North Korea’s Public Face: 20th century Propaganda Posters from the Zellweger Collection
University Museum and Art Gallery
90 Bonham Road,
Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Nov 29, 2017 To Jan 28, 2018
Detail: The University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, is honoured to present North Korea’s Public Face: Twentieth-century Propaganda Posters from the Zellweger Collection from November 29, 2017 to January 28, 2018. Organised in collaboration with North Korea scholar and Stanford Fellow Katharina Zellweger, this will be the first display of such material in Hong Kong.
Stylistically influenced by communist brutalist propaganda and ideologically informed by the core work on North Korean art—Kim Jong Il’s 1992 publication Treatise on Art (Misullon)—all of these state-commissioned posters promote ‘correct’ forms of socialist realism, thereby documenting the socio-political and economic policies communicated from the Leader to the North Korean people. In so doing, daily activities are aligned with political beliefs; for example, the metaphorical configuration of rice farming with the cultivation of socialism.
Beyond their overtly ideological character, the posters confer messages related to practical agricultural, industrial and social developments, while portraying a distinctly human picture of the varied urban and rural communities. Altogether, the imagery displayed offers insights into a country that few have visited and from which first-hand information remains sporadic and inconsistent at best.
We thank Katharina Zellweger for providing us the opportunity to share these posters with the public, and we express our gratitude to the North Korean and Swiss Consulates for their generous support of our exhibition.