Individual portraits don’t exist [in North Korea]. When I looked in photographic archives, they’re rare… Except for leaders. When you’re photographed, from preschool to university, it’s in a group, then in the army, at work, at weddings.
An immersive dive inside the minds of North Koreans
Stephan Gladieu began his career as a war photographer in 1989, criss-crossing through, among other places, Europe, Central Asia, China, India and the Middle East. He likes to bear witness to the human condition through the production of portraits as in his series Hereros, Maï Maï, Homo Detritus and North Korea. The latter project was selected to headline the Rencontres d'Arles in 2021.
During 5 trips over 3 years, Stephan Gladieu managed to get closer to the North Korean inhabitants. “When you hear about North Korea in the media, it's always about its totalitarian regime, the Kim dynasty, nuclear weapons, but you never hear about the people. There are 25 million people in North Korea and no one wonders what their lives are like. It is rather the country itself, its singularity, which attracts attention and fascinates. That is why, for me, it was essential that I focus on people.” - Stephan Gladieu
Photographs of this series have been and will still be sold as printed editions prior and after the mint of the NFTs.
As of November 2023, artworks from the North Korea collection are not available for purchase on this platform.