Nathalie Daoust: Korean Dreams

03.03.2018 - 08.04.2018

vernissage Fri 2.3. 17-19

'Korean Dreams', by a Canadian photographer Nathalie Daoust (b.1977), plays on the concepts of reality and fantasy - both of which recur thematically in her previous work. She traveled to North Korea for this project, capturing scenes of one of the world’s most secretive societies. Many of her photographs are candid, and were taken using a remote trigger to avoid detection. Daoust explores the fantasy world created by the North Korean regime, which is difficult to understand, or even to see from outsider’s point of view.

While in North Korea, Daoust has taken a risk and tried to photograph as undetected as possible in places where photographing is not allowed. The 25 pictures in the exhibition tell about the daily life in North Korea. They show views from the streets, hospital, bike riders, performing children, prison, school, amusement park, people gathering in ceremonies and road crossings. There’s a text attached with every  picture that might tell about life under Kim Jong Un’s governance possibly more than the photographs.

Daoust deliberately obscures her photographs during the development stage, as the layers of film are peeled off, the images are stifled until the facts becomes 'lost' in the process and a sense of detachment from reality is revealed. This darkroom method mimics the way information is transferred in North Korea – the photographs, as the North Korea people, are both manipulated until the underlying truth is all but a blur. The resultant pictures speak to North Korean society, of missing information and truth concealed.

Inexquisite thirst for knowledge and love for unusual sights can both be seen in the pictures by Daoust, who has been photographing since the 1990’s around the world. For more than two decades she has been exploring and documenting landscapes and places that are rarely seen. Her production is diverse and intensive , and her objective as an artist is to push the boundaries of photography through experimental methods. Her original, fairytale-like stories tell about the modern society but also true stories of the underdogs of that society.

More information:


The Canadian Embassy in Helsinki has supported the exhibition. 



  • Kim Jong-Il
  • Traffic Lights
  • Amusement Park
  • Nurse
  • Three Generations
  • Arirang
  • Mass Gathering
  • School Girl