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North Korean Posters: The David Heather Collection [Paperback]

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Item Number 221548  
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Item description for North Korean Posters: The David Heather Collection by David Heather & Koen De Ceuster...

This rare glimpse into North Korean society is the first book of its kind: a collection of state-sponsored propaganda posters that presents the unique graphic sensibilities of this little-known country.
Seldom seen by the outside world, North Korea's propaganda art colors the cities and countryside with vibrant images of brave soldiers, happy peasants, and a heroic and compassionate leader. More than 250 of these posters are collected here for the first time, showing the wide range of North Korean propaganda art. Hand-painted works from the last fifty years, these posters display the latest political slogans that are repeated in newspaper editorials and government declarations throughout the country.
A collection that will appeal to artists and graphic designers as well as those interested in this closed society, this book may not represent the reality of North Korea, but it offers a vision of the country as promoted by its regime and depicted by its state-sponsored artists.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   283
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 7.75" Height: 9.75"
Weight:   2.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 30, 2008
Publisher   Prestel USA
ISBN  3791339672  
ISBN13  9783791339672  

Availability  0 units.

More About David Heather & Koen De Ceuster

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Heather is a businessman, curator and collector or North Korean and Vietnamese art and the co-author of North Korean Posers (Prestel 2008). He lives in London.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > General
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art Instruction & Reference > General
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Graphic Design > Graphic Arts > General

Reviews - What do customers think about North Korean Posters: The David Heather Collection?

Ever forward to Paradise  May 3, 2008

To quote from Koen De Ceuster in the book's intro: 'Only if the poster appeals to the ideological and aesthetic sentiments of the people will it succeed in truly rousing the people'. The cynical might conclude because the people were not truly roused by these posters is a good enough reason to explain why the economy of the DPRK is in such a ramshackle state.

The 250 reproduced are pretty lackluster in their creativity. This becomes apparent when compared to Soviet Posters (published by Prestel in 2007 and the same size and format) though admittedly they developed over several decades and had the benefit of talent like Lissitzky, Govorkov and Rodchenko to create political masterpieces. With a closed society like North Korea where creativity emanated from the two Kims should anyone expect anything better.

Despite a sameness to many of the images some do stand out. A poster on page 233 is an interesting painting of four horsemen with flags, riding into the future (where else!). As with so many posters shown the groupings are the same: a soldier, woman farmer, steel worker and an intellectual. The painting style looks quite contemporary though. On page 251 has a diesel engine done in a very graphic style with the side of the unit incorporating bold type, the poster headline is in the same perspective as the engine. There are no dates or artists mentioned in any of the captions and looking through the pages I get the impression that maybe the bulk of the posters were created by a small group of artists and designers.

There is a chapter called: Undeterred Defiance, with forty-five works hurling abuse and dire consequences at the US and some of these look several decades old. Covering the Korean war and later the capture of the USS Pueblo in 1968 and a US helicopter incident in 1994. These last two events, very minor in the scheme of things but as they are the only two things where the US directly affected North Korea their importance is exaggerated enormously.

The book is identical to the Soviet Posters I've mentioned. The same 288 pages, color throughout, in 150 screen and also the same annoyance of having all the captions and page numbers sideways on each page (so four stars) but I thought the Soviet book's contents far more interesting. With two books covering the same subject I wonder if Prestel will extend the idea to Cuban, Polish and East German political posters?

***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.


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