Arts in the City YouTube
Arts in the City YouTube

Découverte - Raphael Olivier capture Pyongyang

  • Dressing room of a private sauna at the Changgwang-won health complex, featuring beautiful green tile work with black floor, matching the unique vintage tones of the city.
  • Golden Lane Bowling Alley is a fantastic venue and a rare opportunity for tourists to mix with locals in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The decor is superb as any bowling arena should be, with subtle grandient orange backdrops and remarkable flowery carpet. True vintage love here.
  • Two Sisters Monument on the outskirts of Pyongyang, symbolizing the two Koreas and the desire of reunification. Like many other monuments in the country, it is made from solid granite stone and features bronze sculptures.
  • View of East Pyongyang from the Juche Tower. Here the homogenous design of the city and absence of visual pollution from commercial advertising become apparent. As well as the very linear and raw structures of most buildings.
  • The Workers Party Foundation Monument, completed in 1995, is a more recent structure yet very much in the architectural line of Pyongyang, made from raw granite stone, it just radiates harshness, struggle and strength.
  • A barbershop inside Changgwang-won health complex, following the curve of the building, and full of vintage design elements such as the pattern-printed flooring and wallpaper, the seats and even the staff uniforms.
  • Pyongyang Ice Rink, interior. Enthusiasts of various levels practice their skating skills, under the vast conical roof and surrounded by warm harmonious colors.
  • Ryugyong Hotel, probably the most emblematic building of Pyongyang, is still undergoing construction and not open to the public. Towering over the city at 330 meters high, its infrastructure is made entirely of concrete which somehow gives it this opaque, solid futurist look, like a very heavy spaceship that will never take-off.
  • Changgwang-won health complex. This monumental building features several pools as well as saunas, spas, massage rooms and barber shops. Completed in 1981, it showcases pure modernist architectural features and very carefully arranged interiors, notably the tile work.
  • North Korean Revolutionary Opera played at the Pyongyang Grand Theatre, a unique mix of socialist modernist architecture with Korean influences.
  • Pyongyang metro, one of the deepest in the world, is accessed by very long and steep escalators. It is also used as a bomb shelter due to its depth.
  • Pyongyang International Cinema House, a massive hall featuring several screening rooms able to fit up to 3000 seats for the largest, is a pure example of Pyongyang's brutalist architecture. All in bare raw concrete with modern shapes and sharp edges, brutalist buildings can be found all around the city but this one is probably the most impressive of them all, and could actually make for a perfect science fiction film set.


Dans les coulisses d'une des villes les plus mystérieuses au monde //

Raphael Olivier est un photographe parisien passionné par l'Asie, où il s'est installé depuis presque 10 ans. Sa dernière série personnelle relate avec poésie et nostalgie son voyage à Pyongyang, capitale de la Corée du Nord. Raphael Olivier est un des rares à avoir franchi la frontière coréenne et surtout à en avoir rapporté autant de clichés. Les photos évoquent la vie quotidienne des Nord-Coréens dans un environnement semblant être suspendu dans le temps. Propagande et idoles communistes rencontrent alors design vintage des années 60 sans presque aucune poussière.


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