Welcome to Pyongyang

The first art photography book on North Korea by a western photographer

Accompanied by guides at all times, Crane adopted absolute neutrality, leaving viewers to draw their own conclusions. Welcome to Pyongyang was the winner of the British Journal of Photography International Prize, who called it “a revealing insight into the secretive state’s self-image”.

Welcome to Pyongyang book cover

Welcome to Pyongyang
Charlie Crane
2006

“The way that North Korea (or anywhere) wishes to present itself is likely to be as revealing as any investigative photojournalist’s account of how the place ‘really’ is. There’s a tendency to want to consider photographs either as propaganda – whether commercial or ideological – or as ‘truth’, as if the choice is always one or the other. Yet isn’t it the case that nearly all published photographs are in fact a mixture of both? … As it happens, I think Charlie’s photographs are unusually open – so open they are practically raw – in the best tradition of documentary photography, which is very much part of their attraction.”

Chris Boot, Publisher

About the Book

Bonner and Crane felt that by directly addressing the North Koreans self-perception, rather than by any hidden-camera voyeuristic exposé, outsiders could better understand North Koreans image of themselves.

Koryo founder Nicholas Bonner and photographer Charlie Crane embarked on a project (three shoots in the country) featuring large-format portraits of Pyongyang public and tourism guides. Accompanying texts were taken verbatim providing an intimate story of the protagonist.

Charlie Crane Photography

Limited edition prints available, please contact us for details

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