Not currently on display at the V&A

Female train attendant with a trolley

Painting
1989 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The painting depicts a railway attendant waiting for the Pyongna train to arrive on the station platform of Hongwon, a city by the East coast in North Korea. The name of the next town Kyung-p’o can be read on the signal behind the attendant. The Pyongna line is the main Southwest-Northeast rail line running between the capital Pyongyang and Rajin, a town near the Russian border. The round logo of the Chosŏn Minjujuui Inmin Konghwaguk Ch’ŏldosŏng (North Korean State Railways) can be found on the trolley next to the attendant.
The smiling attendant is wearing a neat, colourful uniform, complete with a white cap, apron and shoes. She is checking the time on her wristwatch next to her trolley stacked with food and drinks. Crates overflowing with crabs and apples, probably local produce from Hongwon, are found at her feet.
The youthful, attractive attendant and the profusion of food are painted in vibrant colours in contrast to the bare, monochromatic background of the station platform. The painting vehiculates thereby the image of a young, punctual and modern North Korean State Railways in a land where food abounds. This painting is dated to 1989, and was perhaps produced to give a positive image of the DPRK during the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students hosted in Pyongyang in July 1989.
The painting is signed and sealed Yi Chong-Ch’ŏl.


object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pigments on paper
Brief Description
Painting of a female train attandant with a trolley, by Chong-ch'ŏl Yi, Korea, ca.1989
Dimensions
  • Height: 178cm
  • Width: 96.6cm
Marks and Inscriptions
Artist's signature and seal
Place Depicted
Summary
The painting depicts a railway attendant waiting for the Pyongna train to arrive on the station platform of Hongwon, a city by the East coast in North Korea. The name of the next town Kyung-p’o can be read on the signal behind the attendant. The Pyongna line is the main Southwest-Northeast rail line running between the capital Pyongyang and Rajin, a town near the Russian border. The round logo of the Chosŏn Minjujuui Inmin Konghwaguk Ch’ŏldosŏng (North Korean State Railways) can be found on the trolley next to the attendant.

The smiling attendant is wearing a neat, colourful uniform, complete with a white cap, apron and shoes. She is checking the time on her wristwatch next to her trolley stacked with food and drinks. Crates overflowing with crabs and apples, probably local produce from Hongwon, are found at her feet.

The youthful, attractive attendant and the profusion of food are painted in vibrant colours in contrast to the bare, monochromatic background of the station platform. The painting vehiculates thereby the image of a young, punctual and modern North Korean State Railways in a land where food abounds. This painting is dated to 1989, and was perhaps produced to give a positive image of the DPRK during the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students hosted in Pyongyang in July 1989.

The painting is signed and sealed Yi Chong-Ch’ŏl.

Collection
Accession Number
FE.16-2010

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record createdFebruary 1, 2011
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