Video: Inflatable Kim Jong-Il

The death of Kim Jong-il immediately brought to mind this piece installed at the Franconia Sculpture Park north of Minneapolis: Korean-born, New York-based artist Chang-Jin Lee's Dear Leader, an inflatable "Supreme Leader" accompanied by North Korean propaganda songs extolling Kim's god-like virtues. The artist writes:

Many in Western society see Kim Jung Il as an inexplicable anomaly, but from the traditional and isolated point of view of rural North Koreans the values of Confucianism directly support a kind of caste system and rigid traditional hierarchy with the King as demigod figure at the top - the father and the protector of the Nation. “Dear Leader” is intended to pique interest and to provoke curiosity and exploration of this complex and multidimensional phenomenon, and at the same time to isolate it and to put into physical form, elements of its social, political, and religious origin.

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