Let's Wash Our Hands!

First commissioned North Korean poster depicting life during COVID-19

let's wash our hands

Each print is approximately A3 size (42 x 28.3cm with a 2 cm white border). Ten original hand painted versions (70.3 x 47.2 cm with a 2.4 cm white border) are also available (now second edition).

Our story

We have been working with one of our most talented artists to create a poster depicting life during COVID-19: something relevant for the world from North Korea.

Koryo Studio and Mr Kim Yong (he wanted to use his pen name rather than his full name) worked together by email to design something really very special. We now have a limited first edition of 200 signed copies available for sale, approximately A3 size at just 120 euros (plus postage and packaging). This is a unique opportunity to acquire a piece of propaganda art, usually a genre kept exclusively for political messages and usually only for internal use inside the DPRK.

As DPRK (North Korea) was the first country to close its borders due to COVID-19, communication with our artists has been a bit trickier than usual. However, due to the fact that we have email contact the work progressed in three months from the brief to finished piece.

Let's Wash Our Hands

Development of the poster

About the style

Propaganda art is a genre often used for political messaging and therefore for internal use only. However, DPRK (North Korea) do also make posters to deliver social messages. See the example below we found in May 2005 whilst filming ‘Crossing the Line’. This poster, urging the public to save electricity, was found on the stairway in the block of flats where US defector Joe Dresnok was living.

Let's save energy

More Details about ‘Let’s Wash Our Hands’



There is a limited first edition run of only 200 prints. Each print will be signed by the artist (using his pen name), dated and numbered in pencil, and a certificate of authenticity will be sent with each print. Each print is approximately A3 size (42 x 28.3cm with a 2cm whiteborder). A selection of ten original hand painted versions are also available (please enquire).


The Design:

The artwork has the backdrop of recognisable architectural elements in Pyongyang from the Juche Tower to the Schoolchildren’s Palace. The artist included a flight of doves to represent a bright future. The artist also decided the rather ominous ‘2020’ would need to loom large in the background, it creates a slight unease within the rather naively painted happy scene – giving the feeling that these are not ‘usual’ hand-washing times.


The Font:

The font colours and style reflect the message Mr Kim chose wanted to impart. The first characters are in green in a more instructional style: 손을 (hands), 깨끗이 (clean),  whereas 씻읍시다 (wash) is in a blue more active style.


The Printing Process:

Using a specialist art printers the original gouache poster is flat bed scanned at high resolution. Individual prints are produced on a state of the art Epson giclée printer. The paper is 240 gsm white matt Hahnemühle paper.


Framing Ideas

The art will arrive rolled in tissue paper in a protective tube. The piece can be framed with a mount or you might try an aluminium shadow mount. As with all artwork please keep it out of direct sunlight.

Aluminium framed

We now have a limited edition of 200 signed copies available for sale at just 120 euros (plus 25e for world-wide postage and packaging).

TO ORDER your copy contact info@koryostudio.com

+++Due to the coronavirus there are certain countries that China Post cannot currently deliver to. If your country is on the list we will inform you (we will know when we post). The options are to wait until normal service is resumed or pay for EMS courier which would be an additional 35 euro. If the delivery fails to arrive we will refund the full cost of the artwork but cannot cover postage costs.+++

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

Further Commissioned Works

Great Harvest of the Sea
Ship and port themed linocuts by artist Hwang In Jae
Nothing to Envy
A unique photographic journey through the socialist architecture and grand visions of DPRK’s capital
North Korean Photography
Photographer Werner Kranwetvogel looking at the core elements of the Mass Games
Heroines and Villains 80 x
Unique comic book linocut experiment, Heroes and Villains