Dutch photographer Arthur Mebius’s book Dear Sky is a revelatory work. The book explores the workings of North Korea’s state-owned national airline, Air Koryo. For as much as North Korea is in the news, little of its people is known. Dear Sky allows the reader to see the lives of some of the normal people that live in North Korea.
Because of international sanctions and environmental restrictions, Air Koryo only flies to China and Vladivostok. The fleet features Antonovs, Ilyushins, and Tupolevs. But even though these planes largely sit on the tarmac, they are meticulously kept ready for operation. The occasional domestic flights are exponentially important to the crew as these short jaunts are the only chances pilots and flight attendants have to practice their skills. Dear Sky captures the nearly continuous rehearsals these crews go through so that they can be ready at any time to fly. Much more than a picture book filled with images of planes and people, Dear Sky portrays the pride and dedication the crew of Air Koryo display.
Mebius, a student of the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, lives in Amsterdam with his family. He is best known for his work in commercial advertising. His interest in aviation led him to personal projects, like Dear Sky. His work has won several awards.