ArtAsiaPacific has a feature essay on North Korea’s Mansudae Art Studio, which operates under the ‘special guidance’ of the country’s leader, Kim Jong-Il, and produces propaganda art–paintings, public sculptures–for the North Korean state. The studio also has international clients and a ready market in China, South Korea and Japan. But the most startling growth for the studio has been in Africa on projects like the one above: “The African Renaissance Monument,” a 164-feet tall bronze statue in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, to mark the 50th anniversary of Senegal’s independence from French colonial rule.
Angie Baeckner writes that the statue is “… taller than both the Statue of Liberty and Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro” and cost about $28 million–money Senegalese say the state does not have. Locals complain the work resemble the “… standard busts and statues of some European generals” and “Socialist Realism, a style that has nothing to do with any indigenous African culture.”
The North Koreans have also built and designed statues in Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Algeria, Benin, Chad, the DRC, Egypt, Togo and Zimbabwe.
H/T: Public Archive.