North Korean Utopia 02.  

Click here to view at full resolution.
Uploaded: 09/05/17 8:31 PM GMT
North Korean Utopia 02.
Views: 684
Dlds: 274
Status: active

In Goes, a town in Zeeland, The Netherlands, at the end of August 2017 an exhibition was held, showing more than fifty North Korean paintings, made between 1960 and 2007 by professional North Korean painters. All paintings were made on behalf of the North Korean state and are originally intended for domestic use in public buildings and hotels.

Art in North Korea is not free of obligation and is always in the service of the leader, who benefits from an idealized image of North Korea. The regime uses this well-painted socialist-realistic art to create and maintain an utopian North Korea. Essentially it's the glorification of the system by means of paintings with subjects like 'family', 'agriculture and industry', 'war and confrontation', with enemies like the US and Japan: propaganda wrapped as art!

The paintings were collected by the Dutch art collector Ronald de Groen. Ronald started collecting paintings at the end of the 1990's together with the Dutch Willem van der Bijl. Van der Bijl, a stamp dealer, had an official office in the North Korean city Pyongyang, allowing him to do business there legally. A big collection has been gathered by means of a North Korean intermediary.

I got the opportunity to capture all the exhibited paintings, so this one is the second one of a series of the by me selected images for uploading to Caedes. Although the last exhibited painting was made in 2007, think that this series will still show you an unique look at the closed/isolated North Korea.

Some details/description of the second one in this series:

Artist: An Chang-gi

Untitled. Painted in 2002

Oil paint on canvas, 97 x 145 cm.

In this picture the Korean War (1950 -1953) is referred to by the music corps. It expresses an unconditional confidence in victory, which in their eyes is only a matter of time.


Post a Comment  -  Subscribe to this discussion
09/05/17 8:34 PM GMT
A very well done painting and a very god capture of it Cornelius. They were all sold to collect foreign exchange I expect.
3∈ [?]
Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors.
09/05/17 9:09 PM GMT
Aggghhhhh, an accordion! I knew these people were diabolical but not to this extent. My ears! They're bleeding!

3∈ [?]
If you've ever wanted to make a difference but found it hard to believe that one person could... check out the Kiva Team Caedes discussion thread and discover that anything is possible.
09/05/17 9:17 PM GMT
The artist is most talented, and this is a fine example of what lengths they will go too! Propaganda comes in many forms. tigs=^..^=
3∈ [?]
Nature in all her glory is my uplift on life and so is my love of photography. sandi ♪ ♫
09/05/17 10:17 PM GMT
Amazing..sub-machine guns and an Accordion...I don't think anyone can work these people out....R.
6∈ [?]
I wish I was a Glow Worm, a Glow Worm's never glum, 'cause how can you be grumpy, when the sun shines out your bum?
09/06/17 1:26 AM GMT
Very interesting artworks Mr. C. - too bad the artist's obvious talents can't be directed to free expression.
3∈ [?]
. . . Earth laughs in flowers! Ralph Waldo Emerson
09/06/17 5:16 AM GMT
Beautiful propaganda.
12∈ [?]
09/06/17 6:08 AM GMT
Always smiling and happy. Beautiful. :) Another good job, Sea.
3∈ [?]
09/06/17 7:16 AM GMT
It's makes you wonder if those people could live a 'normal' life like ourselves!...

Good artistry on this!
3∈ [?]
09/06/17 11:20 AM GMT
I'm sorry C but I won't be able to comment on these fine images simply because I know too much about North Korea and the human suffering there.

Reading one of the above comments I don't hate the accordion, it's a musical instrument that brings pleasure to some people. (o:
3∈ [?]
Progress equals a trashed planet since mankind is too busy altering it. BTW find the classic definition of Caedes here. Enjoy yourself today (o: because you don't know what tomorrow may bring.
09/06/17 12:15 AM GMT
Beautiful art work finely captured Cornelius.
Again, a thought provoking image. It really is quite unsettling. Dystopia disguised as Utopia.
3∈ [?]
My thanks to all who leave comments for my work and to those of you who like one enough to make it a favourite. To touch just one person that way makes each image worthwhile. . . . . . . . . .. . . . "The question is not what you look at, but what you see" ~ Marcel Proust
09/08/17 10:43 AM GMT
A glimpse into a troubled country.

6∈ [?]
The reason why the sun sets in the evening is because it wants to see the sunrise in the morning. I rise in the morning because I want to see them both. RvdB
09/08/17 7:03 PM GMT
I really like this painting, they look happy. Too bad North Korea is a real threat to the world
3∈ [?]

Leave a comment (registration required):