LKL book database logo

Selected publications

Smugglers of NK paintings busted

Do the math: on average one contraband North Korean landscape painting buys Kim Jong-il one bottle of brandy. (The article says the dealers’ “profits” amounted to around $24 per picture – assuming the margin is 50%, the amount the North Koreans get per painting is $24 per painting.) #

Illusive Utopia reviewed in the Asia Times

Looks like a fascinating book on North Korean arts. Michael Rank reviews “Illusive Utopia” by Suk-young Kim in the Asia Times: # This impressively researched book examines performance in North Korea in great detail and in its widest sense, from theater and film to visual art and literature and even fashion

DPRK art show, part 2

Such was the quantity of good material that Mansudae sent to London last year for the exhibition at La Galleria that there wasn’t enough space to show it all. So for two weeks this month there will be an opportunity to see some of the work that didn’t make it on to the walls. Last […]

Paekho’s architectural art

I happened to arrive at the DPRK embassy at the tail end of the afternoon, after the reception which welcomed numerous dignitaries to the exhibition of work produced by the Korea Paekho Trading Corporation. I therefore had the works to myself: it was just me, Pak Chang Sop (People’s Artist and president of the corporation), […]

Growing interest in DPRK art show

The North Korean art exhibition in Pall Mall is gathering momentum. A small-scale re-hang has seen more propaganda posters in the window facing the Institute of Directors (above), which encourages passing traffic. The jewel painting is now hung so that pedestrians in the Royal Opera Arcade get greeted by it. The big painting of the […]

A North Korean coup, years in the planning

Prologue The North Korean flag stirred gently in the breeze in Pall Mall, the heart of London’s clubland, a few hundred yards from Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. An elderly gentleman pottered up the steps to the Athenaeum. The blue and red flag caught his eye, but its significance did not register. A young woman […]