UK-based photographer Charlie Crane has done the close-to-impossible. In this series called Welcome to Pyongyang, he focused his camera on the sterile landscape of Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. This may be one of those decisive moments – a rare opportunity to get a glimpse of the super secretive country – and the images speak loudly about the North Korean culture. This is what Crane had to say about his admission into North Korea, which he considers his strongest work to date:
“For me the answer was simple, photograph what they want you to see. If there is no possibility of getting underneath the surface then the answer was to photograph the surface itself. This series is taken from a larger body of work in Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea.
Although not commonly thought of as a holiday destination all these photographs have been taken at tourist sites throughout the city.
It took over a year to get permission to go in with my camera and nothing quite prepares you for what awaits. I was not allowed to take my mobile phone past customs and was met by two guides who were to accompany me at all times throughout my trip. At first they appeared robotic in conversation as if reading from a script, telling of their country’s great achievements. After a few days and many polaroids the guides became more relaxed and personable.”