I Am Sun Mu

Directed by Adam Sjöberg

FULL TRANSCRIPT

 

 

 

00:00:05:00 --> 00:00:18:04

TITLE CARD:

Sun Mu, a former North Korean propaganda artist, escaped the country in the 1990s.  He is one of the first North Korean artists to be able to share his art with the world.

 

 

 

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A professor told me that I look South Korean by appearance, but I was North Korean by heart.

 

 

 

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I replied, "Yeah, you are right.

 

 

 

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I am a North Korean inside out,

 

 

 

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and I don't want to deny it."

 

 

 

5

 

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I want my friends and family back in North Korea

 

to live a better life.

 

 

 

6

 

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I long for a world where people in North Korea and South Korea live peacefully.

 

 

 

7

 

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It's not like I'm putting myself in danger on purpose.

 

 

 

8

 

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I've just been doing what I have to do.

 

 

 

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This is just what I'm destined for.

 

 

 

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TITLE CARD:

I AM SUN MU

 

 

 

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TITLE CARD:

Sun Mu has been offered a solo exhibition in a Beijing gallery.  It will be the first time a North Korean has exhibited their art in China without the supervision of the North Korean government.

 

 

 

00:04:50:15 --> 00:04:55:07

TITLE CARD:

4 Months until Sun Mu’s exhibit in Beijing

 

 

 

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TITLE CARD:

Yuan Art Museum

Beijing, China

 

 

 

10

 

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Whenever I come to China, the nervousness and fear that I had 10 years ago comes right back.

 

 

 

11

 

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Of course it's less than it was 10 years ago,

 

but that memory is still vivid.

 

 

 

12

 

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I feel like every time I come back to China it will be like this.

 

 

 

13

 

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I work in hiding, but also publicly.

 

 

 

14

 

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That's what makes art so fun.

 

 

 

15

 

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Even if you work in the dark, it doesn't stay in the dark.

 

 

 

16

 

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It becomes public.

 

 

 

17

 

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It's fun.

 

 

 

18

 

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I like it.

 

 

 

19

 

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I had my first exhibition upon graduating college.

 

 

 

20

 

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It caught the media's attention.

 

 

 

21

 

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Then during my first solo exhibition, the media came again and wrote about my artwork.

 

 

 

22

 

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I created a piece,

 

 

 

23

 

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there's a bedridden Kim Jong Il,

 

and a kid is handing him a coke bottle.

 

 

 

24

 

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It's called 'Take Some Medicine.’

 

 

 

25

 

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That was published in Time magazine.

 

 

 

26

 

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So far I've had exhibits in

 

 

 

27

 

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Berlin.

 

 

 

28

 

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Interviewer: Why don't you show your face?

 

 

 

29

 

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Well, if I showed my face in public

 

 

 

30

 

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it is clear that my parents and siblings living in North Korea

 

 

 

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will be in danger.

 

 

 

32

 

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This damn world hasn't allowed me to present myself publicly,

 

 

 

33

 

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That's the only reason I can't reveal who I am.

 

 

 

34

 

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"There is nothing to envy in the world."

 

 

 

00:08:56:08 --> 00:09:01:06

TITLE CARD:

Seoul, South Korea

 

 

 

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TITLE CARD:

Angela

Sun Mu’s Wife

 

 

 

35

 

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When I first met him, I didn't like him that much.

 

 

 

36

 

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He came wearing socks that had holes in them

 

 

 

37

 

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and it was winter, so he wore two sets of long johns,

 

 

 

38

 

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and two sweaters,

 

 

 

39

 

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and a jacket that had lost all its insulating cotton.

 

 

 

40

 

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We started dating

 

 

 

41

 

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and I was so curious.

 

 

 

42

 

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It was my first time meeting a defector.

 

 

 

43

 

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I didn't even know there was such a thing as a

 

North Korean defector.

 

 

 

44

 

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I also had experienced a lot of heartbreak within my family.

 

 

 

45

 

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But I realized he had experienced a different kind of heartbreak.

 

 

 

46

 

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My kids are so blessed to have Sun Mu as a dad.

 

 

 

47

 

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He's very thoughtful, and is like a friend to them.

 

 

 

48

 

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One time, they asked where their grandma was.

 

 

 

49

 

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So I wanted to express that situation.

 

 

 

50

 

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Grandma is in that neighborhood up north, but we can't go because of the barbed wire.

 

 

 

51

 

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This is my first daughter.

 

 

 

52

 

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Whenever talk of her grandma comes up, she wants to send a letter in the mail,

 

 

 

53

 

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but it can't be delivered.

 

 

 

54

 

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So I expressed the reality of north and south through this.

 

 

00:12:07:03 --> 00:12:10:11

TITLE CARD:

Il Gon

Sun Mu’s Friend

 

 

 

55

 

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In North Korea there's no such thing as contemporary art.

 

 

 

56

 

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His experiences in North Korea are part of his style

 

 

 

57

 

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but what he has felt here in the south

 

has also been mixed into his style.

 

 

 

58

 

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If Korean reunification were to suddenly happen, I think it would resemble Sun Mu's paintings.

 

 

 

00:13:26:12 --> 00:13:31:08

TITLE CARD:

Sungkok Art Museum

Seoul, South Korea

 

 

 

59

 

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My name is Cui Xianji.

 

 

 

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This is a retrospective of my artwork.

 

 

 

00:13:53:05 --> 00:13:56:16

TITLE CARD:

Cui Xianji

Chinese-Korean Artist

 

 

 

61

 

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A retrospective of an artist in his 50s,

 

 

 

62

 

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and I get to show and look back on all the artwork I have made thus far.

 

 

 

63

 

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Because I'm second generation Korean-Chinese

 

 

 

64

 

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I know Korea better than other Chinese people,

 

 

 

65

 

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and I know China better than any other Koreans.

 

 

 

66

 

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It was 2008 when I originally met Sun Mu.

 

 

 

67

 

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I was at the Busan Biennale in 2008

 

 

 

68

 

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and there was an incident.

 

 

 

69

 

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The night before the opening ceremony, Sun Mu's painting was withdrawn.

 

 

 

70

 

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The flag is upside down.

 

 

 

71

 

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The flag suggests the country is backwards.

 

 

 

72

 

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My hands were trembling when I was painting this piece.

 

 

 

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I always had a fear that someone might sneak up behind me and stab me.

 

 

 

74

 

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It took a lot of courage.

 

 

 

75

 

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There can be a fight between the artist and the audience.

 

 

 

76

 

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And in this fight based on misunderstanding, I was in the middle.

 

 

 

77

 

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Only I could understand both sides.

 

 

 

78

 

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People make it all politicized whenever

 

there is any image of North Korea.

 

 

 

79

 

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But that's my life story.

 

 

 

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TITLE CARD:

Beijing, China

 

 

 

80

 

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My name is Liang Kegang.

 

I am the director of Beijing Yuan Art Museum.

 

 

 

81

 

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I have worked at the Yuan Gallery for three years, and the gallery has been here for six years.

