Until the outbreak of World War II, Korea was a single state with a long history of domination by others but with solid cultural roots. A bloody war divided it and changed its destiny by creating two nations that march at different speeds, but that curiously maintain some similar traits. Despite their different fates, North and South are struggling with the same frantic search in an attempt to exhibit their excellence to the world, both socially and technologically, exerting enormous pressure on young people who are entrusted with the fundamental task of leading the country, in the South, towards modernity and economic development, and in the North, towards a political redemption that requires reunification and independence.
Starting with accurate research and preparation for the trip, the photographer started his study of the Korean peninsula in 2014. In 2015 in SouthKorea he completed the first part of the project, Made in Korea. Two years later, in 2017, time enough to study and wait for the long procedures for obtaining a visa to be completed, he went to North Korea to prepare the second part, Korean Dream.
While he was not hindered in any way for the first part of the work, since South Korea is an open country that is easily accessible and visitors are free to travel as they wish, the same was not true for in North Korea. The organisation took many months of preparation. For photographers and reporters it is difficult just to get into the country.
The title of this book that binds the two works, Made in Korea ∞ Korean Dream, refers to the symbol for infinity, which is linked to the concept of a “Möbius tape”, i.e. the representation of parallel realities that run on the two sides of the ribbon. The artist Escher represented it with ants that seem to be walking on opposite sides but that are actually on the same side.