Written by Zoe Stephens
The Mansudae Art Studio was founded in 1959 under the guidance of Kim Jong-Il before he passed away. It is estimated to be one of the biggest art producers in the world, so why is it still relatively unheard of and unknown?
Here are our key facts to get you started on the Mansudae Art Studio of North Korea.
The Mansudae Art Studio is an art studio based in North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang. It has a total area of around 120,000 square meters, employing around 4,000 people, 1,000 of which are artists.
The studio is the main producer of art throughout North Korea, and it creates all of the main and most important pieces of artwork with the images of the Kim family. It also produces all of the countries most important monuments, including;
The studio is similar to that of a campus, with over 120,000 square meters the site contains a gift shop, a sauna, a medical clinic, a kindergarten, and even a soccer stadium.
Tourists can visit the gift shop and studios on organized tours, where they may also make purchases of the North Korean art.
Apart from large monuments, the studio also produces a variety of other artworks. The studio is made up of 13 groups that produce different types of artwork. This ranges from oil paintings to ceramics, statues, mosaics, posters etc.
You can buy all of the artworks on the Mansudae Art Studio website. Prices are not available on the website, but you can fill in a form to ask about the availability and price. You can then make a PayPal or bank transfer payment, which is dealt with from Italy – as well as the shipping process.
The studio employes around 4,000 workers. 1,000 of these are artists selected from the best academis in the country, including the prestigious Pyongyang University. Ages range from mid-20s to mid-60s.
In the last decade, the studio has earned an estimated $160 million.
Since the 1970s, Mansudae Art Studio has been selling and producing its work overseas. The division selling products overseas is known as the Mansudae Overseas Project Group of Companies. Some of the biggest buyers include those from African nations such as the African Renaissance Monument in Senegal and the Heroes Acre war monument in Namibia. Germany also hired workers to produce the Fairy Tale Fountain in Frankfurt. As of 2014, it has created monuments for 18 African and Asian nations.
Nestled amongst Beijing’s trendy 798 Art District is the world’s only collection of North Korean artwork. It is marked by a large bronze Chollima winged horse statue.
The studio goes by the name of Mansudae Art Museum, but it is not a standard museum. The collection it displays is all for sale, and are similar to those offered on the website. Such products include original and copied paintings, statues and posters, with the emphasized North Korean-China relationship. You can also purchase stamps and postcards.
It has been known to loan out some of its artwork, including holding an exhibition in Italy in 2007. Generally, this is the only place outside of North Korea that you can view and enjoy North Korean artworks.
Wish to join on a tour to visit the art gallery and see the artists in action?
Contact Young Pioneer Tours today to book your place on a tour!