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North Korea unveils depictions of supreme leader to celebrate Korean War anniversary

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North Korea unveils depictions of supreme leader to celebrate Korean War anniversary

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Kim Jong Un depicted riding a horse atop Mount Paektu, the tallest peak in North Korea. — KCNA
Kim Jong Un depicted riding a horse atop Mount Paektu, the tallest peak in North Korea. — KCNA

The first works by North Korean artists promoting Kim Jong Un’s “cult of personality,” were exhibited at a North Korean art exhibition on Friday.

Each artwork features improbable or romantic depictions of the supreme leader taking part in activities like praising farmers and riding a horse over Mount Paektu.

The artwork was on display alongside depictions of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il as part of an exhibition honouring the 70th anniversary of the “victory in the Fatherland Liberation War,” which North Korea uses to refer to the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement that ended the Korean War in 1953.

Choe Chang Hak, vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, and Choe Hui Thae, chairman of the Pyongyang Municipal People’s Committee, along with representatives from ministries, national institutions, and fine art creators, attended the exhibition’s official opening ceremony.

Numerous residents were drawn to the show because Kim Jong Un’s painting was prominently displayed, which may indicate a change in propaganda strategy.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPKR) founder Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il were previously displayed before Kim Jong Un, whose photographs hung third in the order, NK News reported.

The paintings show “one victory after another in the confrontation with imperialism and the US that have lasted for centuries,” according to the state-owned Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Kim Jong Il depicted riding atop a tank and guiding his troops to victory. — KCNA
Kim Jong Il depicted riding atop a tank and guiding his troops to “victory.” — KCNA

North Korea was formed after World War II and Japan’s surrender in 1910.

The Soviet Union occupied the area north of the 38th parallel, which was the demarcation between North and South Korea forming the demilitarised zone (DMZ) in 1953.

KCNA Watch reports that the artwork would remind visitors of Kim Jong Il’s revolutionary history and the tradition of war victory, alongside paintings of Kim Jong Un.

Additionally, the paintings depict the daily transformation of Korea under the Central Committee of the Great Workers’ Party of Korea, presenting a narrative of positive change amid a severe crisis such as starvation and the coronavirus pandemic.

As people began to prefer death over slow-starvation and suffering, Kim Jong Un declared suicide an “act of treason against socialism.”

The Times UK revealed that the identities of the artists who created Kim Jong Un’s paintings remain unknown while referring to Kim’s personal court as “opaque” and difficult to read

Prior to the exhibit, artists in the country were prohibited from painting Kim, but restrictions were lifted, and he recently commissions three mosaic murals for public display.

Kim Jong Un’s attempt to display public works mirrors his father and grandfather’s early reigns, with portraits and statues being made public in the early years of their reign.

While no statues of Kim Jong Un have been observed yet, additional paintings include depictions of recent missile tests and military parades.

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