The Korean Film Studio Posters

The North Korean Film Studio Posters – a rare chance to purchase a piece of North Korean film history- propaganda as you have never seen!

BACKGROUND:

Pyongyang Film Studio is being rennovated and the kitsch posters which were dreamt up by North Korean artists as ‘imperialist advertising’ used to make the streets more authenic are being removed. We have commissioned artwork of theses original posters as a limited edition or hand painted poster. For an artist normally commissioned to paint Propaganda Posters this was quite a challenge for Han Jong Sil.

The North Korean Film Studio was established in 1947. It built permanent sets to shoot pro revolutionary films that were very much against the Japanese colonisation of the country and the US prescence of South Korea. Different streets were created to represent colonial-era Korea, 1930’s Manchuria, South Korea, and imperial Japan. There was even a set depicting a generic European country, including a church and a number of villas.

THE POSTER ART:

Over the years, artists from the film studio were instructed to paint advertisements and hoardings to make the sets look realistic and to create a North Korean view of foreign street scenes.

You have to remember that these Korean artists would have had no direct experience of these places and would have drawn their inspiration from photographs. Their ‘capitalist’ style adverts promoted dog grooming to brothels and even included their interpretation of western-style film hoardings. The posters have a wonderful naivety, a ‘lost in translation’ feel to them. In North Korea advertising is not permitted so the artists were dealing with a medium that was truly alien to them.

Director of Koryo Studio, Nicholas Bonner, has been a regular visitor to the Film Studio since the 1990’s and he always photographed the film posters as they were replaced or re-painted. In 2003 he commissioned artists from the Film Studio to recreate the advertising posters as individual pieces of art.

A Chinese investor has recently acquired the film set, so renovations are now underway and unfortunately the original posters will most likely have been destroyed. Now the only full record of the posters is with Koryo Studio.

RECREATIONS OF THE POSTERS AVAILABLE TODAY:

We have decided that, for the first time since the commission in 2003, to giclée print on art paper, a limited edition of 20 of each of the pieces. They are all A3 in size, and signed by the artist under his pen name Han Jong Sil. They are available to you at 120 euros each (plus postage).

We also have individual hand painted posters for sale for 880 euros each. All works are signed and dated by the artist. For each purchase we will email Nicholas Bonner’s photograph of the original poster as used at the Film Studio.

Poster used in Pyongyang Film Studio, South Korean Street
Text: Oasis
Please note the resemblane to Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump is coincidental, the posters were from an earlier time!

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P001

Poster used in Pyongyang Film Studio
Text: Beauty Salon, South Korean street

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P002

Poster in Japanese Street promoting the ‘OK’ night club
Text: Characters are undecipherable, just used for effect

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P003

Poster used in Pyongyang Film Studio, Japanese Street
Text: Characters are undecipherable, just used for effect

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P004

Poster used in Pyongyang Film Studio, South Korean Street
Text: Nylon

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P005

Poster used in Pyongyang Film Studio, Japanese Street
Text: Characters are undecipherable, just used for effect

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P006

Poster used in Pyongyang Film Studio, advertising for ‘Lactogen, made in Australia’, Japanese Street

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P007

Poster used in Pyongyang Film Studio, Japanese Street

Text: Characters are undecipherable, just used for effect

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P008

Watch Order No. 27

Order No. 027” (1986) set during the Korean War a group of taekwondo kicking elite soldiers is sent across the border into south Korea to destroy a military base. The scenes in the following video gives a good idea of the posters used to create more realism to the film studio ‘South Korea Street’

Limited edition of 20 giclee prints at 120 eur + shipping

Oasis

Size: A3
Artist: N/A
ID: P001

Hair Salon

Size: A3
Artist: N/A
ID: P002

Grand Show

Size: A3
Artist: N/A
ID: P003

Cafe

Size: A3
Artist: N/A
ID: P004

Naylon

Size: A3
Artist: N/A
ID: P005

Yakgodyo

Size: A3
Artist: N/A
ID: P006

Lactogen

Size: A3
Artist: N/A
ID: P007

Hotel

Size: A3
Artist: N/A
ID: P008

Artworks featured in Commissions are available for sale. Please inquire with us about availability.

Further Commissioned Works

Great Harvest of the Sea
Great Harvest of the Sea
Ship and port themed linocuts by artist Hwang In Jae
Read more.
Guarding-the-Skies
The Spiritual Core of Korea
Iconic roles of females in North Korean society
Read more.
Higher and Higher
‘Starting Work’ series
Limited edition linocuts exhibited at Verbeelde Werkelijkheid: Kunst uit Noord-Korea’
Read more.
Single Hearted Unity Cover
Single Hearted Unity
Hand painted propaganda posters depicting political and social messages
Read more.
September 1, 2020

The North Korean Film Studio Posters

August 28, 2020
Single Hearted Unity Cover

Single Hearted Unity

Hand painted propaganda posters depicting political and social messages
May 25, 2020

A Night in Pyongyang

Photographer Werner Kranwetvogel looking at the core elements of the Mass Games
March 2, 2020

The Grand Tour: D.P.R.Korea

6A hugely ambitious project - Magnum photographer Carl De Keyzer on a 60 night tour
February 25, 2020
Look! The Destiny of US Imperialism (2)

Anti-imperialist Propaganda

An exhibition of anti-imperialist propaganda aimed firmly at North Korea’s enemies Japan and USA
February 24, 2020

Model City: Pyongyang

A unique photographic journey through the socialist architecture and grand visions of DPRK’s capital
February 17, 2020
Heroines and Villains 80 x

Heroines and Villains

Unique comic book linocut experiment, Heroes and Villains
February 11, 2020

Tourist Map of Pyongyang

Gareth Fuller’s artworks are available as a special signed edition of 1,000 affordable silkscreen prints
February 4, 2020
#85. CHON YONG SIK, 58, Bookshop Manager, Majon Guesthouse Resort

Photography: Matjaž Tančič

A series of more than 100 3D portraits of local North Koreans by this award winning photographer
October 12, 2019
Single Hearted Unity Cover

Single Hearted Unity

Hand painted propaganda posters depicting political and social messages
October 12, 2019
Higher and Higher

‘Starting Work’ series

Limited edition linocuts exhibited at Verbeelde Werkelijkheid: Kunst uit Noord-Korea’
October 12, 2019
Great Harvest of the Sea

Great Harvest of the Sea

Ship and port themed linocuts by artist Hwang In Jae
October 12, 2019
Guarding-the-Skies

The Spiritual Core of Korea

Iconic roles of females in North Korean society
October 12, 2019
Reflection of a Rocket

The Future is Bright

Linocuts depicting man's exploration of outer space and ocean floor
October 12, 2019
High-Tension-Line

Art of Cinema

A collection of hand painted film posters depicting iconic films and actors