Kim Jong-il: Ceauşescu Moment?
Several blog entries back, I mentioned that my ten-year-old son, En-Uk, has started an art blog. He's been at it for 21 days now and has posted an artwork every day. We'll see how long he keeps this pace up.
I particularly like the work of art that he posted two days ago. We had taken a walk after church through North-Seoul Dream Forest (북서울꿈의숲), a park not so far from where we live, and during that walk, En-Uk asked some questions about Kim Jong-il because he's recently been reading on the division of the Korean Peninsula into North and South and also knows that his maternal grandfather came from there.
I therefore said a few things about Kim Jong-il, we worked on a satirical song about the man, and I happened to mention that he is rather short and thus wears his hair poofed up to look taller.
That evening, En-Uk posted the image above to his art blog and wrote the following:
This drawing is called "Kim Jong-il." Kim Jong-il made his hair go up so he would look like he is tall. He is the North Korean dictator. He is a bad man. I don't like him. I made a song. It goes, "With the Jong-il, the mighty Jong-il, the lion seeks to fight . . ." It was funny. Bye.I was surprised to see that En-Uk had caught the point about Kim Jong-il's hair and used the detail in his artwork. Speaking of that image above, I think that En-Uk has captured something about the man, as we can see by comparison to this official North Korean photo:
I doubt that En-Uk was working from any particular Kim Jong-il photo, rather from a montage of mental images, but he has captured well the more recent, emaciated state of the man, almost skeletal -- far thinner than in this photo -- and also depicted well the sense that time is running out for this more enfeebled dictator, who stares at us in En-Uk's portrait like a startled creature caught in the spotlight of history. Perhaps En-Uk has had some premonition of Kim Jong-il's imminent "Ceauşescu Moment," when the North Korean people themselves rise up like an angry lion? We can at least entertain the thought that the sleeping lion wakes up and seeks out its enemy:
With Kim Jong-il, the mighty Jong-il,Until then, lala kahle, Mr. Kim, and dream that the lion doesn't wake up . . .
A lion seeks to fight.