 

 

 

82

 

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Last year, artist Cui Xianji introduced me to Sun Mu.

 

 

 

83

 

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When I heard that he is an artist who defected from North Korea,

 

I became very interested.

 

 

 

00:17:00:22 --> 00:17:04:17

TITLE CARD:

Mansudae Art Museum

Official North Korean Art Gallery

 

 

 

84

 

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In Beijing, there are many North Korean artists who draw their government's propaganda.

 

 

 

85

 

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Those paintings look very funny

 

 

 

86

 

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They are like the Chinese propaganda of 40 years ago during the Cultural Revolution.

 

 

 

87

 

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I had never met an artist who escaped North Korea and now does real contemporary art.

 

 

 

88

 

00:17:43,724 --> 00:17:52,124

 

 

 

 

 

89

 

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Ever since they started the “Six Party Talks,” it's never gone right.

 

 

 

90

 

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But I was thinking, what if it were little children?

 

 

 

91

 

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If it were little children, wouldn't they just hold hands and play around together?

 

 

 

92

 

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He didn't paint the suffering and present only the wounds,

 

 

 

93

 

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but he painted hope, a beautiful thing. This is very precious.

 

 

 

94

 

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At the end of 2013, I went to Seoul with Cui Xianji,

 

 

 

95

 

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and in Seoul, I paid a visit to Sun Mu's studio.

 

 

 

96

 

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When I entered his studio, it was very good work.

 

I liked it very much.

 

 

 

97

 

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So I decided to do a solo exhibition for him.

 

 

 

00:19:33:16 --> 00:19:40:08

TITLE CARD:

Cui Xianji has offered to host Sun Mu in his studio in Beijing while he prepares for his exhibit.

 

 

 

98

 

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North Korea is bound to know about this exhibit, since there's a North Korean embassy there.

 

 

 

99

 

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To be honest, this exhibition worries me a lot.

 

 

 

100

 

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I felt I had to give him my approval,

 

but we will have to be very cautious.

 

 

 

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TITLE CARD:

9 weeks until Sun Mu’s exhibit in Beijing.

 

 

 

00:20:39:05 --> 00:20:46:13

TITLE CARD:

Beijing, China

 

 

 

101

 

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When I first saw the gallery it seemed really big, and I had a lot of stories in my mind.

 

 

 

102

 

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I thought I want to have an exhibition in a place like this,

 

 

 

103

 

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I could really go all out in a place like this, especially in Beijing.

 

 

 

104

 

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An exhibition in China really means a lot to me.

 

 

 

105

 

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Not only for me, but it will be the same for every defector.

 

 

 

106

 

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When they heard about the exhibition, other North Korean defectors asked,

 

 

 

107

 

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"Won't it be dangerous?"

 

 

 

108

 

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It's on everybody's mind.

 

 

 

109

 

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I am very concerned about how many risks it will bring me.

 

 

 

110

 

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It's hard to know because the North Korean government is very unreasonable.

 

 

 

111

 

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They'd bomb a passenger flight, or kidnap a Japanese teacher so they can teach Japanese in North Korea.

 

 

 

00:22:25:17 --> 00:22:31:21

TITLE CARD:

Cui Xianji’s Stuido

Outskirts of Beijing

 

 

 

112

 

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This place means a lot to me.

 

 

 

113

 

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On my second day in Beijing, I wrote 'heaven' on the wall when I was drunk.

 

 

 

114

 

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115

 

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I wanted to support Sun Mu in any possible way.

 

 

 

116

 

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We were sharing the same space and working together,

 

and it was so much fun.

 

 

 

117

 

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Growing up, we were in an environment where all the learning was based on Marx, Lenin, and Mao's ideas.

 

 

 

118

 

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But now I value my ideas more than theirs.

 

 

 

119

 

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Sun Mu has found freedom in this studio, and has found a person who completely supports him.

 

 

 

120

 

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Without my brother, I don't think I would have been able to have my exhibition in Beijing.

 

 

 

121

 

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That's real barbed wire.

 

 

 

122

 

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Did you take them from the DMZ border?

 

 

 

123

 

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-Yes.

 

-Psh.

 

 

 

124

 

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It's really from the border!

 

That's why it means so much!

 

 

 

125

 

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Be careful! The barbs are really sharp.

 

I don't want you to get hurt.

 

 

 

126

 

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They had just replaced the barbed wires

 

that used to fence off the DMZ.

 

 

 

127

 

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Think about it, those fences were there for decades.

 

 

 

128

 

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I felt like I could say many things with these old barbed wires, so I took some.

 

 

 

129

 

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I made flowers using the wires.

 

 

 

130

 

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Interviewer: When you left North Korea for China

 

 

 

131

 

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what was the thing that surprised you most?

 

 

 

132

 

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Lights.

 

 

 

133

 

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The glittering lights.

 

 

 

134

 

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Plastic bags blowing in the wind.

 

 

 

135

 

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Is this rotten capitalism?

 

 

 

136

 

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Is this the rotten capitalism the North has been talking about?

 

 

 

137

 

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Why are so many lights on?

 

 

 

138

 

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I thought, "Did I make the wrong decision?

 

 

 

139

 

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Maybe what I see isn't reality?"

 

 

 

140

 

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In my heart I still believed Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

 

 

 

141

 

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Interviewer: How long was it before you realized what you learned in North Korea was a lie?

 

 

 

142

 

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About 10 years.

 

 

 

143

 

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Still to this day.

 

 

 

144

 

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This is me when I was young.

 

 

 

145

 

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I used to sing since preschool.

 

 

 

146

 

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I was on a team that travels all over North Korea,

 

 

 

147

 

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performing in front of whole schools, or whole villages, pretty much anywhere.

 

 

 

148

 

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Around the age of 8 or 9

 

 

 

149

 

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I turned on the TV and saw Kim Il Sung

 

 

 

150

 

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with a bunch of kids who had excelled at singing, dancing, painting, and writing.

 

 

 

151

 

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Kim Il Sung was patting them on the back.

 

 

 

152

 

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I thought to myself, "I can do that too."

 

 

 

153

 

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"I can do that well,

 

 

 

154

 

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and I can give Kim Il Sung pleasure!"

 

 

 

155

 

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And that's how I started.

 

 

 

156

 

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Interviewer: Did you ever get punished for drawing something you weren't supposed to draw?

 

 

 

157

 

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Since I was a good student, I didn't draw anything I wasn't supposed to.

 

 

 

158

 

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There are things you can't draw.

 

 

 

159

 

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You can't draw Kim Jong Il,

 

 

 

160

 

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and you wouldn't even dream about drawing naked women.

 

 

 

161

 

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I did draw Kim Il Sung once.

 

 

 

162

 

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It was when I was in high school.

 

 

 

163

 

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If I got caught, I would have been killed.

 

 

 

164

 

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So I locked my door and drew Kim Il Sung.

 

 

 

165

 

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I thought I could draw him well, too.

 

 

 

166

 

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Even my parents didn't know.

