A North Korean defector sees his art silenced in China

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Look at us, by Sun Mu. The text translates as, “Let us endure hardship with a smile!”

An exhibition of works by a former North Korean propaganda artist was cancelled this week in China, reportedly under orders from the Chinese government. As AFP reports, Beijing’s Yuan Dian gallery was planning to show a collection from Sun Mu, a North Korean defector who uses a pseudonym for fear of retribution from Pyongyang. The month-long exhibition was due to open on July 27th, but according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, Chinese police blocked people from entering the gallery and removed Sun Mu’s paintings just before the opening.

Officials gave no reason for the closing, though China has a long history of censoring both media and art, and…

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