Mansudae Art Studio
Choe Yong Sun | North Korea (DPRK) b.1958 | The construction site 2005 | Linocut on paper | 65.5 x 52.5cm | Collection: Nicholas Bonner, Beijing
Gang Jae Won | Huang In Jae | Kim Yong Gang | Cho Yong Sun | Jang Hi Lo | Im Hyok | Chae Chang Ho | O Sung Guy | Kim Hung Il | Kim Gi Chol | est. 1959 Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Co-organised by Nicholas Bonner and Suhanya Raffel (Curatorial Manager, Asian and Pacific art, Queensland Art Gallery)
The Mansudae Art Studio is an official artist studio (changjaksa) in Pyongyang, North Korea (DPRK), which employs over 1000 artists across the disciplines of painting, drawing, embroidery and mosaics. There is a rich cultural heritage associated with artistic production in North Korea (DPRK), and ink painting in particular is a revered practice. Artistic themes vary and may be revolutionary, social, political and historical in content, or purely aesthetic, and are expressed in different media such as sculpture, poster art, ceramics and painting. Installed in streets, schools, cinemas and official buildings, they function as a form of public art. These works are created with virtuosic technical skill by groups of artists, reflecting the state’s collective ethos. This new body of work, created specifically for APT6, addresses the nature of work and collectivism, the process of collaboration and the fundamental role played by the studio in artistic practice in North Korea. This important project, developed in collaboration with Nicholas Bonner, will be the first presentation in Australia of contemporary art from North Korea (DPRK).
Nicholas Bonner is a British-born filmmaker and landscape architect based in Beijing. He first visited North Korea (DPRK) in 1992 and soon after established Koryo Tours (with Josh Green), to organise trips to North Korea (DPRK) and promote cultural exchange. Bonner and Director Daniel Gordon's award-winning documentary films include The Game of Their Lives 2002, which traces the North Korean soccer team that qualified for the 1966 World Cup quarter finals; A State of Mind 2004; which follows the daily lives of gymnasts training for the Mass Games in Pyongyang; and Crossing the Line 2008 which looks at American military defectors. www.koryogroup.com
APT6 | Mansudae Art Studio | Work team contest 2009