Museum Info
Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

1750 13th Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Museum & Store Hours

Tuesday – Sunday 11am-5pm

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  • $2 – adults
  • $2 – seniors
  • $2 – students
  • & educators

Always free for all on Saturdays!

Past Exhibition

Ideology in Paradise

January 18 – May 4, 2008

Hiroshi Watanabe was born in Sapporo, Japan. His photographic series Ideology in Paradise turns its lens to the richness of North Korea, a country that is self-described as paradise. His understanding of the country was colored by stories of the political kidnapping of Japanese nationals, the governmental abuse of its own citizens, and the ubiquitous nuclear threat. Watanabe says, “I was bombarded by negative news reports on North Korea every time I went back to Japan, but I felt something uncomfortable, strange, and unsettled about the images portrayed by the media.”

In 2006 and 2007, Watanabe traveled to North Korea to understand the country for himself. The resulting photography is featured in the BMoCA exhibition, capturing lush and vibrant images where Watanabe was expecting to find malnutrition and brutality. His photographs are not about politics itself, but about the people and environments that exist within the political and social climate of contemporary North Korea.

Watanabe graduated from the Department of Photography, College of Art, at Nihon University in 1975. He later moved to Los Angeles and produced TV commercials. He received an MBA from UCLA Business School in 1993, and in 1995 he decided to return to photography. Ever since, he has traveled extensively, photographing what he finds intriguing at any given time or place.