Shophouse Art was inspired by the idea of exhibiting an exposé that explores the propaganda via architecture and infrastructure of North Korea. To subtly illustrate the political nature of the propaganda images were printed on metal, providing extra depth and reflections to the images.
For over half a century, only occasional reports have leaked through the cracks of North Korea’s censorship to give insight into the true nature of this secluded world.
In April 2011, German - French photographer Wolf Nitschke was led along North Korea’s propaganda trail – the only glimpse into their society that the socialist leaders are willing to offer to the few tourists that venture into the country. Under strict supervision, Wolf was shown what one might call the « world’s most gigantic theatre set », composed of carefully selected scenes and monuments, such as parading people in front of a military parade, enthusiastically waving at the soldiers, a huge flower display composed of thousands of Kimjongilias and Kimilsungias and ostentatious monuments such as the Arch of Triumph, the Juche Tower, the National Reunification Monument and other temples of propaganda.
Instead of trying to bypass the censorship of the state and attempting to catch « unprepared » motives, Wolf decided to capture exactly what he was told to, realising that by simply showing the obvious he found an ideal opportunity to look behind the propaganda mask as the cracks start to appear everywhere in this carefully curated facade.
As a result, showcased propaganda sites appear void of true life, contradicting the original purpose of an ideal socialist society.
Opening Date: 22 October 2015
Exhibition: 22 October to 30 November 2015
Venue: Shophouse Art, 11A Sheow Keng Road, Singapore
Opening Night Speech
Printed on Metal
The metal provides both an aesthetic glow and a message function through its association to communism.