For Dutch photographer Alice Wielinga’s ongoing photo project North Korea: Between Propaganda and Reality, now on exhibit at Nutshuis in The Hague, she travelled to North Korea to try to understand how one of the most isolated countries in the world functions. Upon returning home and spreading her pictures out on the floor, Wielinga saw a relationship between North Korean propagandistic art and the pictures she had taken of the everyday life of the people. She decided to create new work: montages of the realistic North Korean propaganda paintings and her own photographic material.
By combining the two, Wielinga aims to show that the perfect world of propaganda art and the average life conditions of the North Korean people are not two distinct worlds; people grow up and live amongst the visual language that represents the utopian hopes and dreams of an ideal society. With her series, Wielinga tries to express how propaganda art becomes an integral part of the filter through which North Koreans see the world. North Korea: Between Propaganda and Reality gives an interesting take on what North Koreans envision their society to be and become, and how an outsider’s perspective can construct a bridge between utopia and real life.
North Korea: Between Propaganda and Reality is on exhibit from Feb 19 - Apr 8, 2017 at Het Nutshuis in The Hague, The Netherlands.