Carl De Keyzer's 'DPR Korea Grand Tour' in Helmond • Magnum Photos

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Carl De Keyzer Local guide and expert of the Pyongyang skyline in traditional Korean dress; Tower of the Juche Idea, Pyongyang. Pyongyang, DPR Korea. © Carl De Keyzer - Magnum © Carl De Keyzer | Magnum Photos
Carl De Keyzer Foreign worshiper at the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity, Eastern Orthodox Church, Pyongyang. While the church is for foreigners living in Pyongyang, the priest is North Korean and studied at Mos (...)
Carl De Keyzer Synchronized swimming performances are sometimes part of prominent national celebrations on major holidays; the national team competes in international events. Water ballet practice; Changgwangwon (...)
Carl De Keyzer A young diva bellows out a song; Changgwang Kindgergarten. Pyongyang, DPR Korea. © Carl De Keyzer - Magnum © Carl De Keyzer | Magnum Photos
Carl De Keyzer A wall poster catalog of different hairstyles; Munsu Waterpark, Pyongyang. Such posters have been the source of rumors among foreigners that the DPRK state only permits a set number of haircuts. In (...)
Carl De Keyzer Locals carry flowers to congratulate soldiers who have just participated in a military parade; Pyongyang. Viewing parades from Kim Il Sung Square is by invitation only, but citizens and tourists ca (...)
Carl De Keyzer Father and son sit down for a rest in front of the April 25th House of Culture; Pyongyang. April 25th is the founding date of the Korean People’s Army, and the enormous structure is used for import (...)
Carl De Keyzer Crowds see their relatives and friends off at Pyongyang Railroad Station, Pyongyang. The capital is the centre of an extensive domestic rail network, and also has international trains to China. Pyo (...)
Carl De Keyzer A student reads stories from the revolutionary life of Mother Kim Jong Suk, wife of President Kim Il Sung and mother to General Kim Jong Il; Doksong Primary School, Pyongsong, South Pyong’an Provin (...)
Carl De Keyzer Teachers instruct kindergarten students in dance; Chongsan-ri Cooperative Farm. Nampo, DPR Korea. © Carl De Keyzer - Magnum © Carl De Keyzer | Magnum Photos
Carl De Keyzer A girl plays the accordion; Kaesong Schoolchildren’s Palace, Kaesong. The accordion is a popular instrument inherited from the Soviet Union. The DPRK now produces its own accordions. Kaesong, DPR K (...)
Carl De Keyzer A hotel staff member cleans a window. As housekeeping is on duty for a full day shift, rooms are checked once in the morning, and again in the afternoon. Foreign visitors sometimes misinterpret thi (...)

North Korea may be the most enigmatic country in the world. With access for foreign media and tourists limited very restricted, glimpses of life in the last communist state from an ideological, political and cultural perspective in the world are rare and highly controlled. Nevertheless, Carl De Keyzer managed to spend 60 days during 4 trips in 2015 and 2017 crossing the breadth of the country, known officially as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Given almost unprecedented access, the Magnum photographer documented over 200 locations which his travel agent, Koryo Tours, took him to as their photographer. He captured the orderly architecture of tourist landmarks, state monuments, social spaces, and schools, the intimacies of private homes, and the stunning natural landscapes of the country, many of which had never been captured on camera before.

From June 17 until September 23, Helmond Museum will be exhibiting over 85 large-format colour photographs by Belgian Magnum photographer Carl De Keyzer.