The Beautiful Future

North Korean Artwork Commissioned by Koryo Studio.

A collection of eight paintings by a group of North Korean artists working in collaboration with a pair of British creatives, Nicholas Bonner and Dominic Johnson-Hill. The show debuted in Caochangdi as part of Beijing Design Week 2013, before moving to Art Labor gallery in Shanghai, and then the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan. The images also became a huge hit in China where they were the top trending item for three days straight on Weibo (China’s Twitter, with more than 300 million active users).

Our Story

Nicholas Bonner of Koryo Studio and Dominic Johnson-Hill of Plastered 8, Beijing’s most famous streetwear brand, are both Brits with decades of experience in China to their name. During that time the country they call home has changed at breakneck speed, with endless debate and discussion from around the world, which inspired the duo to explore the topic through a prism left untouched by all others — North Korea. Thus, Bonner and Johnson-Hill sought to use their connections and creativity to provide a platform for North Korea’s oft-ignored artists to add their voice and unique outlook to the debate.

 

The Beautiful Future – An Imagined Beijing

Each of the eight pieces that make up The Beautiful Future were painted in Pyongyang, and based on sketches by Bonner and Johnson-Hill, who provided the North Korean artists with ideas drawn from their time in China. Together — over a period of two years — they created an imagined Beijing, where strong socialist traditions are sharply juxtaposed with present-day pleasures and symbols of China’s unprecedented development. And so a group of outsiders with very different backgrounds combined to take a fresh look at China’s past, present and future, with The Beautiful Future portraying a place lost in time — where socialism is both celebrated yet fits awkwardly with modern day living.

CCTV TOWER WITH BOUNTIFUL HARVEST

Selected Artworks

'BIRDS NEST, HOME OF THE PEOPLE' 73.5 x 103 Gouache on paper

Birds Nest, Home of the People
Year: 2013
Size: 73.5 x 103 cm
Gouache on paper

Disco Night to Enhance the Day

Disco Night to Enhance the Day
Year: 2013
Size: 73.5 x 103cm
Gouache on paper

Glorious CCTV Tower

Glorious CCTV Tower
Year: 2013
Size: 84 x 117.5 cm
Gouache on paper

KTV Gives Us a Voice

KTV Gives Us a Voice
Year: 2013
Size: 73.5 x 103cm
Gouache on paper

Office Culture for Prosperity

Office Culture for Prosperity
Year: 2013
Size: 73.5 x 103 cm
Gouache on paper

Water Cube for Clean Air Healthy Life

Water Cube for Clean Air & Healthy Life
Year: 2013
Size: 73.5 x 103 cm
Gouache on paper

CCTV TOWER WITH BOUNTIFUL HARVEST

CCTV Tower with Bountiful Harvest
Year: 2013
Size: 117.5 x 85 cm
Gouache on paper

City Migration

City Migration
Year: 2013
Size: 103 x 73.5 cm
Goucahe on paper

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

Further Commissioned Works

Guarding-the-Skies
The Spiritual Core of Korea
Iconic roles of females in North Korean society
Read more.
Model City: Pyongyang
A unique photographic journey through the socialist architecture and grand visions of DPRK’s capital
Read more.
Single Hearted Unity Cover
Single Hearted Unity
Hand painted propaganda posters depicting political and social messages
Read more.
Single Hearted Unity Cover
Single Hearted Unity
Hand painted propaganda posters depicting political and social messages
Read more.