Korean National Assembly Secretariat artwork offends President


  • Staff members removed the artwork from Korea’s National Assembly Secretariat because it made fun of the country’s recently elected President, Yoon Suk-yeol.
  • The exhibition “Goodbye Seoul” had 80 artworks and was set to run for a week.
  • The composition title, “Decision to Embezzle,” alludes to Yoon’s contentious pardoning of the state’s previous President.

Officials from Korea‘s National Assembly Secretariat deinstalled an exhibition after its debut last week at the National Assembly Building in Seoul because it included parodies of the country’s recently elected President, Yoon Suk-yeol.

It was planned for the exhibition “Goodbye in Seoul” (also known as “Embezzle”) to run for one week. There were 80 pieces of art in total, including two satirical portraits of politicians. In one artwork, the head of state is seen hovering over a city, naked and holding a sword, evoking Goya’s Colossus. 

Moreover, Yoon is recast as the lead in a 2022 movie called “Decision to Leave” in another piece of art. The article’s controversial pardon of the state’s former President, Lee Myung-bak, who was convicted of financial fraud charges, is alluded to in the title, “Decision to Embezzle,” of the piece. 

The exhibition was co-organized by the Seoul chapter of the Federation of Arts and Cultural Organizations of Korea and the Goodbye Exhibition Organizing Committee. Senators and other members of the Democratic Party of Korea’s political establishment provided advice to the groups.

According to a report by ArtAsiaPacific, the National Assembly Secretariat repeatedly notified the exhibition’s organizers that they needed the authorization to take the artwork out of the venue. The office said that the event did not comply with the usage regulations for government premises. The requirement states that activities that are “deemed possibly infringing individual rights, public morality, and social ethics” are prohibited, as are those that engage in “slandering.”