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This North Korean spectacle involves 100,000 participants

This North Korean spectacle involves 100,000 participants

Noh Suntag - Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005 1
Noh Suntag Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005

Noh Suntag has made it his mission to provide the world glimpses of social, historical and political developments of North Korea, which many people do not get to see. Noh produces photographs that record real-life situations that are directly linked to the division of Korea. Some of his works were in particular created to show how deeply the division between the North and South has permeated the daily lives of the Korean citizenry, as well as how the division has distorted the proper functioning of society.

North Korea is a particular subject that is constant in Noh’s themes. North Korea’s obsession with image and the way the country represents itself to the rest of the world by exaggerated manipulation of its images led to Noh’s fascination; in his photo series titled North Korea, Suntag’s photos observe conflict in the contemporary society in Korea.

The conflicts date all the way back to 1948, and they led to the division of Korea into two separate states. Noh perceives the two ideologies of both the north and the south as too extreme, in a manner that has led to a constant state of emergency in Korea. Noh shows this dichotomy through his photographs, highlighting the dictatorship in North Korea, the increased capitalism that has been experienced in South Korea, the high military presence in both countries, and the circumstances both subtle and violent that affect the daily lives of the people living there.

His photographs in North Korea also analyses the social and political ambivalence of the two countries. In this case, the two nations survive in ideological extremities with each other, despite sharing many social and cultural traditions. The presence of political disparities between the two countries, whereby one is an communist state while the other is a capitalist is also highlighted significantly in the North Korea series. Noh also visited the famous Arirang Mass Games in the capital Pyongyang, a national spectacle that involves up to 100,000 participants.

For this work, Noh employed his experience as a remarkable photojournalist, his education in political studies and his creativity to capture the quiet scenes that both reveal the truth and dispel myths about the partition between North Korea and South Korea that exists to this day.

Noh’s views in his pieces including Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005 and the State of Emergency, 2000–07 are unbiased. His analytical position recognizes the lasting political division and polarization of both the government and society. He expertly manages to tie the two nations together while exposing the underlying humanity that encompasses normal life in both the north and south.

Noh Suntag - Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005
Noh Suntag Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005

Noh Suntag - Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005
Noh Suntag Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005

Noh Suntag - Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005
Noh Suntag Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005

Noh Suntag - Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005
Noh Suntag Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005

Noh Suntag - Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005
Noh Suntag Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005

Noh Suntag - Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005
Noh Suntag Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005

Noh Suntag - Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005
Noh Suntag Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005

Noh Suntag - Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005
Noh Suntag Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005

Noh Suntag - Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005
Noh Suntag Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005

Noh Suntag - Red House II. Give and Take, 2005
Noh Suntag Red House II. Give and Take, 2005


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Devastatingly real – Monsoon photos from Asia

Devastatingly real – Monsoon photos from Asia

Steve McCurry - Monsoon 2
Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry is no stranger to success having built a name for himself as one of the world’s most respected photographers. He has won numerous international awards as well as acclaim for his consistent and impactful repertoire and has sold books in the millions across the world. In particular, some of his most talked about works are his Monsoon photographs.

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Watch the tremendous effect one book can have

Watch the tremendous effect one book can have

Jorge Mendez Blake - The Castle, 2007, Bricks, edition of Franz Kafka’s 'The Castle', 2300 x 1750 x 400 cm
Jorge Méndez BlakeThe Castle, 2007, Bricks, edition of Franz Kafka’s 'The Castle', 2300 x 1750 x 400 cm

The Castle by Mexican artist Jorge Méndez Blake, a mixed media conceptual artist, debuted in 2007. It featured a brick wall that was created by carefully arranging and stacking bricks over each other. The wall was made without mortar, and in the middle, a version of Franz Kafka’s The Castle rested crushed by the extreme pressure of the bricks. Therefore, the entire length and width of the wall balanced precariously on the single hardcover book.

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See how these hypnotic installations transform rooms

See how these hypnotic installations transform rooms

Peter Kogler - Dimensions, 2011
Peter KoglerDimensions, 2011

Peter Kogler is a renowned artist from Austria that currently works and lives in Vienna. Kogler is best known for his different psychedelic room installations. Through his paintwork and his intricate projections, he transforms ordinary looking rooms and spaces such as lobbies, galleries, and transit centers by making them look twisted, warped or distorted, which in turn has a psychedelic effect for the public.

Kogler’s room installations explore vital concepts in his art such as modularity and repetition. The rooms alter one’s perception of architecture, which serves as the primary medium for his art. Aside from his dizzying rooms, Kogler is also an important performance, film and video artist as well as a sculptor.

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The harsh Mongolian landscapes: Between mysticism and isolation

The harsh Mongolian landscapes: Between mysticism and isolation

John Feely - The Outsider
John Feely – The Outsider, Mongolia

Photographer John Feely embarked on a trip to discover the otherworldly landscapes of Western Mongolia and came back with fascinating works. The emerging Australian photographer was based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia for the duration of his project and his allegorical approach to photography has helped him to quickly create a name for himself as a respected photographer and one to watch in the future.

When Feely left for Mongolia, he left with the intention of capturing universal experiences that would appeal to massive audiences. He selected a range of different locations and captured Mongolian culture, the end result of which was a compilation of photographs titled The Outsider.

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Large scale works by Jeff Koons, Cy Twombly and others

Large scale works by Jeff Koons, Cy Twombly and others

Cy Twombly - Bacchus, 2010-11, Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria
Cy TwomblyBacchus, Eiserner Vorhang (Iron Curtain) 2010-11, Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria

Safety Curtain is an on-going exhibition series taking place in the Vienna State Opera, Austria. The exhibition transforms the safety curtain into a temporary show for contemporary artists every year. The Vienna Opera has been hosting art shows since 1869 and tries to find new and interesting ways to address viewers as well as attract new audiences. However, it is also well known for being a world-class destination for global opera lovers as well as Renaissance Revival architecture.

For now 20 seasons, the Vienna Opera’s safety curtain has included art that has been specifically made for the opera house. The Safety curtain has featured a list of impressive artists such as John Baldessari, Cy Twombly, Tacita Dean, Matthew Barney, Jeff Koons, David Hockney, and Franz West just to mention a few of the famous names.

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Ai Weiwei uses thousands of bicycles to create sculpture

Ai Weiwei uses thousands of bicycles to create sculpture

Ai Weiwei - Forever Bicycles, 2014
Ai WeiweiForever Bicycles, 2014. 1,254 bicycles. Dimensions variable. Installation view, Waller Creek Delta, The Contemporary Austin – Museum Without Walls Program, Austin, Texas, 2017
Photo: Brian Fitzsimmons

Bicycles have always featured in Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s installations. The very first time that Ai used bicycles was in his installation known as Very Yao in 2008. As the years have passed, his use of bicycles has only gotten grander as is evident in his piece titled the Forever Bicycles. In Forever Bicycles, Ai used Shanghai-based Forever Company bicycles to make his massive installation. The repetitiveness and the size of the installation were intended to allude to China’s mass production, which is well known to fuel the Chinese manufacturing industry.

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