Tuesday, May 24, 2005

North Korean Art

Hello All,

I found an interesting article online at NY Times entitled "A Gallery Peers Into the Closed World of North Korean Art," published May 18, 2005. Since much of what North Korea does is often closed to the public, it is nice to get a glimpse of some of its cultural expressions. Over 1,000 pieces of artwork that was produced in the Pyongyang Art Studio are now being displayed in Beijing due to a negotiation between the North Korean Government and a Briton named Nicholas Bonner. There is not much creative or individual expression allowed in North Korea, so painting is probably one of the few ways artists can express any form of creativity. However, the article explains that this creativity is limited and strictly regulated. There are basically only two types of artwork produced: Soviet-influenced socialist realist depictions of industrial workers, and traditional studies of nature. The article also goes on to discuss how North Korean artists are trained, "artists are still trained largely so that they can celebrate the state's accomplishments and help guide the people according to the government's wishes." I recommend the article to get a taste of North Korean culture. If you go to the article, you can also view a picture of one of the paintings entitled, "Breaktime at the Ironworks."


Kirk said...

Thanks to Jackie for the post (and for breaking the ice) Whenever possible, try to include a link to on-line articles so readers can go directly to them to read for themselves. The URL for the NYT article is here

Xi Zhang said...

It's great to see that North Korea has started to share its culture to the rest of the world. The art work is more state influenced than ispirational, but helps show the what a typical North Korean is suppose to think and honor. The great achievements of the socialist party is continuously honored in works of art. Like the article suggested, its like a time capsule of art from the 1950s.