Mansudae Art Studio

Established by Kim Il Sung in 1959, the Mansudae Art Studio is responsible for many works of art spread throughout the DPRK and the rest of the world. ¬†The most renowned North Korean artists are selected to work at the studio, which is considered the largest of its kind. ¬†Here they create depictions of the DPRK, often with revolutionary themes. In the DPRK, the work of the craftsmen is found everywhere, statues stand in places ranging from museums to waterparks. Statues are not the only thing the studio creates, heroic war stories are often told in paintings done by studio artists. ¬†Internationally Mansudae is most well known for its propaganda posters and postcards. These propaganda pieces are bought and sold cheaply and a massive number of them are in circulation, as they give foreigners a rare glimpse on what the mindset is like within the borders of the DPRK. Mansudae also has been known to export its Stalinist and Socialist-Realism art to other countries such as Cambodia, where a museum staffed by North Koreans is located right next to 1 of the 7 wonders of the world, Angkor Wat. Mansudae also has a significant presence in Africa, where monuments the studio crafted pay tribute to African regimes and struggles in as many as 9 countries. These statues are built to grand standards, often standing taller than any other monument in the country and above the skylines of large cities. Despite Africa’s involvement in the world economy, they continue to outsource their monuments to the Mansudae Art Studio, which goes to show how respected their craftsmen are. The studio also is affiliated with 2 Italian art aficionados who run the website and organize exhibitions in the West, although for larger projects they have minimal influence within the organization. Products can be bought first hand at the Mansudae Art Studio auxiliary in the state-run 798 Art District in Beijing or from within the DPRK.