I Am Sun Mu

Adam Sjöberg

North Korean artist Sun Mu fled to South Korea in the 1990s. The camera follows him as he prepares for an exhibition of his controversial work in Beijing. Everything is recorded but his face remains a mystery. Animations of his artistic creations ingeniously underscore his life story.

Sun Mu is one of the first North Korean artists who can share their work with the world. Since he fled to South Korea he has created moving paintings: red, white and blue pictures of dictator Kim Il-Sung and sweet portraits of the country’s indoctrinated youth. Despite his depressing past, he is not out for revenge. He still hopes to see both Koreas reunited.

In I Am Sun Mu, a curator encounters his highly politicised work and wants to exhibit it in his gallery in Beijing. Tensions gradually mount as it becomes clear that showing Sun Mu’s work is a risky business. The artist and the curator fear North Korean embassy intervention, and due to the country’s excellent ties with China, the latter’s government might ban the exhibition. Sun Mu is also scared of repercussions against his family in North Korea and refuses to be filmed. While the camera records everything from his slogans to his unmade bed, his face remains a mystery.


Adam Sjöberg
Adam Sjöberg
Country of production
United States
87 minutes
Spoken language
Chinese (Cantonese), English, Korean
Production company
Required Reading Productions
Dutch distributor