 

 

 

167

 

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I proved to myself that I have the skills to draw Kim Il Sung exactly like his portrait.

 

 

 

168

 

00:31:42,524 --> 00:31:45,690

 

But before it was even dry, I burned it.

 

 

 

169

 

00:32:01,124 --> 00:32:04,124

 

When I first joined the army,

 

 

 

170

 

00:32:05,590 --> 00:32:14,324

 

I learned that they select the ones that are good at writing and drawing from the new recruits.

 

 

 

171

 

00:32:15,290 --> 00:32:21,524

 

One day they said, "Stand up if you are good at writing or drawing."

 

 

 

172

 

00:32:25,924 --> 00:32:28,124

 

He asked if I could work on a poster for one day.

 

 

 

173

 

00:32:28,124 --> 00:32:32,590

 

I answered that I could whip something like that up in an hour.

 

 

 

174

 

00:32:32,590 --> 00:32:35,190

 

He didn't believe me at first.

 

 

 

175

 

00:32:36,624 --> 00:32:40,824

 

Anyways, they ended up giving me one day

 

to work on this small poster.

 

 

 

176

 

00:32:41,624 --> 00:32:44,024

 

I said to them, "I can do this."

 

 

 

177

 

00:32:44,790 --> 00:32:46,990

 

So I did it.

 

 

 

178

 

00:32:47,490 --> 00:32:50,990

 

They said, "A real talent has joined the military."

 

 

 

00:33:49:05 --> 00:33:53:00

TITLE CARD:

3 weeks until Sun Mu’s exhibit in Beijing.

 

 

 

179

 

00:34:18,889 --> 00:34:21,989

 

The blueprint hasn't been given to me yet.

 

 

 

180

 

00:34:27,024 --> 00:34:29,989

 

Cui: So you are thinking about a week for the installation process?

 

 

 

181

 

00:34:30,290 --> 00:34:33,123

 

Sun Mu: A week should do it.

 

 

 

182

 

00:34:33,123 --> 00:34:35,889

 

I'm going to install everything first

 

 

 

183

 

00:34:35,889 --> 00:34:37,889

 

and have my wife come the day before the opening.

 

 

 

184

 

00:34:37,989 --> 00:34:39,524

 

Another question,

 

 

 

185

 

00:34:40,123 --> 00:34:43,123

 

will he be safe if he lives in Wangjing during the days of the exhibition?

 

 

 

186

 

00:34:44,389 --> 00:34:46,889

 

Well, no one has to know who I am, right?

 

 

 

187

 

00:34:47,389 --> 00:34:49,924

 

I'm not going to meet anyone.

 

 

 

188

 

00:34:51,489 --> 00:34:55,623

 

Ask him if he wants to go out and take a look at my pieces

 

 

 

189

 

00:34:55,623 --> 00:34:58,890

 

so he can have an idea of how we would set up.

 

 

 

190

 

00:34:59,590 --> 00:35:01,190

 

Okay, let's go.

 

 

 

191

 

00:35:11,990 --> 00:35:15,590

 

The wires become music scores.

 

-Great.

 

 

 

192

 

00:35:16,290 --> 00:35:19,590

 

Wow, music comes out too?

 

 

 

193

 

00:35:20,624 --> 00:35:22,990

 

Yeah, that's my theme song.

 

 

 

194

 

00:35:37,290 --> 00:35:38,990

 

How big is it?

 

 

 

195

 

00:35:38,990 --> 00:35:41,124

 

It's 5 meters wide.

 

 

 

196

 

00:35:42,124 --> 00:35:44,590

 

I thought I should try this at least once.

 

 

 

197

 

00:35:51,624 --> 00:35:59,624

 

I wanted to express the North Korean situation to people as they come into the exhibition.

 

 

 

198

 

00:35:59,624 --> 00:36:05,590

 

So I intended to put these words at the entrance so the visitors have to step on the words

 

 

 

199

 

00:36:05,590 --> 00:36:08,524

 

before coming in to see my artwork.

 

 

 

200

 

00:36:08,890 --> 00:36:13,124

 

The three names representing the supreme dignity of North Korea are written there

 

 

 

201

 

00:36:13,790 --> 00:36:16,690

 

Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and Kim Jong Un.

 

 

 

202

 

00:36:18,690 --> 00:36:22,390

 

No one would even dream about stepping on those names.

 

 

 

203

 

00:36:22,390 --> 00:36:31,124

 

I'm sure North Koreans staying in China,

 

like embassy staffers will come.

 

 

 

204

 

00:36:31,124 --> 00:36:36,590

 

They will have to step on it if they want to see the exhibition.

 

 

 

205

 

00:36:37,390 --> 00:36:39,124

 

That might be pretty funny.

 

 

 

206

 

00:36:45,424 --> 00:36:48,990

 

My exhibition won't make this art museum shut down down permanently, right?

 

 

 

207

 

00:36:48,990 --> 00:36:50,890

 

I'm okay with my exhibition being shut down...

 

 

 

208

 

00:36:50,890 --> 00:36:55,124

 

All this stuff, it's not possible this would shut it down?

 

 

 

209

 

00:36:56,424 --> 00:36:58,390

 

He says that's not going to happen.

 

 

 

210

 

00:37:01,224 --> 00:37:07,990

 

So many spies are in the Wangjing district, where our art museum is located.

 

 

 

211

 

00:37:10,724 --> 00:37:16,990

 

If they know about the information about the exhibition

 

 

 

212

 

00:37:17,890 --> 00:37:24,224

 

I think they will find the government to stop it.

 

 

 

00:37:29:18 --> 00:37:34:02

TITLE CARD:

Student Protests

Beijing, 1989

 

 

 

213

 

00:37:51,542 --> 00:37:53,666

 

Interviewer: So what do you remember from that night?

 

 

 

214

 

00:37:57,924 --> 00:38:01,124

 

I don't want to say it.

 

 

 

215

 

00:38:07,024 --> 00:38:08,124

 

Sorry.

 

 

 

216

 

00:38:17,590 --> 00:38:21,490

 

It has had a big influence on me.

 

 

 

217

 

00:38:21,490 --> 00:38:32,490

 

By the next day, we heard that many university students had died in Beijing the night before.

 

 

 

218

 

00:38:41,590 --> 00:38:50,124

 

I don't know the exact death toll,

 

because the whole history has been wiped out in China.

 

 

 

219

 

00:38:56,490 --> 00:39:00,224

 

In China, it's risky to be a good artist.

 

 

 

220

 

00:39:02,024 --> 00:39:07,724

 

I have been taking the risk for over 20 years, since I went to college.

 

 

 

221

 

00:39:10,490 --> 00:39:24,690

 

Artists like us are considered sensitive, and are strictly supervised by the government.

 

 

 

222

 

00:39:41,924 --> 00:39:47,890

 

This is my daughter. Her name is Liang Xiao Me.

 

 

 

223

 

00:39:48,990 --> 00:39:51,824

 

This is my son.

 

 

 

224

 

00:39:51,824 --> 00:39:58,590

 

His name is Liang Ji Yen.

