Made in North Korea —
25 Years of Travel to the DPRK
Nicholas Bonner founded the Koryo Group after travelling to Pyongyang for the first time in the early 1990s. Since then he has been collecting graphics, packaging and other ephemera on every one of his trips to The Hermit Kingdom, where he travels to on a regular basis. His talk shed light on a rarely discussed side of North Korea through its design history, while also providing insight from somewhat of a personal diary based on 25 years of travel to the world’s most-isolated nation. His new book “Made in North Korea: Graphics from Everyday Life” is a comprehensive collection of North Korean graphic ephemera to date, revealing the compelling and surprisingly beautiful graphic culture of a country famous for its extreme levels of social, political and cultural control.
Landscape architect Nicholas Bonner first visited North Korea in 1993, which then inspired him to start Koryo Tours – a Beijing-based travel agency specialising in travel to North Korea. Nicholas has produced three award-winning documentaries about the country, as well as North Korea’s first ‘girl power’ movie — ‘Comrade Kim goes Flying’ — which became the first-ever North Korean film to be shown to a public audience in South Korea. Bonner also worked on the South Korea-curated pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale, which then won the Golden Lion. He continues to travel regularly to North Korea, and is currently working with a number of emerging artists there by providing them with a space and platform to experiment outside of their everyday restrictions.
Speaker: Nicholas Bonner,Founder, the Koryo Group
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