Collection of North Korea’s characteristic posters

While South Korea has been westernized throughout the society, North Korea still maintains their communist cultures since the past years. It is also applied to the art. In South Korea, their art tendency is becoming more and more westernized, but North Korean art is pursuing the communist realism. So there are many kinds of characteristic artworks, including publicity posters.

David Heather published a book titled “North Korean Posters: The David Heather Collection” after collecting the posters, introduced by NYT in the section of Visual Art Review as followings:

Speaking of patterns, North Koreans are masters at making patterns out of human beings. Typically during festivals, thousands of participants are crammed into a huge stadium, given colored cards and choreographed in such a way as to make perfectly synchronized images of their country’s flag, their leaders’ visages and other national symbols. Perhaps now that the State Department plans to remove North Korea from the list of terrorist nations, more Americans will get a chance to see these mammoth spectacles in person. But for those who would rather spend their vacations on a nice quiet beach, David Heather and Koen De Ceuster’s NORTH KOREAN POSTERS: The David Heather Collection (Prestel, paper, $25) might be an easier introduction to Korean patriotism.

 

This is the first extensive collection of propaganda posters from this “people’s paradise,” and while these last vestiges of turgid Socialist Realism are just what one might expect from a repressive regime, it is still fascinating to see this imagery, which adheres to the Mao-era style. Ambiguity is, of course, nonexistent among the happy faces of North Korean farmers, workers and soldiers who “defend the Party, the Leader and the socialist fatherland!” The visual and textual language is fairly consistent, but there are two posters that stand out. One shows a smiling woman with a goat; the caption reads, “Let’s extensively raise goats in all families!” The other is of a male soldier and a female sailor proudly saluting, with the caption “Let’s be the General’s Army, imbued with the spirit of suicide and self-sacrifice!” Sadly, what this book lacks is an explanation of why there is such emphasis on suicide and goats.

 

The more developed grassland, the more meat and milk.

Let’s renew our territory through mobilization of whole parties, citizens, and armies.

Breed up goats extensively at all houses.

Anyone who hands us, we will punish.

Dear America! Behave prudently.

Just give us your order!

Basketball must be popularized at all government bodies and companies.

Trivia : Don’t take too hard.

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