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AHI 001D A01 University of California Riverside Arts of Asia and Communicates Essay

There are two-part to this assignment.

Part 1:

Han Jun-bin, We're the Happiest in the World, 1975, ink on paper (4′42⁄5 × 3′87⁄8")

Han Jun-bin, We’re the Happiest in the World, 1975, ink on paper (4′42⁄5 × 3′87⁄8″)


The image above is a work of propaganda from North Korea. At a glance, this is a relatively simple image but it is dense with messages about North Korea and its people. Analyze the work and articulate what it is meant to communicate. How exactly does it do so? Be thorough and specific.

Your analysis should go beyond what is written in your textbook.

(at least 250 words; 10 points)


Read through your classmates’ posts and engage with at least one of them. Was there anything they missed? Having read your classmates’ analyses, is there anything you would add to or change about your own analysis?

(at least 50 words; 5 points)

Classmate’s post:

This work is able to easily communicate the idea that everyone should be happy living in North Korea. Creating this image of being happy, the citizens of North Korea are also given this expectation that they would feel obligated to meet. The depiction that these children were happy in this wonderful place gave the working people the idea that they should be happy too despite their horrible working conditions. In reality, the majority of the population struggled because of their working conditions and hours while the other small portion of the population lived more comfortable lives. If people were given the impression of a wonderful place, they would stay happy and not have expectations of an improvement of their society. If the people were not happy with their lives, they would protest and rebel. Despite the social status of the citizen, protesting or questioning the government was prohibited. The social realist style helped to prevent the people from protesting or rebelling about the government. The goal of this painting was to prevent people from realizing how controlled they were by their government and how horrible their lives really were. The people were always given art that made them believe they were living in an ideal society so that never questioned their authority. This artwork communicates the expectation of happiness by showing two happy children signing while wearing military outfits. Along with showing how joyous they were with where they live, they were also wearing military outfits showing support for the armed forces of North Korea

Part 2:

In the lecture this week, you learned about conceptual art and we briefly discussed the work shown below. Paik Nam June’s TV Buddha is an installation that features an antique bronze Buddha (not made by Paik). The Buddha statue sits in front of a television, which plays CC footage of the Buddha filmed on a camera also set up opposite the statue.


Paik Nam June, TV Buddha, 1974, video installation with bronze Buddha statue (63 × 843⁄5 × 311⁄2″)

What do you get from this work? What are the questions that TV Buddha poses and how does the installation challenge our expectations? As with most good conceptual art, there is not one single correct answer here. But keeping in mind the background of the artist, the context in which the work was made, and what you can see in the work, how do you interpret it?

Your post should reflect that you have read the lecture page, and if you would like to, you’re welcome to do additional research on the work. However, if you do, be careful about how you use your sources – DO NOT PLAGIARIZE.

(at least 300 words)


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