DPRK: North Korea In Colour


The Changgwang Health & Recreation Complex Diving Board was where it all began. This was my first point of contact into a visual side of North Korea that I wasn’t aware existed. My attention was drawn and I was intrigued. I began filtering out all the mainstream military & political preconceptions and I started digging deeper. It didn’t take long before I discovered the colour. It was soft, subtle and in abundance, almost juxtaposed against the country’s stereotype. 


This series is about the design throughout the Capital, Pyongyang, explored through its architecture and interior design over 3 days. There seemed to be a strong North Korean style which was quite infectious to capture. At times, it felt like I was walking through a moment before my time, a surreal time capsule which I would not otherwise be apart of. At other times, the feeling of walking through a detailed film set that was so perfectly constructed, was hard to believe existed. 


The absence of human inhabitance was deliberate in the images. Documenting society accurately wasn’t entirely the objective, instead people were added to emphasise scale and context. 

Colour was so strong indoors, but it was the large propaganda murals where I sourced my inspiration for the external treatments. Scenes depicting nostalgic moments of the past  leaders, Kim Il-Sung & Kim Jong-Il in various backdrops, inspired this eccentric direction. 

Copyright. All rights reserved by  Dave Kulesza 2020
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