Archive: military
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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North Korea’s Mansudae leaves its mark on Africa with huge sculptures

North Korea’s Mansudae leaves its mark on Africa with huge sculptures

The Mansudae Overseas Project - Angola - Agostinho Neto Mausoleum, Luanda 1
Angola – Agostinho Neto Mausoleum, Luanda

Artwork from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has always been a trademark for modern socialist realism. Although North Korea is well known for being the most secretive nation in the world, the largely unknown nation is certainly not shy when it comes to publicizing their statues, monuments, grand festivals, and celebrations. In particular, a North Korean based construction company known as Mansudae Overseas Project, has been designing fine art for decades, helping art to become one of North Korea’s most important and most successful exports. While many other North Korean barriers remain up, fine art from the country has managed to make its way in foreign countries that are located as far away as Africa.

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This city has never appeared on any official maps – Nadav Kander

This city has never appeared on any official maps – Nadav Kander

Nadav Kander - The Polygon Nuclear Test Site I (after the event), Kazakhstan, 2011
Nadav KanderThe Polygon Nuclear Test Site I (after the event), Kazakhstan, 2011

If it were possible to take a picture of the entire earth’s surface, the mosaic of human co-existence would be a sight to behold. Some areas are military grounds, mining cities or tourist destinations while others are education hubs just to mention a few. It is hard to appreciate that in the midst of all that are secrets as deep as the mystery of death. In the Dust series, as created by Nadav Kander’s, images of crows illuminated against the light of the moon in the darkness symbolizes how difficult it is to hide the truth. These images appear in the first three spreads, perhaps to prepare one’s mind to the secrets about to be uncovered.

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Serving in the military inspired these red paintings – Sea Hyun Lee

Serving in the military inspired these red paintings – Sea Hyun Lee

Sea Hyun Lee - Between Red_101, 2010, oil on linen, 300x300cm

Sea Hyun Lee - Between Red_101, 2010, oil on linen, 300x300cm
Sea Hyun LeeBetween Red_101, 2010, oil on linen, 300x300cm

South Korea’s traditional illustrative and art history is immovable; however, cultural and artistic experimentation will always be relentless. Sea Hyun Lee demonstrates his understanding of just how true the above statement is through his art. He manages to join the two forces of past and present together to create Between the Red.

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Steve Mumford’s paintings depict what happens in war-torn areas

Steve Mumford’s paintings depict what happens in war-torn areas

Steve Mumford - The Prayer, 2016, oil on linen, 121.9x152.4cm
Steve MumfordThe Prayer, 2016, oil on linen, 121.9×152.4cm

Many artists often find that they have to immerse themselves in the landscapes and the environment that they paint. This not only helps when capturing the true essence of the subjects to be featured in the art, but it also helps the artist gain a deeper understanding of the subjects in regards to their feelings, emotions, and opinions.

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Suicide car bomb from Iraq turned into art piece – Jeremy Deller

Suicide car bomb from Iraq turned into art piece – Jeremy Deller

 Jeremy Deller - It is what it is- Conversations About Iraq, 2009, at Joy in People at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre,  Photos: Linda Nylind
Jeremy DellerIt is what it is- Conversations About Iraq, 2009, at Joy in People at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre
Photo: Linda Nylind

In the Imperial War Museum in London, surrounded by some of the most powerful military hardware of the last 100 years rests a rusting, crumpled car. This is a clear example of what war does. The car is a piece by Jeremy Deller, and was a car that was contorted in a street bombing that killed 38 people and wounded many more at Baghdad’s Al-Mutanabbi book market. Al-Mutanabbi book market was at the heart of the Baghdad’s cultural and intellectual life.

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The crude nature of war in dreamlike photos – Richard Mosse

The crude nature of war in dreamlike photos – Richard Mosse

Richard Mosse - Vintage violence, 2011, Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Richard MosseVintage violence, 2011
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Richard Mosse’s commanding video installation The Enclave (2013) transcends art by also encompassing anthropology and journalism. It was produced by means of a recently superseded military film technology designed in World War II to reveal camouflaged mechanisms concealed within the landscape. This film is rendered in vivid tones of lavender, crimson, and pink. Mosse utilized this film to document the ongoing conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, in which 5.4 million people have died since 1998 and is fundamentally ignored by the mass media.

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