The North Korean Film Studio Posters

Posters from the North Korean FIlm Studios offering a rare chance to see into North Korean propaganda as you have never seen!

And even the opportunity to purchase a piece of North Korean film history.

Pyongyang Film studio

North Korean Film Studio Background

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 colonization of the country and the US presence in 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.

North Korean Film Studio Poster Art

Pyongyang Film Studio, otherwise known as North Korean Film Studio, is being renovated.

The posters which were dreamt up by North Korean artists as ‘imperialist advertising’ used to make the streets more authentic are being removed.

Koryo Studio Commission

In 2003, we commissioned artwork of these original posters as a limited edition or hand-painted North Korean poster. For artist Han Jong Sil who is normally commissioned to paint Propaganda posters, this was an unusual project.

Purchases

For the first time, we are selling the individual posters as a limited edition of 20 pieces only on 240 gsm white matt Hahnemühle paper using a state-of-the-art Epson giclée printer.

Each print has a 2cm white framing border embossed with the Koryo Studio seal and edition numbered in pencil.

The works are signed by the artist and are 120 EUR each + postage.

Korean Film Studio Poster Art Background

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.

The North Korean Artists

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.

Visiting the Film Studios

Director of Koryo Studio, Nicholas Bonner, has been a regular visitor to the Film Studio since the 1990s 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.

The Film Studios Today

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.

North Korean Film Studio Poster Artworks

Limited edition of 20 giclee prints at 120 EUR + shipping.

La Mer Beauty Salon, Pyongyang Film Street Posters

Lamer Hair Salon
Artist: Han Jong Sil
Year 2003
Gyclee Print on art paper
Edition of 20
Size A3
Price 120 EUR
ID: P002

Grand Show, Pyongyang Film Street Posters

OK
Artist: Han Jong Sil
Year 2003
Gyclee Print on art paper
Edition of 20
Size A3
Price 120 EUR
ID: P003

Oasis, Pyongyang Film Street Posters

Oasis
Artist: Han Jong Sil
Year 2003
Gyclee Print on art paper
Edition of 20
Size A3
Price 120 EUR
ID: P001

Cafe, Pyongyang Film Street Posters

Cafe
Artist: Han Jong Sil
Year 2003
Gyclee Print on art paper
Edition of 20
Size A3
Price 120 EUR
ID: P004

Motel Drinks, Pyongyang Film Street Posters

Motel Drinks
Artist: Han Jong Sil
Year 2003
Gyclee Print on art paper
Edition of 20
Size A3
Price 120 EUR
ID: P008

Yakgodyo, Pyongyang Film Street Posters

Yakgodyo
Artist: Han Jong Sil
Year 2003
Gyclee Print on art paper
Edition of 20
Size A3
Price 120 EUR
ID: P006

Lactogen, Pyongyang Film Street

Lactogen
Artist: Han Jong Sil
Year 2003
Gyclee Print on art paper
Edition of 20
Size A3
Price 120 EUR
ID: P007

Nylon, Pyongyang Film Street Posters

Nylon
Artist: Han Jong Sil
Year 2003
Gyclee Print on art paper
Edition of 20
Size A3
Price 120 EUR
ID: P005

North Korean Film Studio Poster Artworks

A Closer Look.

Pyongyang Film Street

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

Oasis, Pyongyang Film Street Posters

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P001

Pyongyang Film Street

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

La Mer Beauty Salon, Pyongyang Film Street Posters

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P002

Pyongyang Film Street

Poster in Japanese Street promoting the ‘OK’ Grand Show nightclub
Text: Characters are undecipherable, just used for effect.

Grand Show, Pyongyang Film Street Posters

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P003

Pyongyang Film Street

Poster used in Pyongyang Film Studio, Japanese Street
Text: Cafe. Other characters are undecipherable, just used for effect.

Cafe, Pyongyang Film Street Posters

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P004

Pyongyang Film Street

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

Nylon, Pyongyang Film Street Posters

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P005

Pyongyang Film Street

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

Yakgodyo, Pyongyang Film Street Posters

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P006

Pyongyang Film Street

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

Lactogen, Pyongyang Film Street

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P007

Pyongyang Film Street

Poster used in Pyongyang Film Studio, Japanese Street

Text: Characters are undecipherable, just used for effect.

Motel Drinks, Pyongyang Film Street Posters

Koryo Tours Commission
Size: A3
ID: P008

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 give a good idea of the posters used to create more realism for the film studio ‘South Korea Street’.

Koryo Studio Explains. This is a YouTube series. Check our videos out on YouTube for a closer look at the Koryo Studio artworks, as well as a commentary with Nick Bonner.

Further Commissioned Works

Great Harvest of the Sea
Ship and port themed linocuts by artist Hwang In Jae
carl de keyzer Changgwangwon Health Complex
6A hugely ambitious project - Magnum photographer Carl De Keyzer on a 60 night tour
Reflection of a Rocket
Linocuts depicting man's exploration of outer space and ocean floor