All posts filed under: Art

Opera North and ‘The Flying Dutchman': A Review

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Art / Cultural Politics / German / Opera
Middle Wagner

While having ostensibly little to do with the East Asian themes that normally permeate this website, the following post is connected to my interest in German classical music and specifically opera. Regular readers more interested in Northeast Asia can trace Wagner’s relevance for studies of state-driven culture in the region more fully via my article ‘North Korean Hip-hop? Reflections on Musical Diplomacy and the DPRK‘ (Acta Koreana, 2009).  — Adam Cathcart, University of Leeds  Opera North […]

Songs, Film, and Ideological Shifts in the DPRK

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Art / North Korea / Propaganda
Rice Plant Flower

Unlike songs which can put forth a new policy line in the space of a day or two, films take longer to congeal and embody ideological shifts. Chinese media covered this film “Rice Plant Flower” 《稻花》with a slight implication that there might be something about wealth accumulation in it, but it looks to be quite orthodox and in no way indicative of the Party’s reported relinquishing of limited control to selected farmers, let alone a […]

Researching the Moranbong Band: An Abstract

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Art / Cultural Politics / Hip-hop / Music / My Publications / North Korea

Even before Kim Jong-il’s tremulously-announced death in Dec. 2011, the North Korean musical-cultural apparatus-elite-complex was in valedictory mode, producing huge orchestral canatas that expressed a perfect –and complete– vision of the Dear Leader’s full contribution to the ongoing North Korean revolution. Had Kim Jong-un chosen to take up only these modes of cultural commemoration, they were clearly within his grasp. Instead, months after his father’s death, Kim Jong-un moved quickly to organize and premiere a […]

Enemies and Allies in North Korean Art and Archives, 1948-1952

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Art / Cultural Politics / Korean War / My Publications / North Korea / Sino-North Korean relations / War Crimes

This is the introduction to a paper which I prepared for an Association of Asian Studies panel on captured wartime documents in Korea, Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, 29 March 2014.  The panel was organized by Chuck Kraus and the discussant was Bruce Cumings. The images that accompany the presentation can be accessed via clicking on this link for PowerPoint slides. — Adam Cathcart Usually in modern times when States have been defeated in war they have […]

On Deadlines, and Morning: Edward Said

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Art

“In early adolescence I was completely in the grip, at once ambiguously pleasant and unpleasant, of time passing as a series of deadlines – an experience that has remained with me every since. The day’s milestones were set relatively early in that period and have not varied. Six thirty (or in cases of great pressure six; I still use the phrase “I’ll get up at six to finish this”) was time to get up; seven-thirty […]

Rectified Criminal or Courageous Speech? Ai Weiwei in China and Germany

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Art / Cultural Politics / EU-East Asia relations / history and memory / Huanqiu Shibao / Sino-German Relations

  About two weeks after the disappearance of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the Huanqiu Shibao released a series of photographs of past criminals who had, through arduous years of “thought reform,” found a path toward the redemption in the eyes of the Chinese people.  Sitting in front of my computer screen, dumbfounded, I wondered if indeed this was still the CCP model for legal proceedings: seven years of detention until the witnesses could be adequately […]

Blockages and Breakthroughts: Cultural Diplomacy and North Korea

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Art / Cultural Politics / EU-East Asia relations / French / Hip-hop / Music / My Publications / North Korea / Sino-North Korean relations

[A cross-post of an essay which I posted on SinoNK.com. — AC] Yesterday, Corée_Actualités launched a short missive which functioned as a kind of bouleversement of the normal: a 90-member delegation of the DPRK’s Unhasu Orchestra (consisting of 70 players) will be performing at the Salle Pleyel in Paris this coming March 21.  The French Radio Symphony Orchestra (l’Orchestre de Radio France) will be playing alongside Unhasu, under the direction of the South Korean conductor Chung Myung-Hwa. (Like most successful […]