Mansudae Art Studio

Gallery in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

An incongruous outpost of the Hermit Kingdom, this gallery exhibits socialist-realist paintings and sculptures depicting soot-faced miners, chiselled soldiers and the lyrical landscapes of North Korea. The works are created by the official government studio in Pyongyang, responsible for all the public art and statuary in the country.

You can also buy genuine DPRK souvenirs, includings commemorative stamps, pin badges and propaganda magazines with shiny tractors on the cover. Outside the gallery entrance stands a shrunken replica of Pyongyang's Chollima Statue, an obelisk crowned with a winged horse created by Mansudae Art Studio for Kim Il-sung's 49th birthday in 1961.

Interestingly, Kim Il-sung is recorded as having toured the Joint Factory 718 (as 798 Art District was originally known), which was acclaimed as a model communist factory during the 1950s and '60s.