BLOG: "Visit to North Korea, via Ealing, West London"
A little while back, I learned via an article in The Independent that, much to my surprise, the North Korean embassy in London had recently undertaken a rare cultural mission: over the summer, they had invited a group of painters from the fatherland to be residents in the British capital, to paint their perceptions of the city. What was more astounding was that this “cultural residency” then accumulated into a special four-day exhibition entitled “DPR Korea Fine Art,” which was held at the North Korean embassy in London. The exhibition was curated by Britain’s David Heather, who—according to his official Twitter account profile—is a self-confessed expert on North Korean art and propaganda. Clearly, the undertaking here was a form of cultural propaganda in order to promote North Korea as a culturally astute government and to deflect from its widely-regarded repressive regime, using art as a form of attempted diplomacy to create a bridge between Britain and North Korea. Fueled by curiosity I made the awkward journey to Ealing, West London, to a leafy residential street, where the embassy is situated in a large, nondescript house.