Above the Line: People and Places in the DPRK (North Korea)
9/4/2015 – 28/4/2015
North Korea - or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as it is known locally - is one of the most isolated countries in the world. Few foreigners are able to visit it and few North Koreans are able to travel abroad. Our knowledge of this singular state is therefore particularly limited, with debate often centering on the idea of North Korea as an abstract geopolitical entity – as a land of incomprehensible systems and beliefs.
But North Korea is a real country of 23 million inhabitants. This exhibition sets out to provide a view of the people and the country that we hope will inform future discussion. It shows people doing ordinary things – students walking down a street; a man waiting at a tram stop; women bathing in the sea – as well as less ordinary sights, such as a much-decorated hero of the Korean War travelling to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum in his Mercedes; dancers rehearsing in the car park before a performance at the Arirang Games; and a glimpse into the routines of workers on a collective farm.
The photographs were taken by Nick Danziger who, together with the writer Rory MacLean, travelled to North Korea in August 2013 under the auspices of the British Council, and with the support of the Central Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, DPRK. They visited the cities of Pyongyang, Nampo, Wonsan and Sariwon, each day taken up with meeting people and encouraging them to talk about their lives, so that a picture emerges of individuals whose smallest pleasures are not all that different from people elsewhere, however strange or limiting their circumstances may appear to us.
Nick Danziger and the Team returned from the DPRK assignment with a collection of 7,000 photographic images. The Above The Line Exhibition at the Hong Kong Arts Centre will showcase a selection of the collection. And, Nick Danziger and Andrea Rose will be in Hong Kong for the Opening of the Exhibition and also to share and discuss their experience. Community Arts Network is the curatorial team.