Pyongyang, North Korea, May 2004 //
Pyongyang, North Korea, September 2018

The photo book from 2004 shows my impressions of a seven-day trip to North Korea. The dominant gray color of the buildings, interrupted only by red slogans, made the city feel very dismal. The impression was reinforced by the fact that there was no visible sign of its inhabitants. I had the impression that many of the things we were shown were not normal everyday life, but rather a production staged for foreigners, and it seemed that only small details on the sidelines could break through this staging. In the summer of 2018 friends told me how much the city had changed and I asked them to take pictures of these changes during their next visit. In addition to numerous new buildings, many of the formerly gray buildings have been painted in colorful shades. More kiosks are opening in the downtown area, and people’s clothes have become more colorful and varied. Mobile phones and cars are now normal sights, along with electric bikes. I decided to divide the pictures of 2018 into 6 groups and make a »picture viewer« TV for each one – a popular city souvenir from the 1960s that, to me, seems to suit North Korea’s still very artificial, staged-feeling architecture and aesthetics.

North Korea, May 2004: Inkjet print on Chinese bamboo paper, laminated with Chinese Kozo paper and primed with konnyaku nori.
Flexible binding made from Satogami paper with a cutting from a North Korean propaganda poster, inkjet printed.
24 pages. 38 x 26 cm
North Korea, September 2018: 6 picture viewers with 10 images each
Box made from white and green acrylic glass with screen printed title
Edition: 20 sets (2004 and 2018)
Karlsruhe, 2019