Exhibitions

June 2010

NORTH KOREAN POSTERS - A PRIVATE COLLECTION

This collection of 50 hand-painted, original posters offers a rare chance to enjoy the art of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Commonly known as North Korea, it is considered one of the world’s most closed societies. The posters express historical and socio-political messages, military orders and adverts for cultural events. They recall the military successes of the 1950s, and anticipate the building of a bright and powerful Communist future. With recent tensions between North and South Korea making it highly topical, this fascinating collection provides a platform from which one can assess not only the history, people and politics of this brutal military regime, but also its artistic and cultural achievements.

As a study of political propaganda art, this collection bears obvious comparison with that of the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union. The use of striking colours, diagonal, radiating compositions and uncompromising Communist ideology is both attractive and alien, inviting and threatening to our Western eyes.

Akin to Chinese and Soviet Socialist Realism, North Korean propaganda art observes a total subservience to the Great Leader, Kim II Sung (1912-1994). Revered to this day as a deity in the country, this former anti-Japanese guerrilla founded the DPRK as a socialist economy and society, supported by the Soviet Union and The People’s Republic of China.

Outside of this reverence for the Great Leader, the posters emphasise the key North Korean values of Political Autonomy, Economic Self-Reliance and Self-Defence. These are the values upon which the state rests to this day, shunning outside political support and attempting to remain self-sufficient, despite the collapse of its economy, the frailty of its current leader, and the suffering of its people.

Kim Jong II (1942-), the son of the Great Leader and referred to in the posters as the General, became the new Leader following his father’s demise. He is seldom seen these days in public, and his health has been the subject of much conjecture by Western observers. Recently his plans for succession became clear with the naming of one of his sons as the future leader, ensuring the continuity of the Communist regime.

Socialist Realism is the only permitted, recognised art form in North Korea. Its sole purpose is to promote the Revolution. Alongside its political messages however, it also expresses love and pride for the natural beauty of the land and its people. There is, as with all Soviet and Chinese political art, a strong sense of optimism, and a seemingly unshakeable belief in the cause. Kim Jong II described in three words the qualities of Korean Painting, namely clarity, compactness and delicacy.

With the absence of commercial activity, political posters fill the space of advertising for North Koreans in all walks of their day-to-day existence. The posters direct the populace, stinging it into action, spurring it on to ever-increasing achievements and forming the reality of life for the common man.

This collection exhibited here comes from one of the most prestigious art studios in the country. The artists who produce these posters always remain anonymous. They are employees of the state, whose job it is to reinforce and promote the Revolution. However, we should remember that North Korea has a long tradition for fine art, and the artist is not the one who writes the message. Thus we should also try to view the image independently of its political meaning. These are objects of great beauty, and clearly the work of a skilled hand, which is something that can be appreciated by all art lovers, regardless of their political affiliations.

For further reading, please see North Korean Posters, The David Heather Collection, published by Prestel.
Paintings purchased in monthly exhibitions receive a complimentary 10% discount.


Let's move forward all together while obeying the order of the commander-in-chief.
Available

Let's move forward all together while obeying the order of the commander-in-chief.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55x77cm

£ 2,000.00

'We can do it': this is the philosophy of the spirit of self-help.
Available

'We can do it': this is the philosophy of the spirit of self-help.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

A bumper crop of beans for the soldiers!
Available

A bumper crop of beans for the soldiers!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

All unite along with the great leadership for Revolution!
Available

All unite along with the great leadership for Revolution!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Be a great warrior who can defeat 100 enemies while training harder!
Available

Be a great warrior who can defeat 100 enemies while training harder!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Charge! All towards Gook-ryeong Maroo! (Name of area, part of a mountain)
Available

Charge! All towards Gook-ryeong Maroo! (Name of area, part of a mountain)

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Every worker, be a pioneer for the country to flourish!
Available

Every worker, be a pioneer for the country to flourish!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Everybody, go to the field for the autumn harvest!
Available

Everybody, go to the field for the autumn harvest!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Everyone, go to the farming fields!
Available

Everyone, go to the farming fields!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

How are you getting on with work to let the country open the gate to 2012?
Available

How are you getting on with work to let the country open the gate to 2012?

