a Voice for the Citizens - Political Artist Hong Sung Dam
Updated: Aug 18, 2018
The raw and exaggerated aesthetic of Hong's political art speaks strongly against the many controversies involving Korean politics. In providing an uncensored reflection of Korean politics, his sensational technique is necessary and effective.
A noteworthy characteristic of Hong is his rapid working speed. Creating massive acrylic paintings at intervals of just weeks, Hong Sung Dam brings an artistic voice to events that are still relevant to the public, such as the Se-Wol Ferry incident and former president Park Geun Hye's wrongdoings.
Symbols in Hong Sung Dam's Paintings
• Red Sun/Japanese Soldiers with rifles and green uniforms: The Atrocities committed by the Japanese during Colonial Rule (1910~1945),
• The Sewol Ferry: The sinking of MV Sewol, also referred to as the Sewol Ferry Disaster, occurred on the morning of 16 April 2014, when the passenger ferry en route from Incheon towards Jeju in South Korea sunk. In total, 304 passengers, mostly high school students, and crew members died in the disaster. Former president Park Geun Hye recieved much criticism for her refusal to take action during the incident, and the Sewol Ferry became one of the reasons for her downfall and incarceration.
• Candle Light: demonstrative of the Candle Revolution, a peaceful protest against Park's Presidency, that is remembered as a democratic miracle.
The Importance of Artistic Activism
In every country, it is important to maintain and fight for the artistic freedom of speech and expression. The role of political art has always been significant since art is one of the rare uncorrupted forces of emancipatory action that disputes what is and what could be a better future for the next generation. This is why we must insist on the constant questioning of politics within the world of art.
If you want to learn more about similar artists, here are a few:
Ai Wei Wei - China
Liu Bolin - China
Shepherd Fairey - The United States
David Cerny - Czech Republic