 

And we always call him Little Stone.

 

 

 

225

 

00:40:01,124 --> 00:40:07,490

 

But in China, to be an artist may be the only way

 

 

 

226

 

00:40:07,490 --> 00:40:11,590

 

you can feel a little feeling about freedom.

 

 

 

227

 

00:40:43,690 --> 00:40:51,124

 

I've watched various documentaries about

 

space and the universe since defecting.

 

 

 

228

 

00:40:53,324 --> 00:41:02,890

 

Watching those, I felt this earth that we live on

 

is a mere speck of dust

 

 

 

229

 

00:41:03,324 --> 00:41:14,990

 

but the humans living here are arguing,

 

fighting, and killing each other.

 

 

 

230

 

00:41:15,990 --> 00:41:20,390

 

What a shame before the eyes of the aliens.

 

 

 

231

 

00:41:32,124 --> 00:41:38,124

 

The stars here are not the same as the stars in my hometown.

 

 

 

232

 

00:41:39,690 --> 00:41:50,224

 

There, stars were like a splash of white paint on a black canvas.

 

 

 

233

 

00:41:50,224 --> 00:41:58,390

 

There was the Milky Way, and sometimes I could see stars moving, which I later found out were satellites.

 

 

 

234

 

00:41:59,424 --> 00:42:05,224

 

That was good. Looking up at the night sky and viewing the stars.

 

 

 

235

 

00:42:07,124 --> 00:42:16,890

 

Back then, I dreamt of being an astronaut and visiting the galaxy.

 

 

 

236

 

00:42:19,290 --> 00:42:24,324

 

Visiting the moon and stars as an astronaut.

 

 

 

237

 

00:42:26,624 --> 00:42:28,490

 

That's when I was young.

 

 

 

238

 

00:42:28,490 --> 00:42:36,624

 

Now when I see the night sky,

 

I feel just a fraction of what I felt as a boy.

 

 

 

239

 

00:42:49,890 --> 00:43:00,390

 

My hometown was in the countryside so it had mountains, rivers, and goats living in the hills.

 

 

 

240

 

00:43:08,190 --> 00:43:17,824

 

After Kim Il Sung died, we had such torrential rainfall

 

and we lost a lot of crops.

 

 

 

241

 

00:43:21,990 --> 00:43:28,390

 

The rations provided by the government started getting delayed.

 

 

 

242

 

00:43:28,824 --> 00:43:30,024

 

At first it was for 1 month...

 

 

 

243

 

00:43:30,024 --> 00:43:30,990

 

2 months...

 

 

 

244

 

00:43:31,424 --> 00:43:32,124

 

3 months...

 

 

 

245

 

00:43:32,124 --> 00:43:34,590

 

It kept getting delayed.

 

 

 

246

 

00:43:39,490 --> 00:43:46,890

 

I don't think it was caused by Kim Il Sung's death.

 

 

 

247

 

00:43:49,724 --> 00:43:55,924

 

Maybe Kim Jong Il used all those resources

 

to secure his new regime

 

 

 

248

 

00:43:55,924 --> 00:43:59,890

 

or for his leisure.

 

 

 

249

 

00:44:15,290 --> 00:44:20,724

 

So many people didn't get the food that

 

should have been distributed.

 

 

 

250

 

00:44:22,590 --> 00:44:28,590

 

Every day we'd hear, "So and so in the next house has died."

 

 

 

251

 

00:44:29,790 --> 00:44:31,690

 

"And someone in that house died too."

 

 

 

252

 

00:44:32,690 --> 00:44:36,924

 

Looking from the outside, they were way too naive.

 

 

 

253

 

00:44:36,924 --> 00:44:39,790

 

All they did was work.

 

 

 

254

 

00:44:39,924 --> 00:44:47,290

 

But in spite of their hard work,

 

they always struggle for food.

 

 

 

255

 

00:44:48,424 --> 00:44:50,824

 

It breaks my heart.

 

 

 

256

 

00:47:31,590 --> 00:47:40,590

 

I think this exhibition will become my first step to more exhibitions.

 

 

 

257

 

00:47:40,590 --> 00:47:44,224

 

A stepping stone.

 

 

 

258

 

00:47:44,224 --> 00:47:46,924

 

A transformation point.

 

 

 

259

 

00:47:47,124 --> 00:47:54,524

 

I was not sure if this exhibition would even be possible.

 

 

 

260

 

00:47:54,924 --> 00:48:02,924

 

I was nervous that there would be problems before it even starts.

 

 

 

261

 

00:48:11,124 --> 00:48:18,590

 

As we installed the work,

 

it hit me that my exhibition will really happen.

 

 

 

262

 

00:48:20,624 --> 00:48:23,990

 

So I'm really happy.

 

 

 

263

 

00:48:31,590 --> 00:48:38,490

 

I think he is largely motivated by the desire

 

for freedom and a better life.

 

 

 

264

 

00:48:44,924 --> 00:48:49,124

 

He is fortunate to have defected successfully,

 

because I guess about 9 out of 10 defectors fail.

 

 

 

265

 

00:48:49,124 --> 00:48:53,924

 

And failure could mean death.

 

 

 

266

 

00:48:55,724 --> 00:48:57,490

 

This right here...

 

 

 

267

 

00:48:57,724 --> 00:49:09,390

 

Once I crossed the Tumen River into China,

 

I started writing down all my thoughts and feelings.

 

 

 

268

 

00:49:13,390 --> 00:49:15,624

 

"Today is July 1st.

 

 

 

269

 

00:49:16,290 --> 00:49:22,624

 

Under the street lamps, the signs of restaurants are lit up along the street

 

 

 

270

 

00:49:23,224 --> 00:49:29,324

 

the light is coming into my empty room

 

where I am sitting at the window, smoking.

 

 

 

271

 

00:49:29,990 --> 00:49:35,790

 

Hey, you. What are you thinking about?

 

Are you missing the hometown you've left behind?

 

 

 

272

 

00:49:35,790 --> 00:49:39,490

 

Or are you dreaming about

 

the new land you will soon enter?

 

 

 

273

 

00:49:39,490 --> 00:49:43,590

 

The cigarette is burned out

 

and I'm left with only ashes.

 

 

 

274

 

00:49:44,590 --> 00:49:49,290

 

I flick my ash and stare out the window, silently.

 

 

 

275

 

00:49:49,290 --> 00:49:52,890

 

Well, I have no one to talk to anyway."

 

 

 

276

 

00:49:54,124 --> 00:49:59,924

 

I didn't have any intention of running away,

 

because I thought North Korea was a great country.

 

 

 

277

 

00:50:00,590 --> 00:50:03,224

 

I was just hungry.

 

 

 

278

 

00:50:08,390 --> 00:50:13,424

 

One day, I climbed the mountain.

 

 

 

279

 

00:50:13,890 --> 00:50:18,990

 

I made it to the top, and the view was overlooking a city in China.

 

 

 

280

 

00:50:23,524 --> 00:50:27,490

 

I hid in the tobacco field and waited for night to come.

