CHE Onejoon

b. 1979. Lives and works in Seoul. For the last few years, CHE Onejoon has been focusing on the relationship between African countries and North Korea, experimenting with different attempts to interpret the ongoing Cold War in the Korean peninsula from a new geopolitical perspective. CHE’s major projects include Texas Project (2004?2007), Townhouse (2006?2010) and Spinning Wheel (2011). The artist has participated in a number of exhibitions at venues such as Atelier Herm?s and PLATEAU in Seoul and Palais de Tokyo and the Mus?e du quai Branly in Paris. In 2014, CHE participated in the Korean Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Mansudae Master Class, 2014
3 channel HD video, archive installation
Archive installation: Commissioned by SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul 2014
Established in 1959 by the order of Kim Il-sung, Mansudae Art Studio plays a central role in enhancing North Korea’s national image by producing statues and portraits of the Dear Leader. The Mansudae Overseas Projects is an international commercial division of the studio. Starting with erecting the Tiglachin Monument in Ethiopia in 1974 without charging any cost, it constructed public buildings and monuments in a number of African countries such as Madagascar, Togo, Guinea and Ethiopia, all without asking for the cost of production. In 2010, Mansudae Overseas Projects received new attention when the African Renaissance was revealed in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal.
It was a gigantic bronze statue to herald a new era of the continent. The North Korean-made buildings and monuments in African countries are public buildings and monuments related to the history of their respective countries. However, they are the only places for South Koreans to see North Korean large-scale monuments in reality, since South Koreans are not allowed to visit the North due to division of the two Koreas. The monuments and buildings in African countries actually display more of North Korean socialist realism than African qualities. Strongly presenting the “Juche Art” of North Korea, the buildings and monuments can be deemed as North Korea represented through Africa. [CHE Onejoon]