It's not often that the flag of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.) flies over London's Pall Mall, a few hundred yards from Trafalgar Square, but it was this week during a rare exhibit of North Korean artwork from the isolated nation's "people's artists," a select group that numbers less than a dozen. One attendee of the opening, which featured North Korean diplomats and their wives, described the scene: "There were loads of people, it was really packed. The embassy was there and some old (British) hanger-on Communists—you know the type, with their bad-fitting cheap suits and beards—they were being a bit weird and annoying people."
The artwork itself, all from the famed Mansudae studio, ranges from original propaganda posters (unsigned), ceramics, pastoral landscapes and "jewel" art—a form of painting made from crushed minerals that are bountiful in the mountainous Korean peninsula. Over two years in the making, the show is a chance to get a peek at a rich culture, including top North Korean artists Jong Chang Mo, Son U Yong and Hwang In Je. See London Korean Links for more info.
Artists, Art and Culture of D.P.R. Korea
Through 2 September 2007
5b Pall Mall
Royal Opera Arcade
London SW1Y 4UY
tel. +0207 9308069