If you haven’t read Jane Portal’s Art Under Control, it should be on your reading list. But to give you a taster, she’s giving a talk at Asia House on 27 March.
Tradition and Socialism: Art and Archaeology in North Korea
Talk by Jane Portal
Tuesday, 27 March, 18.45
Security issues and geopolitical controversy are often the first things associated with the isolated Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea. Yet behind the secretive curtain also lies a little known and slowly expanding world of art. Jane Portal explores the role of art in North Korea, a role that has been based on pronouncements made by the Great Leader, Kim Il-sung and his son the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il, about what the State expected of its artists. Portal makes comparisons with the art of similar regimes in history, and finds a clear connection between North Korean art and the socialist realism of the Soviet Union and China. She places North Korean art in its historical, political and social context, and discusses the system of producing, employing, promoting and honouring artists.
Jane Portal is Matsutaro Shoriki Chair, Art of Asia, Oceania and Africa, Museum of Fine Arts Boston. She is one of the few Western scholars to visit and write about North Korea and its artistic practices and is the author of Art under Control in North Korea and Korea: Art and Archaeology
Tickets: £10 / £8
Asia House Friends £6
For booking: 020 7307 5454 or
Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP