Title: GLORIOUS CCTV TOWER 宏伟的央视大楼新址
Artist: Nicholas Bonner/Dominic Johnson Hill with DPRK artist
Year: September 2008
Medium: Gouache on paper
Dimensions: 84 x 117.5 cm
A couple of tourists visit the glistening CCTV Tower, the architectural highlight of Beijing.
The artists started work on the picture in 2008 Tower years before the building was constructed and for reference, they only had small images of the building from architectural magazines.
The sky with red glowing sun copies the design of a 1970’s North Korean book cover.
The perspective is somewhat distorted but the scenes is of a shiny modern city together with industry in full production are typical of North Korean imagery (see propaganda poster and cigarette packet graphic below).
The western couple are seen being driven around in a Mercedes 190 (which was a car the Koreans tried to copy). This is how small groups of tourists in North Korea are looked after, private car, two guides and a driver at all times outside of the hotel.
The streaming crowd of workers wave red flags and carry undecipherable banners but the joy of living in this utopia is evident.
Reference to history is also made clear by depiction of the Great Wall, certainly something that cannot be seen, even on a clear day, from Beijing.