Photographer Eddo Hartmann traveled four times to North Korea between 2014 and 2017 to create his project Setting this Stage to portray the lives of inhabitants in Pyongyang, which is the capital city of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). After the total destruction of the capital city during the Korean War (1950-1953), the government tried to rebuild Pyongyang from the ground with converting it into the perfect propaganda setting as the ultimate socialist city. Shown from the photos, buildings in Pyongyang were designed to equip all inhabitants with a utopian background for their daily routine and immortalize the socialist revolution.
Eddo Hartmann is one of the few western photographers who were given the exceptional opportunity to record the architecture and lives of residents. Facing a set of strict control and regulations concerning what and how to shoot the photos, Hartmann tried his best to capture the forced and almost unrealistic characteristic of the North Korean aspirations. This project aims to give a fully immersive experience for the audience to feel the life in Pyongyang. The exhibition at Huis Marseille Museum for Photography in Amsterdam from December 9th 2017 until March 4th 2018 presents selected photos and video clips. A 360-degree video combined with virtual reality technology was recorded applying a special rig of multiple cameras can provide the audience with a feeling of really being in a Pyongyang metro.