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North Korean Landscape









「North Korean Landscape」, 2014, photography

In the winter of 2014, I visited North Korea by joined in a tour group (which was the only possible way to travel in the country).

1.There are only three TV channels in North Korea.

2. There is no advertisement in the country.

3. Internet access is only available when permitted with special authorization and primarily used for government purposes.

North Korean Landscape is a study on the public images of the country. Because of this lack-of-diversity of images caused by the circumstances listed above, the common spaces for images in public surroundings (e.g. billboards; wall papers and decorative paintings in restaurants) are mainly dominated by two types of images – pictures of leaders, and pictures of natural or urban landscape that suggest a bigger picture of ‘an ideal city’. The latter type of images are also the main theme on TV channels, such as being used as the backdrop for almost all the news programs or chorus and musicals. These ‘ideal landscape’ either in reality or TV, just like the strictly planned schedule of our tour group and the five-star hotels that we were staying which is only open to foreign tourists, all lead to a perfect image of a staged reality that is parallel to the actual situation of the country.