Exploring North Korean Arts

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"Any society has arts. So does the DPRK, or does it? Can art exist in such a context at all? Why are so many of the scarce resources invested in the arts, when the country has a chronic food problem and officially puts the military above everything else? This book sheds light on the context of art and art production in North Korea, on outsiders’ perceptions, and on the difficulties in the presentation of North Korean art. We discuss the artists and their role, function, and status in their society, the connection between art and the country’s ideology, the relationship between modern and traditional elements, and even the commercial nature of the arts in North Korea. Although pictorial images dominate our discussion, we go beyond oil or brush painting and also consider stamps, book illustrations, and mosaic murals, as well as other forms of artistic expression such as literature and music. This book, it is hoped, will leave the reader better informed about North Korea’s society and political system, but above all about North Korea’s intended and unintended self-representation by means of the arts". Rüdiger Frank

The conference volume Exploring North Korean Arts was published on the occasion of the eponymous international symposium, a cooperative event of the University of Vienna and MAK Vienna (3.–4.9.2010), in the context of the MAK exhibition FLOWERS FOR KIM IL SUNG: Art and Architecture from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (19.5.–5.9.2010).

Edited by Rüdiger Frank.
Texts by Koen De Ceuster, Aidan Foster-Carter and Kate Hext, Rüdiger Frank, Marsha Haufler, Sonja Häußler, James E. Hoare, Frank Hoffmann, Keith Howard, Ross King, Brian R. Myers, Peter Noever, Jane Portal, Dafna Zur

English
304 pages, numerous color illustrations
24 x 15,2 cm, softcover
MAK, Vienna / University of Vienna, Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg, 2011