Mundanity of North Korea Exhibit

Oct 9, 2023–Jan 31, 2024
All Day

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

2023 marked the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice. 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.