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Jae Hwan Lim, Mt. Kumgang, 2020, Video, 7 min 48 sec.

Mundanity of North Korea

Organized by PhD student Jae Hwan Lim

October 9, 2023 - January 31, 2024
Reception: December 7, 2023, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Geisel Library, Main Floor, West, UC San Diego

How do you perceive North Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea?

2023 marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice and the formation of two Koreas. Over time, media portrayals of North Korean missiles and dictatorship create a biased and narrow understanding of the country. This phenomenon influences public perception of North Korean people and culture. It overshadows our recognition of the common humanity and essential ordinariness – the mundanity – of North Korea.

This exhibit exposes the diversity of North Korean society through publications, personal items, arts and North Korean propaganda posters from the UC San Diego Library’s Special Collections & Archives. Underlining the existence and everyday life of North Korea and its people, the physical materials in this exhibit invite open and critical thought exchanges about the country, where outsiders can rarely visit.

Organized By

  • Jae Hwan Lim, Graduate Student of UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts Art History, Theory, and Criticism/Art Practice Ph.D. Program and Director of Humans of North Korea (HNK)

Sponsored By

  • UC San Diego Library
  • UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts

With Special Thanks To

  • UC San Diego Transnational Korean Studies Program
  • Center for Social Value Enhancement Studies of the SK Corporation, Seoul, South Korea
Image Credit: Jae Hwan Lim, Mt. Kumgang, 2020, Video, 7 min 48 sec.