-30, 2018
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) presents the work of North Korean defector artist Song Byeok in an exhibit at the Minnesota Street Project, located at 1275 Minnesota Street in San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood. The exhibit, "Longing for Freedom," is part of HRF's Art in Protest Program and will be on view from November 1st through November 30th, 2018. The opening reception will take place on Thursday, November 1st from 6-8pm. The exhibit previously ran in Los Angeles and plans are being developed to take it to other cities.
In addition to the work by Song Byeok, HRF will be showcasing an interactive art installation: the Flash Drives for Freedom campaign. The campaign is designed to disrupt dictator Kim Jong-un's propaganda machine by empowering North Koreans with information from the outside world. Attendees are invited to bring their old USB drives to the exhibit and donate them to this cause. We will thoroughly wipe all donated drives before loading them with pop culture, news, and video content. With the generosity of donors from around the world and expertise from North Korean defector organizations, HRF has sent more than 60,000 USB sticks into North Korea. Donate your drives and join HRF's campaign to raise awareness about the intersection of technology and human rights and the impact of sending news and information into closed societies.
Song Byeok has been called the "Andy Warhol of North Korea" for his colorful and provocative works. He spent seven years painting official propaganda posters for the North Korean government, with images of happy rural laborers and slogans lauding the country's happiness and prosperity. But Song has also personally experienced the dark reality of life in North Korea-he has suffered famine, been arrested and tortured, and spent six months in a labor camp. Having finally managed to escape, he now uses his art to draw widespread attention to the abuses happening in North Korea.