 

 

 

281

 

00:50:32,524 --> 00:50:36,624

 

In that moment, everything including the sound of the insects sounded so loud.

 

 

 

282

 

00:50:42,424 --> 00:50:44,724

 

I was staying silent,

 

 

 

283

 

00:50:44,724 --> 00:50:48,290

 

nervous that guards might be nearby.

 

 

 

284

 

00:50:50,290 --> 00:50:53,290

 

After what felt like an eternity...

 

 

 

285

 

00:50:53,790 --> 00:50:55,124

 

Let's go.

 

 

 

286

 

00:50:55,124 --> 00:50:57,390

 

I am being too hesitant.

 

 

 

287

 

00:50:58,324 --> 00:51:02,624

 

With all my fears and worries,

 

I put my feet into the river.

 

 

 

288

 

00:51:07,990 --> 00:51:11,124

 

On the North Korean side the river wasn't that deep

 

 

 

289

 

00:51:11,124 --> 00:51:15,390

 

But closer to the Chinese side, the riverbed fell away beneath me.

 

 

 

290

 

00:51:16,324 --> 00:51:18,124

 

So I swam.

 

 

 

291

 

00:51:21,124 --> 00:51:26,124

 

I was right beneath the Polaris star and the moon.

 

 

 

292

 

00:51:26,124 --> 00:51:31,490

 

Looking at them, I started my journey.

 

 

 

293

 

00:51:47,424 --> 00:51:52,333

 

Even until right before I crossed the river, I was certain that I'd come back.

 

 

 

294

 

00:51:53,524 --> 00:51:57,924

 

But after I crossed the river, I went up the mountain

 

and was wringing out my clothes,

 

 

 

295

 

00:51:57,924 --> 00:52:01,490

 

I was looking back at North Korea,

 

 

 

296

 

00:52:01,990 --> 00:52:06,124

 

and I thought, "Maybe I won't be able to go back."

 

 

 

297

 

00:52:15,990 --> 00:52:22,924

 

If I were to get caught in China,

 

I would get sent back to North Korea anyway.

 

 

 

298

 

00:52:24,990 --> 00:52:29,890

 

Well then, South Korea is my land too,

 

so maybe I've got to go to the south.

 

 

 

299

 

00:52:31,390 --> 00:52:33,290

 

I thought that way would be better.

 

 

 

300

 

00:52:33,290 --> 00:52:35,824

 

Even if I die, it's better to choose my own way.

 

 

 

301

 

00:52:36,390 --> 00:52:38,124

 

So I left.

 

 

 

302

 

00:52:44,624 --> 00:52:48,724

 

I wanted to go to South Korea, but I didn't know how.

 

 

 

303

 

00:52:56,224 --> 00:52:59,490

 

It took about a week to get out of China.

 

 

 

304

 

00:53:06,590 --> 00:53:08,790

 

I got close to the border

 

 

 

305

 

00:53:08,790 --> 00:53:12,724

 

and I was trying to figure out how to get across.

 

 

 

306

 

00:53:12,724 --> 00:53:16,390

 

There was a bus that was going along the border.

 

 

 

307

 

00:53:18,724 --> 00:53:25,624

 

I thought if I hop off that bus after about 15 minutes,

 

we would be at the right place.

 

 

 

308

 

00:53:26,390 --> 00:53:32,190

 

So that's what I did. I got off and snuck across the border into Laos.

 

 

 

309

 

00:53:48,990 --> 00:53:55,724

 

Once I made it safely to Thailand, all I did was art until I went to South Korea.

 

 

 

310

 

00:53:57,958 --> 00:54:01,124

 

I still have a few pieces I drew back then.

 

 

 

311

 

00:54:08,790 --> 00:54:12,124

 

I was assigned to live in Gongju, South Korea.

 

 

 

312

 

00:54:12,124 --> 00:54:19,424

 

I was trying to meet up with South Korean artists,

 

and soon found an art museum in Gongju.

 

 

 

313

 

00:54:19,890 --> 00:54:25,324

 

The owner suggested that I apply to a nearby school

 

in Chungnam province

 

 

 

314

 

00:54:25,324 --> 00:54:30,590

 

but I wanted to go to a Hongik University in Seoul.

 

 

 

315

 

00:54:30,590 --> 00:54:37,890

 

I went there and asked what I had to prepare,

 

and they said the drawing test was all I had to take.

 

 

 

316

 

00:54:39,024 --> 00:54:41,490

 

I was confident.

 

 

 

317

 

00:54:42,390 --> 00:54:45,590

 

I went back and took the test

 

 

 

318

 

00:54:45,590 --> 00:54:47,424

 

and then they sent me my acceptance letter.

 

 

 

319

 

00:54:47,490 --> 00:54:55,324

 

"Hong-ik University graduation picture"

 

 

 

320

 

00:54:57,390 --> 00:55:02,124

 

I realized that I too have a story to tell the world.

 

 

 

321

 

00:55:02,124 --> 00:55:09,290

 

I too have a reason for my existence.

 

 

 

322

 

00:55:09,790 --> 00:55:13,875

 

This is all I know how to do,

 

so I'll just keep doing what I do.

 

 

 

323

 

00:55:14,724 --> 00:55:18,390

 

I am going to use this to tell my story.

 

 

 

00:55:34:11 --> 00:55:41:13

TITLE CARD:

2 days until Sun Mu’s exhibit in Beijing.

 

 

 

324

 

00:56:34,167 --> 00:56:38,290

 

I'm someone who takes risks.

 

 

 

325

 

00:56:38,290 --> 00:56:45,124

 

I can't stop an exhibition that I like so much

 

just because of risks.

 

 

 

326

 

00:56:46,924 --> 00:56:50,990

 

Whatever, that's my attitude.

 

 

 

327

 

00:56:58,490 --> 00:57:04,824

 

Interviewer: Do you think there will be any threats on the day of the event?

 

 

 

328

 

00:57:05,690 --> 00:57:08,124

 

Yes. I'm sure there will be a threat.

 

 

 

329

 

00:57:08,124 --> 00:57:16,490

 

But I don't want to let them know who this crazy Sun Mu guy is and where he lives.

 

 

 

330

 

00:57:17,690 --> 00:57:21,590

 

Sun Mu told me if he got caught, he would kill himself

 

 

 

331

 

00:57:21,590 --> 00:57:25,324

 

because he doesn't want to incriminate his family.

 

 

 

332

 

00:57:25,324 --> 00:57:28,324

 

He doesn't want the government to find out who he is.

 

 

 

333

 

00:57:28,524 --> 00:57:32,824

 

That's why I can't be there as Sun Mu at the opening ceremony.

 

 

 

334

 

00:57:34,124 --> 00:57:36,324

 

I can't be there, but my artwork will.

 

 

 

335

 

00:57:36,324 --> 00:57:38,124

 

That's the same as me being there.

 

 

 

336

 

00:57:40,490 --> 00:57:44,624

 

Interviewer: Can you tell us the meaning of the piece with the fish on a chopping board?

