North Korean Perspectives

João Rocha, Looking at a Radish, from the book Kim Jong Il Looking at Things, 2012

About the Exhibition

Seung Woo Back Pierre BessardPhilippe Chancel
David GuttenfelderAri HatsuzawaSuntag Noh
João RochaMatjaž TančičTomas van Houtryve
Marie VoignierAlice WielingaHyounsang Yoo

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), or North Korea, has been called the Hermit Kingdom, as it is one of the most reclusive states in the world. North Korea’s citizens are not allowed to travel abroad, there is no Internet connection to the outside world, and the flow of information is almost completely controlled by the government.  This exhibition will be divided into two main sections: one showing the government’s official version of North Korea, while the other offers the alternative view of the country.  Imagery distributed through official channels, such as the country’s press agency KCNA, which is based in Japan, and those photographed by tourists on state-controlled tours will offer an official view. These official images will be juxtaposed with a non-controlled stream of images coming out of the country: photographs produced by international photojournalists from within the nation, and international artists using photography and video to directly address North Korea. North Korean Perspectives is organized by Europe-based independent curator Marc Prüst in collaboration with MoCP’s Executive Director Natasha Egan.

Generous support for North Korean Perspectives is provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Cultural Services at the Consulate General of France in Chicago, and Hahnemühle.


The 2014-2015 season is sponsored by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, BMO Harris Bank and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. It is also partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.