amsterdam: setting the stage - pyongyang

© eddo hartmann / koryo studio - birthday of kim il sung

a graduate of the royal academy of art in the hague, photographer eddo hartmann [1973] collaborated with koryo studio, the arts + culture division of a british-run, beijing-based company specialized in travel to north korea, on an adventurous project to document the city of pyongyang's bold socialist architecture and the life of its inhabitants. officially becoming the north korean capital in 1948, its architecture was conceptualized as such to immerse every citizen in a socialist ideology and hence also create a strong sense of economic progress. both the speed with which the city was constructed and its ultra-modern style showed the ambition of the country to rush towards a future of state-controlled bliss. the first series of hartmann's fascinating photo project, entitled setting the stage - pyongyang, is currently on display at huis marseille in amsterdam. and although what is depicted is clearly government-approved, the images give a rare view of life in what arguably is the planet's most off-limits capital [on through jun 7]. location: keizersgracht 401 [centrum].

© eddo hartmann / koryo studio - kumsusan palace of the sun and school children's palace rocket