Kim shoots down Trump in South Korean art satire
South Korean artist Lim Young-sun’s art installation titled ‘The Show Must Go On’ depicting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, at the Seoul Art Center on December 19 (Photo : Ed JONES / AFP)
SEOUL: Kim Jong Un, smoking gun in hand, stares at Donald Trump’s corpse, lying on a red carpet next to a metal bag overflowing with US dollars.
Behind the North Korean leader shines a neon slogan saying “The show must go on!”
The scene is part of an exhibition of installation art in Seoul – a satire of diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula that has become “a great political spectacle starring two of the world’s greatest showmen.”
South Korean artist Lim Young-sun’s play marks the end of a swirling year on the Flashpoint Peninsula, in which Kim and Trump exchanged threats of war and personal attacks against each other the others – before their first dramatic summit in Singapore.
The colorful war of words between the leaders of the impoverished but nuclear-weaponized North and the world’s greatest superpower – along with their much-publicized summit in June – grabbed the headlines this year.
“I just wanted to show our political reality that we live in, in which citizens get nervous, anxious and happy to watch their every move as if they are watching a movie,” Lim, 59, told AFP.
The work depicts a movie set, with Kim and Trump as friends and arguing over money. Eventually, Kim, angered by the high interest rates demanded by Trump, shoots the lender down.
“Both leaders are masters of political shows and use the tension created by their hostile rhetoric for their own political gain at home… but what they lack seem to be sincerity,” Lim said.
The week-long exhibition that ended on Wednesday drew thousands of visitors, some of whom were dismayed at the sight of the leader of the southern main ally killed – albeit in art – by his neighbor’s leader from the wayward north.
“Some people have angrily told me ‘artists like you are putting our ties to the United States and national security at risk,’ while others, apparently not Trump fans, said this piece had them. gave a catharsis, ”Lim said.
The installation – also a metaphor for international politics driven by money and capitalism – will be shown elsewhere in the South and abroad next year, he added.
Seoul housewife Song Min-kyoung saw the artwork as a metaphor for the “high-level political flirtation” between the two mercurial rulers who could face a very different future.
“Politicians – including Trump – come and go in a democratic country, but Kim Jong Un is a dictator who can stay in power forever,” the 42-year-old told AFP.
“So who knows, maybe reality could turn out to be like this, with Trump gone and Kim still firmly in power?”