Arts and Culture
Under Kim Jong Un, two distinct ways of portraying Kim Il Sung have become apparent. It is quite intriguing to see that images of Kim Il Sung both as a young powerful leader and as a strong leader in old age are simultaneously disseminated. Particularly the portrait of the young Kim Il Sung can also be understood as representing Kim Jong Un. As third hereditary successor, Kim Jong Un has a paramount interest in establishing his revolutionary legitimacy by utilizing the image of Kim Il Sung to build his own imagery. It is noteworthy that, rather than simply using his grandfather’s image, he remade the image of Kim Il Sung in his own style. This paper analyses the political strategy behind this change in the depiction of Kim Il Sung, paying particular attention to the question in how far this promotes the image of a populist Kim Jong Un who simultaneously pushes and embraces the aspirations of the people.