Dear Friends of Fresh Art,
We are delighted to present a very special extension of our exhibition Freedom ° Love with paintings and sculptures from Ying-Tung Tseng (*1953 Tainan) and Semaan Khawam (*1974 Damascus). After a little break that allowed the annual spring auction of Ostdeutsche Kunstauktionen to take place in our gallery space, we are reinstalling Freedom ° Love, this time with a few new works that have not been on display before.
Freedom ° Love invites you to join a fascinating artistic dialogue that explores not only the light and dark facets of freedom and love but also their complex relationship:
“I am not free, so I can’t really talk about freedom. I can only talk about the lack of it”, says Semaan Khawam, who had to leave his homeland Syria when he was 14 years old. Since then, the artist has been living in Beirut, a city he loves but which, at the same time, takes so much from him, sometimes even too much. Khawam’s paintings and sculptures speak of torment and unfreedom, but they also speak of fragile hope. They tell us about the artist’s quiet dream to spread his wings and leave all boundaries and borders behind for good.
“A heart without boundary is the highest form of freedom”, says Ying-Tung Tseng. Love and freedom are the fundaments and the endpoints of his artistic work: as two intertwined energies they permeate his three-dimensional, colourful paintings. As a result, Tseng’s works rest entirely in themselves while passing their inner serenity and harmony on to the viewer. “The colours in my work originate from love. The style in my work (…) is without boundary, which is freedom.”
Berlin Art Bridge: Freedom ° Love in Tainan & Evening concerts in Berlin
Additionally, the works of both artists will be shown in a second, parallel exhibition in cooperation with the Asir Art Museum in Tainan. Freedom ° Love in Tainan will present a newly curated selection of works from Semaan Khawam and Ying-Tung Tseng, that you will be able to visit virtually as well as on-site soon.
The so-created art bridge which starts in Berlin and connects Tainan and Beirut – two cities that are so different and, at the same time, so crucial for Tseng and Khawam – continues the artistic dialog about freedom and love in a new context.
Therefore, we are delighted, to present the Art Bridge of the Dual City Exhibition: from 26.05. – 10.06.2021 in Berlin and cordially invite you to join us. Since May, Taiwan has to cope with a very sincere wave of the pandemic and must follow much stricter COVID guidelines, therefore it is sadly not possible to host an opening in person.
This is why we support our friends in Tainan to celebrate Khawam and Tseng on 5 June from 5-9pm, of course in line with current restrictions. The flutist Shih-Cheng Liu and the cellist Hsien-Wen Tseng invite you to an atmospheric evening with a selection of compositions starting from 8pm with the first of two concerts.
Whether virtually or in person – please join us, we look forward to seeing you!
SAVE THE DATE: Hartmut Stockter • Der Landschaftszirkus kommt in die Stadt (25 June – 20 August 2021)
We are delighted to present Hartmut Stocker’s (*1973, Wilhelmshaven) solo exhibition Der Landschaftszirkus kommt in die Stadt (“The Landscape Circus Comes into the City”).
“As an artist, you sometimes feel like a showman – you have your repertoire of attractions and travel with a selection of them to different shows across the country, you set them up at each location while hoping that they speak to the visitors that come by”, explains Hartmut Stockter. His sculptures and installations, made from recycled materials such as wood, metal, concrete or plastic, invite us, as visitors of his artistic arena, to become circus performers ourselves: how much drive does one need to get the Wiesentretmühle (2020) moving; in which direction will the Auflugsorakel (2018) send me today, if I pull just strongly enough on its strings? “The employable and interactive sculptures on display have the character of a travelling showman’s business. I try to address visitors quite directly, like a circus would do, hoping they will ultimately get to the actual topic and engage with the landscape.”
To reflect on the phenomenon of landscape – be it an ideal, pastoral landscape, a tiny habitat on the sidewalk or an overgrown strip of grass in Berlin – forms the centre of Stockter’s work. Stockter, who is trained as a sculptor, grew up on the German Wadden Sea. Today, he lives on a houseboat in the southern part of Copenhagen, not far from his container studio, which is so crammed with materials that he works outdoors most of the time. Stockter’s fascination and sensibility towards the surrounding landscape and its living creatures permeate all his works. He mentions works like Spiral Jetty (1970) from the Land Art artist Robert Smithson as early artistic influences. Stockter’s sculptures focus strongly on the mutual and interactive relationship between landscape, artwork and viewer. His works encourage the viewer – often in a playful manner, sometimes with humour and poetry – to not only observe our relationship to our natural environment – both large and small – with all our senses but also to challenge it.
For example, Stockter had the idea for his work Wiesentretmühle, which looks like an oversized hamster wheel at first glance, in response to an invitation to exhibit in a former prison. Confronted with the unusual exhibition space, he asked himself what would happen if we suddenly had no access to landscape as a freely accessible exterior space anymore: “Would you somehow create a substitute landscape?” Contrary to virtual worlds or dreams, the Wiesentretmühle is the material realisation of such a substitute landscape, through which the visitor can move, step by step, despite always walking on the same spot. At the same time, the artwork can be read as a metaphor for a time which, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, has been shaped by lockdowns and other such restrictions of free movement. Which landscapes have we missed in the last year? What does it mean, to move within a landscape? What do we see, smell and hear? And what happens to us and our sense of time if the path which we walk on always remains the same? How much energy does it take to walk on the same spot or, figuratively, to tread water?
“The diary has been jumbled all the time. Everything moves a bit more slowly. Because other activities are cancelled, however, one could concentrate on art. You potter around in your little bubble, hoping that the exhibitions you work for will happen eventually”, muses Stockter. It is with even greater delight, therefore, to present his “landscape circus” in our gallery! And as they say: this is a spectacle not to be missed!
Hartmut Stockter has lived in Copenhagen since 2002. In 1995, he began his studies at the Fachhochschule Hannover and later completed his education as a sculptor at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig. He was a visiting student at the University Copenhagen for Greenlandic and Arctic Studies as well as an artist in residence at the Refugium Upernavik in Greenland. His works have been exhibited in numerous international exhibitions.