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Art Under Control in North KoreaNorth Korean Posters

Art Under Control in North KoreaNorth Korean Posters Book Reviews Art Under Control in North Korea by Jane Portal. London: Reak­ tion Books, in association with the British Museum Press, 2005. 192 pp. Photos, Index. $35.00 (paper) North Korean Posters by David Heather and Koen de Ceuster. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2008. 285 pp. Photos. $25.00 (paper) Ancient empires quickly learned the political usefulness of art. Both the Roman and Byzantine empires in the West and the Chinese Han and Tang dynasties in the East developed sophisticated cultural tools through which to control pre­ modern states. While free bread and circuses offered Rome a temporary way to buy off the plebeians, sculpture and architecture lasted lon ger. While Tang armies could subdue, Tang high culture could awe, and awe costs less than armies. What was true of the past is true today, a fa ct that both democracies and dictatorships have exploited. Jane Portal begins her excellent book, Art Un de r Control in North Korea, with this very story, surveyin g in some twenty tightly- written pages how vari­ ous states have manipulated art through the centuries as well as how "buildings, monuments, and works of art produced in North Korea under the Kim regime" draw on http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Korean Studies Duke University Press

Art Under Control in North KoreaNorth Korean Posters

Journal of Korean Studies , Volume 14 (1) – Sep 9, 2009

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Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
ISSN
0731-1613
eISSN
2158-1665
DOI
10.1353/jks.2009.0001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Book Reviews Art Under Control in North Korea by Jane Portal. London: Reak­ tion Books, in association with the British Museum Press, 2005. 192 pp. Photos, Index. $35.00 (paper) North Korean Posters by David Heather and Koen de Ceuster. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2008. 285 pp. Photos. $25.00 (paper) Ancient empires quickly learned the political usefulness of art. Both the Roman and Byzantine empires in the West and the Chinese Han and Tang dynasties in the East developed sophisticated cultural tools through which to control pre­ modern states. While free bread and circuses offered Rome a temporary way to buy off the plebeians, sculpture and architecture lasted lon ger. While Tang armies could subdue, Tang high culture could awe, and awe costs less than armies. What was true of the past is true today, a fa ct that both democracies and dictatorships have exploited. Jane Portal begins her excellent book, Art Un de r Control in North Korea, with this very story, surveyin g in some twenty tightly- written pages how vari­ ous states have manipulated art through the centuries as well as how "buildings, monuments, and works of art produced in North Korea under the Kim regime" draw on

Journal

Journal of Korean StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Sep 9, 2009

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