Portrait handling is life-threatening

Everywhere indoors, there are portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

North Korea is a country of portraiture. In other words, it is a portrait of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Portraits are everywhere. It’s in every living room, every office, every train (and subway). But for some reason, buses and trolleybuses don’t. Portraits are displayed on all major public facilities, railway stations and school entrances. (Andrei Lankov, North of the DMZ: Essays on Daily Life in North Korea)

The portraits are drawn by elites from Pyongyang University of the Arts.

These paintings are drawn by an elite group called “No. 1 Creator” who graduated from Pyongyang Art University and is said to have 20,000 in one theory. Among them, top-class painters have been working at “Mansudae Sosakusha” or “Chuo Art Sosakusha” and have continued to write pictures. (Hayato Kokubu “North Korea’s railway situation”)

By the way, “No.1” means that it is between Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. For example, the No.1 event is an event in which Kim Father and son participate.

As with the Kim Il Sung badge, it is legal to point your finger.

From an early age I helped my mother care for her portrait. Use special cloths provided by the government. A cloth that must not be used for anything else. By the time I started walking, I knew that portraits were different from other household items. He once pointed at a portrait, but his mother shouted, “Don’t do it again.” I learned that pointing at a portrait was very rude.
If you absolutely need to point, open your hand and slowly point with your palm up. “I will do this,” she said, and showed it to me. (Lee Hyun-so, David John, “The Girl with Seven Names,”)

There are strict rules about where to place and care for portraits, and breaking them will be punished.

Both must be at the highest point in the room and must be completely in line. No other pictures, photos or anything can be hung on the same wall. Public buildings and party leaders’ homes are also required to display a third portrait. It is a portrait of Kim Jong-soo. […] Approximately once a month, a white gloved official comes to each home and checks around portraits. If they were deemed to be neglected, they would be punished. I’ve seen it look under the light of a flashlight to see if there is any dust on the glass.

Tools for cleaning portraits are named. Great care must be taken when cleaning.

Under the picture frame of Kim’s father and son, there is a “Shinshinkan”. This Shinshinkan is a container that holds cloth for exclusive use of only the photographs of the father and son. Replace or repair wallpaper
Sometimes, don’t put a picture of Kim and his son on the floor. With the consent of the party’s chief, the photos must be stored elsewhere and then hung again. (Chan Ki-hong, “North Korea: Ordinary People”)

Depending on how you handle portraits, it can lead to death.

The portrait is hung on the wall. The wall must not be used for other portraits or photographs. A spot check is performed to determine if the portrait is properly groomed.
Cleaning must be done daily. In offices and schools, local executives are responsible for ensuring proper cleaning. The quality of the work is unannounced by senior executives.
It is a serious crime if dust accumulates in portraits. Accidentally injuring a portrait is a serious crime. A Korean scholar Kim Young-Joon, who fled north, committed suicide because he accidentally injured a portrait of Kim Il Sung. (Lankov, op.cit.)
Tagged on: