The exhibition offers for the first time insight into the contemporary art, poster production and architecture of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, which hitherto was mostly not on show in international exhibitions. The exhibition in the MAK was prepared in cooperation with the Korean Art Gallery and the Paektusan Academy of Architecture. What can be seen is a culture that is alien to us and that is stamped by an overwhelming veneration of the Eternal President Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994, and of his son Kim Jong II , presently in power; the culture is also rigidly marked by the Chuche ideology, a specific interpretation of socialism. Kim Il Sung adapted the traditional Marxist-Leninist doctrine to the Korean situation. The Chuche ideology which thus arose interprets Historical Materialism as a form of voluntarism, thereby emphasising the countrys autonomy in every respect, whether ideological, political, economic or military. Korean nationalism thus assumes a central ideological role.
The show contains around 100 oil and ink pictures, a representative selection of posters, and a model of the Chuche Tower, the landmark of Pyongyang, and is rounded off by architectural drawings and photographs. For the first time, 16 portraits of the two most senior leaders of the country, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong II , are exhibited. Generally they depict father and son together with representatives of the people, including factory workers, soldiers and peasants as well as children, and in a variety of settings. In the paintings, it is mainly the heroic acts of the revolution that are depicted, from the beginnings of the
Democratic Peoples Republic and the creation of the Workers Paradise. So-called bourgeois forms of art, such as for example abstract art, are the subject of critical opposition, comparable with the situation in the former Soviet Union. Socialist Realism was long considered the prevailing style.
Exhibition Peter Noever
Curator Bettina M. Busse
Consultant curator Christiane Bauermeister
Project coordination Dunja Gottweis
€ 12 / reduced € 10
Free Admission for children and teens under 19
Tuesdays 6–10 p.m. admission € 5