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Hypocrite: our hands are clean! We have never been an invader!
Available

Hypocrite: our hands are clean! We have never been an invader!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let our children get trained in the water!
Available

Let our children get trained in the water!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let the army show their dignity and power with the will-power of 10 million soldiers.
Available

Let the army show their dignity and power with the will-power of 10 million soldiers.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's all focus on farming!
Available

Let's all focus on farming!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's be young heroes in building up a new Baekdoo power station.
Available

Let's be young heroes in building up a new Baekdoo power station.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's become a military family to serve the leader with a gun.
Available

Let's become a military family to serve the leader with a gun.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's complete all the work that has been given to us with the spirit of soldiers!
Available

Let's complete all the work that has been given to us with the spirit of soldiers!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's defend our country with unity.
Available

Let's defend our country with unity.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's establish a powerful socialist country!
Available

Let's establish a powerful socialist country!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's finish building up important buildings early.
Available

Let's finish building up important buildings early.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's finish the irrigation works early with all the people working together!
Available

Let's finish the irrigation works early with all the people working together!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's get on with a million miles of road for Revolution while living up to General Baekdoo's expectations.
Available

Let's get on with a million miles of road for Revolution while living up to General Baekdoo's expectations.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's get on with building our houses!
Available

Let's get on with building our houses!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's get on with irrigation works between Kaechun and Teasung Lake!
Available

Let's get on with irrigation works between Kaechun and Teasung Lake!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's go with 3 ideas: Politics, Anti-Imperialism, and Economic-Science.
Available

Let's go with 3 ideas: Politics, Anti-Imperialism, and Economic-Science.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's inherit and develop our patriotism that has come from our stance against the Japanese!
Available

Let's inherit and develop our patriotism that has come from our stance against the Japanese!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's make 60 years of the Party a great festival for winners!
Available

Let's make 60 years of the Party a great festival for winners!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's make a breakthrough in the building of socialism!
Available

Let's make a breakthrough in the building of socialism!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's make a sacred fire for peace and no war.
Available

Let's make a sacred fire for peace and no war.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's make our country full of love and romance.
Available

Let's make our country full of love and romance.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's make our street, village and workplace a fantastic place.
Available

Let's make our street, village and workplace a fantastic place.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's make sports popular and a part of our life.
Available

Let's make sports popular and a part of our life.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's make the country a better socialist country where everyone is happy.
Available

Let's make the country a better socialist country where everyone is happy.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's make the tradition of the Baek-doo revolutionary spirit, the cornerstone of Revolution, and inherit and develop this tradition!
Available

Let's make the tradition of the Baek-doo revolutionary spirit, the cornerstone of Revolution, and inherit and develop this tradition!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's make this year the year of the powerful and wealthy country.
Available

Let's make this year the year of the powerful and wealthy country.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's plant more flowers and look after them.
Available

Let's plant more flowers and look after them.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's produce more meat while planting more pumpkins.
Available

Let's produce more meat while planting more pumpkins.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's send more chemical fertilizers to the farm villages for a bumper crop.
Available

Let's send more chemical fertilizers to the farm villages for a bumper crop.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's stand together to establish one united country!
Available

Let's stand together to establish one united country!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Let's strengthen the political ideas of socialism.
Available

Let's strengthen the political ideas of socialism.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Look after your work place like your own home!
Available

Look after your work place like your own home!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

More goods to the people with the revolution of light industry!
Available

More goods to the people with the revolution of light industry!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Move forward to achieve a powerful and fulfilled country!
Available

Move forward to achieve a powerful and fulfilled country!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Only with the spirit of self-help!
Available

Only with the spirit of self-help!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Our world-class army is the pride of the country.
Available

Our world-class army is the pride of the country.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Unification: we are living in a bright future.
Available

Unification: we are living in a bright future.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Welcome to Pyungyang! Mass Game and Art Festival for the Kim, Il-Sung award
Available

Welcome to Pyungyang! Mass Game and Art Festival for the Kim, Il-Sung award

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Work as hard as in the 1950s.
Available

Work as hard as in the 1950s.

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Young Man, Be a loyal fighter for the Party!
Available

Young Man, Be a loyal fighter for the Party!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

Young Man, Let's accomplish great achievements and make miracles for the country!
Available

Young Man, Let's accomplish great achievements and make miracles for the country!

(Individually hand-painted original North Korean Poster)

North Korean

2009

Vintage Posters

55 x 77 cm

£ 2,000.00

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