A Multi-Million Dollar World Renowned Art Factory From…North Korea

June 23, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

Caroline Winter wrote about an art production factory that produces pieces worth several million dollars commissioned by some of the most significant leaders in the world. The twist? It’s North Korean:

  • Mansudae employs 4,000 North Koreans and is tasked with building propaganda memorials to the Kim family dynasty.
  • Mansudae also exports its work for much needed cash. It is sensitive to the needs of its buyers – for example when building a piece for Germany, it accepted photos of German children to ensure that the children depicted in the statue didn’t look too Korean.
  • The art factory is particularly popular with African countries – North Korea it seems has a comparative advantage in building glorious monuments to great leaders.
  • The factory is able to produce low-cost pieces for governments on a budget because the North Korean workers that build the pieces are used to working in harsh conditions.
  • But it’s not just price. North Korea produces the most authentic work in the realist style since the rest of the world has moved on from the realist era of the 1900s, while North Koreans are untouched by the evolution of modern art.
  • There is a communist-influence to the pieces – seen in the barrel chest of the man in the piece pictured above – but the artists who build the pieces are willing to work around those design principles.

Read the back story of the monument in the picture above, the slogans that are used to motivate North Korean workers, what the Germans bought from the factory, and much more in a surreal article over here.

Source: Business Week

Via: Freakonomics