BY: DANIKA MOIR
Images by Oliver Wainwright
Since the 1950s North Korea has maintained complete cultural isolation. From the 14th to 20th century Korea followed a policy of isolationism, believing that their culture was superior. When the country split into American and Soviet controlled territories following the end of WW2, under the rule of Kim Il Sung, North Korea again entered a period of isolationism, called Juche. Today, the country is economically independent, and politically isolated. All outside influence is barred from contaminating the minds of citizens. Inside the Hermit Kingdom, Internet access is virtually non-existent and leaders are promoted with cultish personas by state-run media.
With a horrific human rights record, one would imagine North Korea to be a place completely devoid of colour. But on a trip to North Korea, architecture critic Oliver Wainwright was able to capture the interiors and architecture of North Korea’s buildings. What he found looked more like the set of a Wes Anderson film than a dungeon. The use of symmetry in the interiors is called “Juche” architecture, and is meant to emphasize and exaggerate the portraits and statues of the North Korean leaders. Who knew that North Korea had a thing for teal and bubble gum pink?