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© Martin Von Den Driesch, Soldier On Holy Mountain Paektusan, 2014

Solo Exhibition

»Crossing Frontiers: North Korea’s Great Unknown«

Martin von den Driesch

Opening: Thursday, March 2, 2017, 19h (Facebook Event)
Korean Party: Saturday, March 18, 2017, 20h (Facebook Event)
Exhibition: March 3 – 23, 2017

Opening hours: Thu-Sun 12-18h
Extended opening hours for the last 3 days: Tue, March 21 – Thu, March 23: 10-19h
Admission free


We reached Mount Paektu by midday. I was part of a Russian-Korean travel group to mark the 150th anniversary of Korean settlement in Russia, heading all the way from Moscow to Seoul by car. While my main duty was to take photos of our group – mostly with a banner promoting peace and friendship – I also tried to take pictures on my own, knowing that I had just a few moments until one of our chaperones would shout “Let’s go!”

Suddenly, I saw a group of young female soldiers, giggling and relaxing in the peaceful atmosphere of Korea’s highest mountain, and I was particularly drawn to this woman who looked shyly and tried to avoid eye contact. She did not speak English, so I tried to make myself understandable by sign language, telling her that I would like to take a quick photo and that she should move a few steps to the right to get the perfect panorama view.

To my surprise, she followed me to the desired place. I took a few photos and was in the process of asking myself if I should photograph more members of her group, when I suddenly got admonished by the familiar voice of our chaperone: “Martin, no more photos. Let’s go!”

A few days later, our cars passed the Korean border, making me the first Western photographer to cross the DMZ on a direct route from Pyongyang to Seoul.

In March 2017, Martin von den Driesch will display the images in a photo exhibition in Berlin, entitled “Crossing Frontiers: North Korea’s Great Unknown”. The exhibition runs from March 3rd – 23rd 2017 at Jörg Steinbach’s Atelier für Photographie, Christburger Strasse 18, 10405 Berlin [Prenzlauer Berg].

Upcoming exhibition:
»New Generation Photographer / JAPAN+FRANCE«
Opening: Saturday, March 25, 2017, 19h

Event Details

Atelier für Photographie | Jörg Steinbach
Christburger Straße 18, 10405 Berlin, Germany