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KEC Special Lecture Series 2022 - Collecting and Preserving Korean Art in Europe

15.12.2022 | 18:00 - 19:30
KEC Special Lecture Series 2022 - Dr. Koen De Ceuster

KEC Special Lecture Series 2022 - Dr. Koen De Ceuster


Dr. Koen De Ceuster  (University Lecturer at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies)


Ever since artwork from the Mansudae Art Studio came under UN Security Council sanctions in August 2017, and Paekho Art Studio since April 2022, North Korean art has literally become a forbidden fruit. Well before that time, DPRK art already held that aura for a handful of collectors who discovered North Korea, essentially since the establishment of diplomatic relations with EU countries. Not hindered by any particular knowledge about North Korea or its art, they fell for the exotic appeal of what they encountered. Some saw merit in the socialist realist tradition of North Korean art, others fell for the classically trained craftsmanship of North Korean artists. In all cases, however, these collectors were convinced they had stumbled across something unique that would repay itself handsomely in the event of a North Korean collapse. Interestingly, North Korea has skilfully managed this interest, making North Korean fine art indeed into a foreign currency earning instrument. At the same time, aside from the British Museum, no European museum has yet made any direct purchases, and exhibitions of North Korean art remain rare events. Furthermore, in the absence of a secondary market for North Korean art the investment of the collectors has not yet paid off.

In this lecture, a handful of European collectors will be introduced, the history of their collections discussed, and in the broader context of art in North Korea as it is and as we think we know it situated.

Zeit & Ort

15.12.2022 | 18:00 - 19:30


Institut für Koreastudien
Otto-von-Simson-Str. 11
14195 Berlin

Weitere Informationen

Prof. Vladimir Glomb (vladous2000@yahoo.com)