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“‘North Korea’ has always inspired great sadness in me. It is the place where my father used to live before he fled south for freedom, and it is where my relatives still reside. There is immeasurable suffering on the part of those forced to live under a brutal dictatorship; and the conditions are not much better for the refugees in China, who are treated like criminals. Literally and figuratively, I shed tears for them as I create my art. The burning designs on canvas in a ritualistic and respectful manner speak to the healing of wounded spirits and the eradication of the roots of that grief. I feel a great connection to water as it relates to the tears that flow, but also the possibility of separate streams rejoining. I wish to express the sight of sounds flowing through my soul, and filling my heart with hope for a united Korea.” — Gongsan Kim

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