Visualizing the Socialist Imaginary in North Korean Art

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Yoon Min-Kyung
Name in Latin Alphabet:
Nationality: 미국
Affiliation: Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient

“Visualizing the Socialist Imaginary in North Korean Art.” Min-Kyung Yoon École française d’Extrême-Orient March 23, 2015

This paper examines North Korean art as a site where politics, history and culture meet. It centers on the following themes: politics of culture, cultural production, and historical representations depicted in artworks. Art in North Korea fulfills a clear purpose for culture is a tool to ideologically transform the people. This is most apparent in the depiction of historical themes in North Korean art. History serves the political legitimization of the North Korean state and its leaders. This paper analyzes how art addresses historical themes in support of the revolution and its leaders based on North Korean art theoretical writings, reviews and critiques of paintings, art yearbooks, and history textbooks. My analysis reveals how North Korean art dramatizes and thereby creates an idealized reality that the viewers can emotionally relate to.