 

 

 

337

 

00:57:50,590 --> 00:57:54,324

 

On a huge chopping board, there's a little fish

 

 

 

338

 

00:57:54,324 --> 00:57:55,890

 

It's a boring fish

 

 

 

339

 

00:57:55,890 --> 00:57:59,290

 

and big knives are pointing their blades at the little fish.

 

 

 

340

 

00:57:59,290 --> 00:58:02,024

 

Who knows how that little fish will get sliced up?

 

 

 

341

 

00:58:02,024 --> 00:58:07,490

 

I want to talk about how a powerful nation will carve off a bigger chunk with a bigger knife,

 

 

 

342

 

00:58:07,490 --> 00:58:10,390

 

and smaller nations get smaller chunks.

 

 

 

343

 

00:58:26,324 --> 00:58:33,990

 

Interviewer: Are you worried that your family could be in danger if they are with you?

 

 

 

344

 

00:58:34,390 --> 00:58:45,290

 

I do worry a little, but when I'm with them I'm not Sun Mu the artist, I'm just the head of my family.

 

 

 

345

 

00:58:48,490 --> 00:58:53,324

 

Well, I'm not sure if the Chinese government would acknowledge that difference.

 

 

 

346

 

00:58:55,390 --> 00:59:05,190

 

We will just be a nice happy family traveling around China.

 

 

 

347

 

00:59:11,000 --> 00:59:16,490

 

Safety is the biggest concern for me, since we're talking about family.

 

 

 

348

 

00:59:16,824 --> 00:59:24,324

 

I don't have any room to worry about anything else but the safety of our family.

 

 

 

349

 

00:59:26,390 --> 00:59:29,224

 

I hope my husband does well

 

 

 

350

 

00:59:29,224 --> 00:59:32,924

 

but to be honest I'm worried about this exhibition.

 

 

 

351

 

00:59:41,024 --> 00:59:44,190

 

It's not like I'm putting myself in danger purposely.

 

 

 

352

 

00:59:44,724 --> 00:59:49,724

 

I'm just doing what I have to do.

 

 

 

01:00:41:09 --> 01:00:46:13

TITLE CARD:

The day before Sun Mu’s exhibit in Beijing.

 

 

 

353

 

01:01:14,424 --> 01:01:19,990

 

I have to cut this giant board into pieces

 

 

 

354

 

01:01:23,124 --> 01:01:26,590

 

all around here.

 

 

 

355

 

01:01:26,890 --> 01:01:27,924

 

Isn't it fun?

 

 

 

01:01:35:18 --> 01:01:39:00

TITLE CARD:

Ho Bin

Sun Mu’s Assistant

 

 

 

356

 

01:01:38,890 --> 01:01:42,375

 

If we take a look at this piece

 

 

 

357

 

01:01:43,990 --> 01:01:46,490

 

It reads, "The view is good, but it's also a good place to live"

 

 

 

358

 

01:01:46,490 --> 01:01:49,490

 

And there's a sassy girl looking back.

 

 

 

359

 

01:01:49,490 --> 01:01:55,690

 

Her attire of a red scarf and ribbon in her hair

 

 

 

360

 

01:01:55,690 --> 01:02:00,124

 

shows that she's a typical North Korean student.

 

 

 

361

 

01:02:01,390 --> 01:02:04,124

 

But this "good place to live" is not the North Korea we know.

 

 

 

362

 

01:02:04,124 --> 01:02:08,990

 

So when people read this they might ask,

 

"Does the artist even know North Korea?"

 

 

 

363

 

01:02:09,790 --> 01:02:16,490

 

Interviewer: What genre do you think

 

Sun Mu belongs to as an artist?

 

 

 

364

 

01:02:16,990 --> 01:02:20,290

 

I'll give a simple answer.

 

 

 

365

 

01:02:20,390 --> 01:02:22,724

 

Political pop art.

 

 

 

366

 

01:02:23,390 --> 01:02:27,224

 

I don't know a thing about pop art.

 

 

 

367

 

01:02:27,290 --> 01:02:33,490

 

I just do this, or I do that, whatever I feel like doing.

 

 

 

368

 

01:02:33,490 --> 01:02:37,290

 

I have no intention of defining my art as pop art.

 

 

 

369

 

01:02:37,390 --> 01:02:40,390

 

I don't know and I'm not interested.

 

 

 

370

 

01:02:40,490 --> 01:02:44,290

 

Interviewer: Who is your biggest influence?

 

 

 

371

 

01:02:44,924 --> 01:02:47,824

 

I don't have anyone who influences me.

 

 

 

372

 

01:02:47,824 --> 01:02:49,624

 

Oh wait, there is.

 

 

 

373

 

01:02:50,190 --> 01:02:52,924

 

Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

 

 

 

374

 

01:02:54,724 --> 01:02:57,790

 

Is that funny?

 

 

 

375

 

01:03:16,124 --> 01:03:20,890

 

Wow, the press release on your exhibition has been viewed by 16,000 people.

 

 

 

376

 

01:03:20,890 --> 01:03:24,690

 

It's spreading from person to person.

 

 

 

377

 

01:03:26,390 --> 01:03:28,890

 

That's cool you can get those numbers.

 

 

 

378

 

01:03:30,890 --> 01:03:42,390

 

Tomorrow there will be an opening reception, and after that we have the performance, right?

 

 

 

379

 

01:03:42,824 --> 01:03:46,290

 

Yes, maybe like this

 

 

 

380

 

01:03:46,990 --> 01:03:53,124

 

First, the opening. We start at four.

 

 

 

381

 

01:03:53,124 --> 01:03:57,524

 

But it will be 4:30 when everyone gets here.

 

We won't have much time.

 

 

 

382

 

01:03:57,524 --> 01:04:03,424

 

I'll make an opening announcement at 4:30, marking the start of the exhibition.

 

 

 

383

 

01:04:03,424 --> 01:04:09,124

 

The first thing to do is play his songs.

 

 

 

384

 

01:04:10,390 --> 01:04:16,424

 

After the songs, it's the performance of the children, they will release the flag.

 

 

 

385

 

01:04:16,724 --> 01:04:21,724

 

After the performance, it's his thank you speech.

 

 

 

386

 

01:04:21,890 --> 01:04:25,790

 

So after the flag performance, we'll hear your words of gratitude.

 

 

 

387

 

01:04:25,790 --> 01:04:27,124

 

The one we recorded, right?

 

 

 

388

 

01:04:27,124 --> 01:04:28,324

 

Yes.

 

 

 

389

 

01:04:28,924 --> 01:04:43,990

 

Tomorrow, I might come with a group of visitors and drift off without letting anyone know.

 

 

 

390

 

01:04:44,224 --> 01:04:48,290

 

He's thinking about pretending to be security.

 

 

 

391

 

01:04:48,324 --> 01:04:49,524

 

He should get his hair cut.

 

 

 

392

 

01:04:50,424 --> 01:04:53,790

 

We better be careful tomorrow.

