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Inside North Korea
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Inside North Korea (Other)

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Synopsis

Erased by bombing during the Korean War, North Korea's trophy capital of Pyongyang was entirely rebuilt from scratch from 1953, in line with the vision of the nation's founder, Kim Il-sung. Designed as an imposing stage set, it is a place of grand axial boulevards linking gargantuan monuments, lined with stately piles of distinctly Korean flavor, to be "national in form and socialist in content."Under the present leader, Kim Jong-un, construction has ramped up apace-"Let us turn the whole country into a socialist fairyland," declares one of his official patriotic slogans. He is rapidly transforming Pyongyang into a playground, conjuring a flimsy fantasy of prosperity and using architecture as a powerful anesthetic, numbing the population from the stark reality of his authoritarian regime.Guardian journalist and photographer Oliver Wainwright takes us on an eye-opening tour behind closed doors in the most secretive country in the world, revealing that past the grand stone facades lie lavish wonder-worlds of marble and mosaic, coffered ceilings, and crystal chandeliers, along with new interiors in dazzling color palettes. Discover the palatial reading rooms of the Grand People's Study House, and peer inside the locker rooms of the recently renovated Rungrado May Day Stadium, ready to host a FIFA World Cup that will never come.This collection features about 300 photographs with insightful captions, as well as an introductory essay where Wainwright charts the history and development of Pyongyang, explaining how the architecture and interiors embody the national "Juche" ideology and questioning what the future holds for the architectural ambitions of this enigmatic country.



Architecture & DesignArchitectureArt, Fashion & PhotographyPhotography & photographsPhotographs: collectionsPhotographic reportage Publisher: Taschen GmbH Publication Date: 15/06/2018 ISBN-13: 9783836572217  Details: Type: Other Format: Books
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Oliver Wainwright is the architecture and design critic of the Guardian. Trained as an architect, he worked for OMA in Rotterdam and for the Mayor of London's Architecture & Urbanism Unit and is a regular visiting critic and lecturer at a number of architecture schools, including Harvard, Yale and the Architectural Association. He has written extensively on architecture and design and served as curatorial advisor to the Architecture Foundation in London. His photographs have been exhibited internationally and are regularly used to illustrate his articles. Julius Wiedemann studied graphic design and marketing and was an art editor for newspapers and design magazines in Tokyo before joining TASCHEN in 2001. His titles include the Illustration Now! and Record Covers series, as well as the infographics collection and books about advertising and visual culture.

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Staff Choice

Architecture and design critic Oliver Wainwright presents the DPRK aesthetic - aspects of which are not too dissimilar from examples closer to home such as the interiors of the Barbican, brutalist tower blocks and colourful post-modernism to create a curious mix of modern, monumental and traditional styles.  See how Pyongyang is literally a city built from scratch  – from a distance this appears like a futuristic assemblage of pastel Lego bricks but on closer inspection it isn’t as perfect as it seems.

 

Mo, Charing Cross Road

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 31/07/2018

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