Our forthcoming exhibition – Made in North Korea: Everyday Graphics from the DRPK – draws 100 of common objects from the collection of Nicholas Bonner. He began hoarding sweet wrappers, ticket stubs and stamps when first visiting the country in 1993, and has since amassed thousands of items including hand-painted posters and comics. They reveal a graphic style honed over decades in a closed society.
Get the inside story at this Q&A on the opening day of our exhibition.
It follows the recent release of Bonner’s book Made in North Korea: Graphics from Everyday Life in the DPRK, published by Phaidon. The Q&A will be followed by a book signing and late-night opening of the show. £15 tickets include exhibition entry, while £35 tickets include exhibition entry and a copy of the book for £20 (RRP £24.95).
Bonner is North Korea’s foremost expert in graphic culture, tourism and film. Having studied landscape architecture in the UK he set up Koryo Tours in Beijing, specialising in group travel to the DPRK. He has produced three documentaries on North Korea as well as the feature film Comrade Kim Goes Flying, and was part of the curatorial team behind the Golden Lion-winning Korea pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale.
“This collection represents common objects given beautiful status by the hand-drawn graphics from North Korea’s most creative designers. Some of the work is elaborate but the basic designs too should not be overlooked – minimalistic simplicity creating beautifully rhythmic artwork.”