The Official Web-Site Abroad of the Mansudae Art Studio

With a labor force of approximately 4000 people, 1000 of which artists, and an area of over 120,000 square meters, 80,000 of which indoor, the Mansudae Art Studio  is probably the largest art production center in the world and by far the largest and most important of the country.

It was founded on November 17, 1959 in Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Only six years had elapsed since the terrible Korean War (1950-1953) in which about 20% of the population of the country had died and most cities were completely destroyed.
The Studio is divided in 13 creative groups, seven manufacturing plants and more than 50 supply departments. The artistic works realized at the Mansudae Art Studio range from oil paintings to bronze sculptures, from Korean Paintings (ink on paper) to ceramics, from woodcuts to embroideries, from jewel paintings (made with precious and semiprecious stones reduced to powder) to charcoal drawings and much more.
The Mansudae Art Studio is not a sort of chain factory, like some Chinese and other Oriental centers, nor a school, but a very high quality art production center. The vast majority of the major art works of the country have been realized by Mansudae Art Studio artists. Their ages go from mid 20’s to mid 60’s and almost all are graduates of the very demanding Pyongyang University. Over half of the Merit Artists and of the People’s Artists, the two highest awards an artist can receive in DPRK, are or have been associated with the Mansudae Art Studio.
This web-site presents officially  the Mansudae Art Studio and its works to the West, and in general abroad, also to contrast the unauthorized use of the name by several Western and Asian web-sites and galleries. This web-site is managed from Italy following an agreement of exclusivity between the Mansudae Art Studio and the Italian Pier Luigi Cecioni. Works bought through this site are sold and shipped from Italy by an Italian company and they are accompanied by a certificate that guarantees they are made by Mansudae Art Studio artists.

How to buy a work

Almost all works shown in this web-site are on sale. To buy, first use the form you can open below to ask about the work you are interested in (availability and price). Please provide your identification data (name, e-mail, address, phone number). Unidentified inquiries will not be answered.
Once you know if the work is available, you are satisfied with its price and you decide to buy, communicate your intention to reserve the work. Make the payment by PayPal or a bank transfer to the account you will given. Once the payment is received the work will be shipped to you within three working days.
All transactions are made with an Italian company, not directly with the Mansudae Art Studio nor with any North Korean company. The transactions are regulated by Italian (European) law and shipping are made from Italy.

How to purchase

Do you want to hold an exhibition of Mansudae Art Studio works?

Museums, galleries, public institutions interested in holding exhibitions can contact us to evaluate the possibilities and, in case, to define the projects. The requesting parties must have very good artistic and cultural reputation.

All agreements are managed by an Italian company and all direct contacts are with it. The works are shipped from Italy.



Korean Posters

Korean Posters

DPRK (North Korea) is the only country which still utilizes posters to convey social and political messages to its people.

A form of art in itself-- once popular in China and in Soviet Union--these posters are hand-painted, typically using tempera, by artists most of which realize also other kinds of paintings. Besides their artistic value, these posters, with their writings and their messages, offer a view on the unique North Korean society and have a strong political interest.

The web-site presents a large selection, periodically updated, of original North Korean posters for sale.

The Mansudae Art Studio at the 798 Art District in Beijing

The 798 Art District in Beijing is the most interesting and lively contemporary art quarter in the world. It was an abandoned industrial complex created in the 1950’s with an architecture inspired to the Bauhaus and comprising several buildings, some of which extremely large. Since around 2000, artists, galleries, designers started to move in, similarly to what happened in Soho, New York, in the 1970’s.

Many of the most important Chinese galleries, several foreign ones and a few academies, museums and foundations have an exhibition space in the 798 Art District. The exhibitions and the numerous events held in those spaces are usually of the highest quality, in line with the leading role in contemporary art that China is now playing, especially in terms of auction sales.

Since 2009 the Mansudae Art Studio is present in the 798 with its own vast, elegant, almost museum-like space called in fact Mansudae Art Museum, though most exhibited works are for sale. This presence, besides promoting sales of Mansudae artists’ works, is a testimony of the position that the Mansudae Art Studio is occupying on the contemporary art scene.

The works exhibited in the Mansudae Art Museum in Beijing are comparable to some of those that can be found in this web-site. Their price is usually higher since they are offered mainly to Chinese collectors that have more familiarity with Mansudae artists.

North Korea: a Unique Country


Contemporary Artists from North Korea

A Unique Country

Luciano Benetton

Pier Luigi Cecioni
Luciano Benetton, Pier Luigi Cecioni, Eugenio Cecioni, Yang Byong Su
English, Korean, Italian

Pages: 468
Size: 21 x 20 cm
Year: 2014
Publisher: Fabrica, Italy

The catalog  North Korea: a Unique Country presents the 210 North Korean works created for the Luciano Benetton Collection--Imago Mundi.
A prominent feature is the works’ unusual size: they are all 10 x 12 cm. The reason for this choice is that Luciano Benetton—co-founder, co-owner and iconic figure of the Benetton Group—is aiming to realize, in effect, a world atlas of contemporary art by collecting a large number of works from as many countries as possible. The small size, the same for all countries (as is the approximate number of works for each country) reflects, first of all, a practical need: it would be almost impossible to collect thousands of art works of “normal” size. Moreover, this homogeneity allows a comparison, a more intense dialogue, among the different countries, especially when all the works of one country are inserted in the displays realized by the architect Tobia Scarpa, and then placed one next to the other.

The works for North Korea: a Unique Country have been realized at the Mansudae Art Studio, the Pyongyang art center where the vast majority of the most accomplished North Korean artists work. The techniques represented are virtually all those employed in the country: ink, oil, acrylic, woodcut, embroidery, drawing, tempera, calligraphy, watercolor and jewel painting. This last consists in using precious or semiprecious stones that are crushed and glued on a board or on a canvas, without the use of additional color.
The ages of the artists, all highly if not superbly skilled, range from 24 to 74.
These works themselves provide a panorama of the artistic production of the country while, of course, taking into account the aforementioned limitation that excludes those works for which size is an intrinsic element such as the characteristic very large and almost epic works, or many calligraphy works in which the gesture constitutes an essential part, or the propaganda posters whose text, if reduced to fit the size of the works, would become almost illegible.

The commentaries included in the catalog, which has been curated by Pier Luigi Cecioni, Western representative of the Mansudae Art Studio, are  by Luciano Benetton, Pier Luigi Cecioni, Eugenio Cecioni and Yang Byong Su of the Mansudae Art Studio.

The catalog’s cover has been rendered from a poster, selected to convey a different image from the conventional ones of a country that is truly unique, perhaps the most unique of all.