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From North Korea with Love


January 23 - February 28, 2014

Opening Reception: 

New York, NY---Thursday, January 23, 6 - 8pm

Ethan Cohen New York
251 W. 19th St.
New York, NY 10011



Ethan Cohen New York proudly announces the first solo exhibition by artist Mina Cheon (천민정), aka "KIM IL SOON" in her North Korean artistic persona. Her paintings showcasing polipop (political pop art) and her installation "EAT CHOCO·PIE TOGETHER" open Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 6 pm at Ethan Cohen New York, 251 West 19th Street in New York City. The exhibition will run through February 28, 2014.


Kim Il Soon is a concept born of the necessity to promote global peace and Korean reunification. Her name purports to link her to the leadership of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. She claims to be a nationally recognized DPRK artist as well as a Lieutenant Commander, scholar, devout citizen, hardworking farmer, mother of two, and most importantly, a human being. She vows to continue her artistic propaganda campaign until Korean reunification, if not world peace.


The exhibition is comprised of Kim Il Soon’s North Korean social realist paintings and an installation that covers the entire lower level of the gallery with “Choco·Pie,” a South Korean moonpie-like confectionary manufactured by the company Orion. It has become an overnight sensation in North Korea as a smuggled snack. The Orion Corporation has sponsored this exhibition with 10,000 Choco·Pie in support of the idea that we must “Eat Choco·Pie Together” in order to take steps towards Korean reunification. Choco·Pie has become the most sought after consumer object in North Korea ever since South Koreans donated Choco·Pies to North Korean workers at the jointly managed Kaesong Industrial Complex. It has thus become a symbol of Korean cooperation.


The artist has selected Choco·Pie packaging which contains the traditional character “Jung”, a symbol of love and friendship. By eating Choco·Pie, the American audience can participate in building Korean friendship and awareness of North Korea.


The artist has produced a series of social realist paintings on canvas and watercolors on paper that promote the polipop campaign, which will be on view at the gallery. Additionally she has produced buttons with the slogans “Squirt Water, Not Bullets” and “Make Art, Not Missiles”.