Public Program

Book launch + presentation: The German Library Pyongyang – Sara van der Heide

15, Feb, 2017 (Wed) 18:30

The Parallax Hanok

Book launch + presentation: The German Library Pyongyang – Sara van der Heide

From December 11, 2015 – April 10, 2016 the German Library in Guangzhou, China became The German Library Pyongyang, a reimagining of an initiative of the Goethe-Institut that originally operated in North Korea between 2004 and 2009. This temporal intervention by Sara van der Heide is an imaginary transformation of the current geography of the German Library in Guangzhou. Van der Heide’s German Library Pyongyang project is a contemporary version of the Goethe- Institut’s original library initiative in North Korea, devised as a vessel to discuss national cultural policy in a Post-Cold War and postcolonial era that looks critically toward the parallel histories of Germany and the two Koreas. The German Library Pyongyang offers a space for critical questions, but it also functions as a context for transcending thinking that is prescribed by the lines of the nation state, language, and geography.

The several subtle artistic, linguistic, and graphic interventions in the library merge with the continuing activities of the German learning center in Guangzhou, and all institutional printed matter in Chinese is replaced by Korean. This publication brings together the four original exhibition booklets in German, Korean, English, and Chinese. An additional reader is included with Critical Reflections, and documentation of the exhibition and the organized seminar.

During the book launch at Art Sonje, Sara van der Heide (Sara Sejin Chang) will give a presentation of the project The German Library Pyongyang together with contributions by Kyungman Kim, Sora Kim, and Dongyoung Lee.

About the speakers

Sara van der Heide (Sara Sejin Chang) is a Dutch-Korean artist, born in South Korea (1977) and is now based in Brussels and in Amsterdam. She participated in exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam; the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; the 1st Asia Biennial/the 5th Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou; The School of Kyiv: Leipzig Class, part of the Kyiv Biennial; the 19th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney. Through her often political and poetic interventions, performances and films she proposes a more inclusive modernity.

Sora Kim’s work is a map of floating movement, language, and delusion, and also the trajectory of a ball thrown in all directions. She offers clues composed of a minimal amount of language to her collaborators in the position of an observer and then collects and joins the processes of their interpretation and condensation. Such undetermined clues are united for a while in the form of sound, installation, or performance but soon scattered. Kim’s work is everything and nothing at the same time, disclosing the world’s invisible possibilities and its weight of near zero. Notable solo exhibitions include Three Foot Walking, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2013) and Abstract Walking, Art Sonje Center, Seoul (2012).

Kim Kyungman has been living in Seoul, Korea and he has been making non-fiction films since 2000. Through his films he has been questioning the dominant ideology of the ruling class in South Korean society, which strangely enough is still present. For his work he has been using the government-produced
propaganda films and newsreel films. His films include An Escalator in World Order (2011), Beep (2014) and People Passing By (2015).

Dongyoung Lee is an Amsterdam / Seoul based independent graphic designer. Her studio mostly collaborates with artists and cultural institutions. She was a resident at the Jan van Eyck Acadmie (NL 2013), recently she participated in the Frans Masereel Centrum (BE 2016). Together with artist Michiel Hilbrink, she’s participating in a residency in Den Helder (2017 NL) to expand the possibility of graphic as an installation.

15, Feb, 2017 (Wed) 18:30
The Parallax Hanok
Dongyoung Lee, Kyungman Kim, Sara van der Heide (Sara Sejin Chang), Sora Kim
Sponsored by
Goethe-Institut Korea
Admission fee

* The speakers will speak in English.