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How Communist-Era Buildings Inspired Wes Anderson’s Masterpiece – Part 2

Daniel Kim Views  

The Ukrainian Odessa National Art Museum. Despite the Russian invasion, Odessa staff reportedly tried to protect the artworks until the very end. / BBC Korea
Sprzeczna 4, located in the Praga district of Warsaw, Poland, recreates a communist-era building using prefab methods. / C3DIZ

The pink exterior of the Odessa National Art Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine, which was once a European communist country, reminds us of the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel. Sprzeczna 4, a multi-family house in the Praga district of Warsaw, Poland, was reportedly restored using prefabrication methods to replicate a building constructed during the communist era. Communist countries often used pastel tones to express their ideology, interestingly, which also can be found in North Korea.

Pastel tones are found in North Korean household items. / Hankyoreh

Foreigners remember North Korea as the Pastel Pink. British businessman Nicholas Bonner displayed over 200 items from his collection of over 10,000 North Korean design products and artworks, which he collected while operating a North Korean travel agency from the 1970s to the 2010s, at Made in North Korea: Graphics from Everyday Life in the DPRK. The West is interested in North Korean design because it shows “rarity and originality in its way, as it has stubbornly adhered to the world’s only Stalinist realism art and totalitarian style”.2) However, the interesting design of North Korea has a limitation in that it is not for domestic use but for foreign propaganda. This design tendency can also be seen in North Korean buildings.

2) Noh Hyung Seok, Flamboyant Retro: Beyond Idealism Rediscovering Design Joseon, The Hankyoreh, Feb 25th, 2019

To Read Part 1…
To Read Part 3…

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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