Veronika Schäpers

Pyongyang

Veronika Schäpers

Pyongyang

Date

2015

Edition Size

Open

Media

Inkjet, Photo

Binding

Hand-sewn

Dimensions

10.5 × 15.75 × 1.25 in

Location

Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Pyongyang, North Korea

$ 2,900.00

Out of Print


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24 photographs taken by the artist on a trip to North Korea in May 2004. Inkjet-printed on pasted Chinese paper made from bamboo. Stitched to a cardboard cover pasted with wrapping paper from the bookshop in the Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang. Case made of brown GA-File paper bag made of craft paper with yellow stamped title. 37.5 x 26 cm

3 C-prints on Alu or Acryl, size A3 included in box.

In May 2004 I got the rare opportunity to travel to North Korea. Being stuck to a restricted program I tried to get a glimpse of the life next to all the monuments and heroic places we were shown and wanted to fix the impression of the artificial scenery that overwhelmed me more and more during the trip.

In spring 2004 I had the opportunity to travel for seven days with a guided tour to North Korea.

Initially I was asked by the head of the Goethe-Institut in Soul to make a proposal for a project comparing North and South Korea which fascinated me very much. At that time I’ve visited South Korea several times and the Korean war, the state of a divided country as well as the Japanese occupation were very present and concerned me especially as a German, living in Japan.

The book mirrors my impressions of this trip. Most of the pictures were taken in Pyongyang since we spent five of seven days in the city where we were always guided and told what to photograph. Initially, I wanted to take images of everyday life which was not possible at all, and made me switch to small details or buildings next to the monuments we were told to shoot.

The impression of the trip was far away from being in an everyday but staged surrounding.

At the same time I was looking for normal, everyday materials and paper but that was as well much more complicated than expected. There was no way to buy or exchange something; the only original paper I could get was wrapping paper from a bookshop in our hotel, used to wrap the books you buy. (All books were Chinese printed propaganda material). Also, this paper was very restricted, there were only two or three sheets provided per day and I ended up going there every morning having a small talk with the vendor and finally exchanging paper with some notebooks I brought from Japan.

I’ve seen once handmade paper at a temple window but no one could tell me if this was made in North Korea. On my way back I found a similar material made of Bamboo and straw in Beijing which I used to print on the images. To stabilize the poor quality every sheet is backed with Japanese paper and coated with konnyaku-nori.

page 1 mosaic at the Puhung-subway station
page 2 KimJongIlja – mural painting of a begonia named after Kim Jong Il
page 3 restaurant at the Mangyongdae-Funfair close to the birthplace of Kim Il Sung roller page 4 coaster at the Mangyongdae-Funfair
page 5 another restaurant at the Mangyongdae-Funfair
page 6 a bridal couple being photographed in front of the Juche-Tower
page 7 Museum of War, part of a mural painting
page 8 sports hall in Chongchun-Street
page 9 motorway restaurant (the only existing one in NK) at the highway to Kaesong the page 10 highway to Kaesong
page 11 room at the Koryo-Hotel
page 12 housing complex with water fountain next to the party founding memorial
page 13 Soldiers on their way to the birthplace of Kim Il Sung
page 14 subway-signage
page 15 flags commemorating the 1st of May
page 16 party founding memorial
page 17 reunification memorial
page 18 a cup of ginseng tea at the motorway restaurant
page 19 dining car at the train from Pyongyang towards the Chinese border
page 20 memorial at the Museum of War
page 21 foyer of the state circus
page 22 policewoman in front of the Koryo-Hotel
page 23 intersection in front of the Koryo-Hotel, seen from above
page 24 main road of the city of Kaesong close to the DMZ
28 pages. 37.5 x 26 cm., open edition, unsigned, unnumbered, Tokyo, 2004

Images from a 7-day trip to North Korea, pointing out the architecture and design of this country. Inkjet print on Chinese bamboo paper, backed with Japanese kozo paper. Cover made of GA file, backed with various wrapping papers from North Korea. Soft case made of UV-protection foil.
3 prints on Kodak-Archive-Paper in a soft case made of UV-protection foil. 38 x 25 cm.

Case with embossed title.
24 pages. 41 x 26 cm / 16.14’’ x 10.24’’.
3 unique copies.
Karlsruhe, 2015.