Hidden Photography Exhibition From Inside North Korea

Abject Gallery is pleased to host an exhibition of hidden photography from inside the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea by Nathalie Daoust.

Photographer Nathalie Daoust’s newest project, Korean Dreams, is a complex series that probes the unsettling vacuity of North Korea. Piercing its veil with her lens, these images reveal a country that seems to exist outside of time, as a carefully choreographed mirage. Daoust has spent much of her career exploring the chimeric world of fantasy: the hidden desires and urges that compel people to dream, to dress up, to move beyond the bounds of convention and to escape from reality. With Korean Dreams she is exploring this escapist impulse not as an individual choice, but as a way of life forced upon an entire nation.

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.

"I’ve learnt that things are never as they seem and that I shouldn’t judge anyone until I’ve walked in their shoes, or at least taken the time to get to know them. When I first went to North Korea, I couldn’t understand why the whole country didn’t just rise up and fight for their rights to freedom after so many years of oppression and pain. After visiting, however, I now completely understand why they can’t." - Nathalie Daoust

Nathalie Daoust’s photographs reflect a love for random places and a wild, inexhaustible sense of inquisitiveness. Exploring, experiencing and documenting rarely visited landscapes and carefully hidden hotel rooms, she spent the last decade producing voyeuristic insights into these otherwise veiled existences.

The Canadian photographer, who studied the technical aspects of photography at the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal, spent two years in the late nineties living in the Carlton Arms Hotel in New York. The rooms, all themed and decorated with wild, colourful murals formed an excellent background for Daoust’s photographic projects which focused on the dark, obscure and, especially in those years, the ghostly. She has travelled extensively and took photos not only of New York hotel rooms but also of Tokyo’s red light district, Brazilian brothels and Swiss naturists populating the Alps.

Daoust has created an oeuvre that is both diverse and intense. Seeking to translate her almost childlike curiosity, her perseverance and her highly individual interpretation of the world into fairy tale like stories, she single-handedly creates new myths about modern day society, as well as real-life stories of the underdogs.

Artist statement
Since my very first experiments in photography I have been fascinated by human behaviour and its various realities, by the ever-present human desire of living in a dream world. The aesthetic of my new project continues this visual exploration at the border between dream and reality, yet this time it embraces escapism of a country and the act of losing oneself within it.

My objective as an artist is to push the boundaries of photography through experimental methods, working with new mediums and discovering new techniques in the darkroom.

The preview for this exhibition takes place on Friday 17th November, 6pm – 9pm, featuring music, drinks and Korean food.

The exhibition continues to be open from 22nd November – 16th December, Wednesday to Saturday, 11am – 5pm. Entry is free.

More information is available at www.abject.gallery

Nathalie Daoust: Korean Dreams
Preview: Friday, 17th November 2017, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Exhibition: 22nd November – 16th December 2017
Opening Times: Wed – Sat, 11:00am – 5:00pm
Location: Abject Gallery, 8th Floor, Bamburgh House, Market Street (East), Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6BH

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Information for editors

For media enquiries contact Zoe Anderson on 0191 673 0098 or email info@breezecreatives.com.

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  • Breeze Creatives, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, specialises in cultural projects and events around the North East of England, and provides artist studios and project spaces in Newcastle city centre. Breeze Creatives latest projects include Abject Gallery, a contemporary art gallery exhibiting a mixture of national and international emerging artists. breezecreatives.com
  • Abject Gallery, run by Breeze Creatives, is a new contemporary art gallery, in Newcastle city centre that exhibits a selection of national and international artists from all over the globe, including Turkey, Canada, Iceland and China. Located on the 8th floor of Bamburgh House on Market Street East, the gallery is also known for its stunning views of the Quayside including the Tyne Bridge, Sage and BALTIC. www.abject.gallery

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Creative Culture Trust CIO, on Thursday 5 October, 2017. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/

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Hidden Photography Exhibition From Inside North Korea