 

 

 

393

 

01:04:53,790 --> 01:05:00,190

 

Since the kids are too young to know what's going on,

 

once they catch sight of Sun Mu

 

 

 

394

 

01:05:00,190 --> 01:05:03,390

 

they might give away Sun Mu's identity right away.

 

 

 

395

 

01:05:03,624 --> 01:05:07,624

 

So then as soon as the ceremony ends,

 

I'll take the kids upstairs.

 

 

 

396

 

01:05:18,324 --> 01:05:24,990

 

I wish he wouldn't come to the opening to be completely honest.

 

 

 

397

 

01:05:24,990 --> 01:05:30,124

 

I even had a dream that during the opening he is captured and taken away.

 

 

 

398

 

01:05:33,290 --> 01:05:37,490

 

Sometimes I can't sleep because of that fear.

 

 

 

01:06:20:03 --> 01:06:24:13

TITLE CARD:

The day of Sun Mu’s exhibit in Beijing.

 

 

 

399

 

01:07:48,490 --> 01:07:55,424

 

I do want to go to the gallery and see how they've set it up.

 

 

 

400

 

01:07:57,324 --> 01:08:04,024

 

But I think the gallery wants me to stay quiet.

 

 

 

401

 

01:08:05,124 --> 01:08:12,924

 

So I'll have to lay down this title of Sun Mu for a bit

 

and go there as one of the visitors.

 

 

 

402

 

01:08:13,624 --> 01:08:16,857

 

I've put so much effort into all those pieces.

 

 

 

403

 

01:08:16,857 --> 01:08:25,207

 

And now we're coming to the opening...

 

 

 

404

 

01:08:26,924 --> 01:08:36,790

 

It's sad that I can't stand there in public and say, "I am Sun Mu."

 

 

 

405

 

01:08:40,124 --> 01:08:42,490

 

Because that's who I am.

 

 

 

406

 

01:08:51,292 --> 01:08:53,833

 

Has anybody from the government come by yet today?

 

 

 

407

 

01:08:55,250 --> 01:09:00,167

 

I think maybe in the morning two guys come here.

 

 

 

408

 

01:09:00,208 --> 01:09:01,792

 

Want to see first...

 

 

 

409

 

01:09:01,875 --> 01:09:05,792

 

I'm not sure who they are but from the clothes

 

 

 

410

 

01:09:05,833 --> 01:09:07,417

 

and the feeling...

 

 

 

411

 

01:09:07,792 --> 01:09:11,292

 

Seems like someone working in the government come here.

 

 

 

412

 

01:10:02,323 --> 01:10:05,157

 

I got a call saying that I shouldn't come out.

 

 

 

413

 

01:10:05,157 --> 01:10:08,790

 

It got Sun Mu and me all curious

 

 

 

414

 

01:10:08,924 --> 01:10:14,657

 

so I ignored the call and went out.

 

 

 

415

 

01:10:16,357 --> 01:10:21,924

 

Once I stepped out, I saw police officers all over the place.

 

 

 

416

 

01:10:21,924 --> 01:10:30,157

 

I chose to go to the coffee shop on the second floor instead of the first so as to not raise suspicion.

 

 

 

417

 

01:10:30,157 --> 01:10:35,657

 

On the second floor, I ran into Liang and Liang's wife, who were trying to hide.

 

 

 

418

 

01:10:38,290 --> 01:10:42,124

 

As I was thinking to myself that I should pick up a pamphlet,

 

 

 

419

 

01:10:42,124 --> 01:10:46,724

 

the owner of the coffeeshop asks

 

 

 

420

 

01:10:46,724 --> 01:10:50,124

 

"Isn't your husband the artist doing the exhibition?"

 

 

 

421

 

01:10:50,924 --> 01:10:54,290

 

I was so surprised. If I had stayed there any longer,

 

 

 

422

 

01:10:54,290 --> 01:11:04,157

 

they would soon find out how I'm linked to Sun Mu and I could become their hostage in no time.

 

 

 

423

 

01:11:11,124 --> 01:11:13,124

 

Ho Bin: Hello?

 

 

 

424

 

01:11:13,124 --> 01:11:16,124

 

The situation is,

 

 

 

425

 

01:11:18,624 --> 01:11:21,290

 

there are some people standing in front of the gallery

 

 

 

426

 

01:11:21,290 --> 01:11:24,790

 

and some are wearing North Korean pin badges.

 

 

 

427

 

01:11:24,790 --> 01:11:26,724

 

And there's Chinese police.

 

 

 

428

 

01:11:26,724 --> 01:11:30,424

 

They are having a conversation now.

 

 

 

429

 

01:11:31,624 --> 01:11:36,290

 

Cars and... a lot of police officers.

 

 

 

430

 

01:11:52,357 --> 01:12:00,424

 

I didn't get there until later, around 3:30.

 

 

 

431

 

01:12:00,424 --> 01:12:05,357

 

They began to stop people from getting into the museum.

 

 

 

432

 

01:12:05,624 --> 01:12:10,924

 

Ho Bin: Yes, Mr. Cui. Are you still staying around here?

 

 

 

433

 

01:12:10,924 --> 01:12:15,490

 

In my opinion, it'd be better if you stay away from here.

 

 

 

434

 

01:12:15,124 --> 01:12:20,224

 

Cui: I didin't even know what Sun Mu or we did wrong

 

 

 

435

 

01:12:20,224 --> 01:12:23,790

 

but with the crowd of Chinese police and North Koreans outside the gallery,

 

 

 

436

 

01:12:23,790 --> 01:12:25,557

 

the situation was confusing.

 

 

 

437

 

01:12:26,124 --> 01:12:28,290

 

But I thought, we're not criminals.

 

 

 

438

 

01:12:30,124 --> 01:12:36,790

 

There were North Koreans with Kim Il Sung badges

 

going here and there.

 

 

 

439

 

01:12:50,157 --> 01:12:54,424

 

Liang: There were many North Koreans outside of the museum.

 

 

 

440

 

01:12:55,724 --> 01:13:03,208

 

They brought many North Koreans with lapel pins on their chest. There were dozens of them.

 

 

 

441

 

01:13:04,042 --> 01:13:06,208

 

Why all the police?

 

 

 

442

 

01:13:07,790 --> 01:13:09,624

 

I don't know.

 

 

 

443

 

01:13:13,857 --> 01:13:15,557

 

Is this a non-profit exhibition?

 

 

 

444

 

01:13:15,557 --> 01:13:16,857

 

Yes, yes.

 

 

 

445

 

01:13:17,290 --> 01:13:20,290

 

Is this your full-time job or your part-time job?

 

 

 

446

 

01:13:20,290 --> 01:13:23,157

 

It's considered a full-time job.

 

 

 

447

 

01:13:23,790 --> 01:13:26,124

 

I met him at a workshop.

 

 

 

448

 

01:13:26,124 --> 01:13:30,357

 

Is he not there now?

 

 

 

449

 

01:13:30,990 --> 01:13:33,724

 

I just received his paintings.

