Using a flash to show staged scenes

Photographer uses artificial lights to add a theatrical and subversive layer to the photos he took in North Korea

A man having a go at a shooting game at Rungna Dolphinarium in North Korea, where families gathered to celebrate National Liberation Day on Aug 15. Above: Lunchtime on a boat on Taedong River, with the state TV channel broadcasting images of artiller
A man having a go at a shooting game at Rungna Dolphinarium in North Korea, where families gathered to celebrate National Liberation Day on Aug 15.PHOTOS: MAX PINCKERS
A man having a go at a shooting game at Rungna Dolphinarium in North Korea, where families gathered to celebrate National Liberation Day on Aug 15. Above: Lunchtime on a boat on Taedong River, with the state TV channel broadcasting images of artiller
Lunchtime on a boat on Taedong River, with the state TV channel broadcasting images of artillery, missiles and fighter jets.
A man having a go at a shooting game at Rungna Dolphinarium in North Korea, where families gathered to celebrate National Liberation Day on Aug 15. Above: Lunchtime on a boat on Taedong River, with the state TV channel broadcasting images of artiller
A military officer at the Demilitarised Zone.
A man having a go at a shooting game at Rungna Dolphinarium in North Korea, where families gathered to celebrate National Liberation Day on Aug 15. Above: Lunchtime on a boat on Taedong River, with the state TV channel broadcasting images of artiller
Students at the Pyongyang Orphans' Secondary School, which is housed in a new brick-and-steel complex.

In August 2017, amid an escalating war of words between the United States and North Korea, Belgian photographer Max Pinckers went on a four-day assignment to Pyong-yang for The New Yorker weekly magazine.

He went there with his wife and assistant Victoria Gonzalez-Figueras, together with American journalist Evan Osnos.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2019, with the headline 'Using a flash to show staged scenes'. Subscribe