About the part that art plays in a globalising society

Framer Framed

15 May 2022
15:00 - 17:00

Book Launch: International Friendship

On 15 May, Framer Framed will host the launch of International Friendship: The Gifts from Africa, an anthology focused on the documentary-filmmaking practice of CHE Onejoon and the artist’s research into the statues, monuments, and buildings built by North Korea in Africa from the 1970s to the present. During the launch, Che will be in conversation with curator Inga Lāce and art historian Sohl Lee.

This event is FREE and in English.
Register here to join.

International Friendship: The Gifts from Africa (Kehrer Verlag, 2022) consists of research around CHE Onejoon’s documentary projects, Mansudae Master Class and International Friendship. The projects traces the statues, monuments, and buildings built by North Korea in Africa from the 1970s to the present and the historical background. North Korea’s Mansudae Art Studio has constructed statues, monuments, and buildings in about 18 countries in Africa. Among them, roughly half of the countries received these constructions from Kim Il-sung for free. Behind this North Korean diplomatic strategy of offering statues, monuments, and buildings to Africa, there was a diplomatic competition between North and South Korea. Just after the Armistice at the end of the Korean War in 1953, the Military Demarcation Line and the stationing of the U.S. Army in South Korea had always been an issue in the United Nations. This has not been generally perceived in the Western world as well as African countries.

This book deals with the historical background and critical writings about Mansudae Master Class and International Friendship as a documentary project, including the essays of experts from various fields such as history, photography, art history, and art criticism, among others.

CHE Onejoon is a visual artist and filmmaker. One of his first projects involved photographing Seoul’s red-light district, which began to decline after the anti-prostitution law took effect in 2004. He also made short films and archives that capture the trauma of modern Korean history by documenting the ruins of the global Cold War. In recent years, Che worked on a documentary project about the monuments and statues made by North Korea for many sub-Saharan African nations. His ongoing project seeks to create a photographic work, film and installation about Afro-Asian culture and identity. Che has exhibited internationally at the Taipei Biennial (2008), Palais de Tokyo modules (2012), the Venice Architecture Biennale (2014), the Seoul Media City Biennale (2014), the New Museum Triennial (2015), the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art Afrika (2015), the Busan Biennale (2018), the Latvian Center for Contemporary Art Survival Kit 10.1 (2019), Jakarta Biennale (2021), and others. Che was a fellow of 2013 Sommerakademie Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern and Rijksakademie in Amsterdam 2017–2018.

Enjoy a preview of International Friendship below! You can read more about the book on the website of Kehrer Verlag, here.

International Friendship: The Gifts from Africa
Author: Che Onejoon
Publisher: Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg, 2022
International Friendship: The Gifts from Africa will be available in the Framer Framed bookshop.

This event will take place during the Amsterdam Art Week at Framer Framed. Check our Amsterdam Art activities from here.

Artist Talk / Book Launch /


Image for the exhibition The silence of tired tongues at Framer Framed

Exhibition: The Silence of Tired Tongues

Contemporary Art & Brazil


Amsterdam Art Week at Framer Framed
Exhibition 'The Silence of Tired Tongues', Oost Tour, Book launch: 'International Friendship' and more!


Sohl Lee

Art historian and professor

CHE Onejoon

Artist and filmmaker

Inga Lāce