 

 

 

450

 

01:13:34,490 --> 01:13:42,124

 

So this gentleman mailed his paintings to a Korean who knows you,

 

or is there someone else in between?

 

 

 

451

 

01:13:43,924 --> 01:13:48,424

 

Well, Mr. Liang, what I just asked first is...

 

 

 

452

 

01:13:48,857 --> 01:14:00,357

 

They started investigating. They interrogated me until really late, about 3 a.m.

 

 

 

453

 

01:14:07,724 --> 01:14:10,124

 

The streets near the gallery were shut down.

 

 

 

454

 

01:14:10,124 --> 01:14:16,624

 

People were only allowed to get out, not in, because the police were controlling it.

 

 

 

455

 

01:14:30,290 --> 01:14:37,124

 

The banners outside the gallery were torn down too, by people brought by the police.

 

 

 

456

 

01:14:38,290 --> 01:14:41,290

 

The whole thing happened very suddenly.

 

 

 

457

 

01:14:53,657 --> 01:15:00,424

 

We had a lot on our minds, and our bodies were trembling in fear.

 

 

 

458

 

01:15:00,424 --> 01:15:04,924

 

When we heard knocking on the door we were so scared,

 

thinking it might be the police.

 

 

 

459

 

01:15:12,167 --> 01:15:14,042

 

I'm staying back! I'm staying back.

 

 

 

460

 

01:15:52,424 --> 01:15:59,157

 

"The exhibition is shut down temporarily. Thank you for understanding."

 

 

 

01:16:03:05 --> 01:16:08:02

TITLE CARD:

The next morning.

 

 

 

01:17:54:08 --> 01:17:59:18

TITLE CARD:

Seoul, South Korea

 

 

 

461

 

01:18:16,124 --> 01:18:23,657

 

It looks like the North Koreans asked the Chinese authorities

 

 

 

462

 

01:18:24,990 --> 01:18:30,290

 

to put a stop to the whole exhibition.

 

 

 

463

 

01:18:30,657 --> 01:18:37,990

 

Looking at what happened that day, I think I underestimated the whole thing.

 

 

 

464

 

01:18:38,724 --> 01:18:43,157

 

I could have been captured.

 

 

 

465

 

01:18:45,224 --> 01:18:48,424

 

I did not expect all that.

 

 

 

466

 

01:18:59,224 --> 01:19:05,857

 

With the help of Cui's wife, we were able to change our flight tickets so we could leave right away.

 

 

 

467

 

01:19:08,357 --> 01:19:14,357

 

When we were in the taxi to the airport, I was worried about the possibility of someone following us

 

 

 

468

 

01:19:14,357 --> 01:19:26,490

 

and at the airport, I was worried that the officials might detain us.

 

 

 

469

 

01:19:34,924 --> 01:19:39,157

 

I even thought, "What if they stop us before we take off?"

 

 

 

470

 

01:19:39,157 --> 01:19:46,224

 

The feeling I had at the moment our plane finally took off is indescribable.

 

 

 

471

 

01:19:49,790 --> 01:20:01,857

 

At that time, I was worried that the North Korean government might do something merciless to me.

 

 

 

472

 

01:20:01,857 --> 01:20:06,490

 

They might send someone to do something sketchy. That's what I worry about.

 

 

 

473

 

01:20:07,224 --> 01:20:10,924

 

It did get me into a lot of trouble.

 

 

 

474

 

01:20:11,557 --> 01:20:23,624

 

I was summoned to the police station several times after that day,

 

which put me under a lot of pressure,

 

 

 

475

 

01:20:23,624 --> 01:20:29,924

 

and my phone was monitored for a while.

 

 

 

476

 

01:20:35,890 --> 01:20:39,690

 

There is no one in the Chinese art world that doesn't know about this exhibition.

 

 

 

477

 

01:20:44,057 --> 01:20:48,057

 

Now, everyone knows that there is a North Korean defector artist.

 

 

 

478

 

01:20:49,890 --> 01:20:57,024

 

I believe Sun Mu's art will eventually get into North Korea.

 

 

 

479

 

01:21:02,057 --> 01:21:05,890

 

"If you kill a rooster, the dawn will come nonetheless."

 

 

 

480

 

01:21:06,190 --> 01:21:09,057

 

That's how I see all of this unfolding.

 

 

 

01:21:29:17 --> 01:21:43:06

TITLE CARD:

After Sun Mu’s exhibition was shut down by the Chinese authorities, Liang was forced to place Sun Mu’s art in storage in Beijing under the supervision of the Chinese government.

 

 

 

01:21:38:07 --> 01:21:45:12

TITLE CARD:

It is unknown when he will be able to retrieve them.

 

 

 

481

 

01:22:13,890 --> 01:22:18,457

 

Interviewer: If you were able to go back to North Korea,

 

what would you want to do the most?

 

 

 

482

 

01:22:18,457 --> 01:22:25,690

 

I'd load up my car with a pig, rice, and booze

 

 

 

483

 

01:22:26,324 --> 01:22:32,557

 

and go and throw a big party in my hometown

 

 

 

484

 

01:22:33,324 --> 01:22:37,000

 

so we could all eat till our stomachs burst, for once.

 

 

 

01:22:50:06 --> 01:22:55:03

TITLE CARD:

Yeon Mi Jeong,

North Korea Lookout

Ganghwa-do, South Korea

 

 

 

485

 

01:23:26,324 --> 01:23:33,824

 

Interviewer: Is there something you want to do there,

 

if you were allowed?

 

 

 

486

 

01:23:34,690 --> 01:23:38,524

 

Well, I want to do an exhibition in Pyongyang.

 

 

 

487

 

01:23:46,824 --> 01:23:49,324

 

In my dream one day

 

 

 

488

 

01:23:49,024 --> 01:23:55,890

 

I found Kim Jong Il at a bar sitting by himself

 

in the corner, looking lonely.

 

 

 

489

 

01:23:56,124 --> 01:24:00,824

 

And I was dressed very nicely.

 

 

 

490

 

01:24:01,690 --> 01:24:06,057

 

I thought to myself, "I believed in that man once,

 

but he looks so shabby tonight."

 

 

 

491

 

01:24:06,557 --> 01:24:14,190

 

I tried to go and give him something to eat,

 

but his pride wouldn't let him take it.

 

 

 

492

 

01:24:17,024 --> 01:24:20,024

 

I have these dreams...

 

 

 

493

 

01:24:21,832 --> 01:24:28,824

 

On another day, I met Kim Jong Un in my dream.

 

 

 

494

 

01:24:29,824 --> 01:24:36,257

 

He said, "Hey, I'll help an esteemed artist like yourself

 

put on an exhibition in Pyongyang."

 

 

 

495

 

01:24:36,524 --> 01:24:39,124

 

I said, "Is that so?

 

 

 

496

 

01:24:39,124 --> 01:24:41,390

 

Well if that's what you say,

 

 

 

497

 

01:24:42,457 --> 01:24:44,390

 

it'll happen."

 

 

 

01:25:04:07 --> 01:25:12:06

TITLE CARD:

I AM SUN MU

 

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