Often when we think of North Korea, we imagine a cold, grey, concrete Soviet wasteland where people wearily practice highly-choreographed communist parades, nervously feigning enthusiasm. These photos by Australian photographer, Nic Ojae, however, show a very different, much more colorful side to the hermit kingdom than the ones you usually see on CNN.

Shot on medium format film that was later smuggled out of the country, they depict shots of public swimming pools, traditional dances, and facets of both urban and rural life in the DPRK.

Weirdly enough, things don't look utterly miserable. The bright pastel colors that appear to be so popular in the socialist dystopia carry a distinct tinge of Americana, making the country look like an Asian version of 1960s Palm Springs.

It's an unorthodox depiction of North Korea that won Ojae the People's Choice award at the Melbourne Independent Photography festival and is set to appear in a self-published book titled Colorful Order.

Also check out these Wes Anderson-esque North Korean interiors.

What To Read Next

*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.