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SU, SUNY-ESF students organize show of North Korean paintings
SU, SUNY-ESF students organize show of North Korean paintingsDecember 12, 2007SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
Students at Syracuse University and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry are organizing an art show and sale of North Korean paintings Dec. 13-15 at Metro Harvest Assembly of God Church, 1808 E. Fayette St., Syracuse. Ten percent of the sales will go toward launching a nonprofit organization, tentatively called Open Forest Foundation, whose aim is to help North Korea plant trees and build up forests.
“This idea came from my own internship experience at Dandong, the border region between North Korea and China, early this year,” says Hang Ryeol Na, a doctoral student at SUNY-ESF and one of the show’s organizers. “North Korea urgently needs forests, first for recovering the agricultural infrastructure and second for alleviating the environmental problems such as flooding and drought.”
As a result of severe famine in recent years, North Koreans were reduced to eating bark and roots, destroying many trees. Without proper management, the soil lost many of its nutrients. Because there is nothing to hold moisture in the soil, even a short period without rain can cause a drought. Because of these conditions, North Korea has become more and more heavily dependent on food aid from the rest of the world.
The artists to be included in the show and sale include Jong Chang Mo, considered one of the top artists in North Korea; Kim Chun Jon, who won a gold medal in Poland for his work; and Son U Yong, who was awarded the Gold Prize in the Eighth Beijing International Arts Exposition.