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– “Artistic work is only a pretext for becoming free, and it may be that it is not completely possible in this world to have freedom. In art and in fiction, I can do what I cannot in reality. It is a way to expand on the possibility of freedom.” Hayoun Kwon (participating artist “Non-sense music; borders”) –

We are thrilled to be supporting the upcoming Korean Interdisciplinary Arts Festival „Non-Sense Music #2; Borders“ and many other inspiring projects and events in cooperation with the Korean Cultural Centre in Berlin.

The Korean Cultural Centre is the cultural department of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Germany, headquartered in Berlin under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea (MCST). Its aim is to promote Korean culture and facilitate cultural exchanges to introduce and generate interest in the many diverse aspects of Korean culture.

The Centre organises many programmes, events and courses under the categories of arts, music, literature and film. It creates an active place for cultural mediation. An item of great importance is the organisation and support of cultural events with Korean participation throughout Germany by working closely with the relevant institutions of both countries.

Permanent and alternating exhibitions can be seen in their own premises, at their Gallery damdam and at other external exhibition spaces. In the field of music the Centre curates a wide range of events: from Young Korean talents, the JazzKorea Festival to the International Younghi Pagh-Paan Composition Prize and lunchtime concerts in the “Pavillon der Einheit”.

We begin our campaign with an in-house exhibition by the interdisciplinary and Berlin based, but Seoul born artist, kate-hers RHEE. Her arts project “I like Korea and Korea likes me” will feature at Gallery damdam from 26th April – 16th June 2018.

This solo exhibition is curated by Kahee Jeong and presents two of her projects: the “deutschsprachliche Projekt” and “Transkoreaning” plus some artworks that were especially created for this exhibition. Identity and language are the essential themes in the work of kate-hers RHEE. Her art is transgressive, performative and plays with her “otherness” as an American raised woman with Asian roots in various cultural contexts.

 

 

We look forward to also supporting the Korean Interdisciplinary Arts Festival „Non-Sense Music #2; Borders“. This ten-day interdisciplinary arts festival takes place from 11th May – 20th May 2018 at Kunstquartier Bethanien and explores the politics of space through the micro-history of six Korean artists. Curated by Seoul born Joanne Kim, the artists Nahoon Park (Choreographer, Performance), Soyoung Chung (Video, Performance), Hayoun Kwon (VR), Ryu Biho (Installation, Performance), Helena Parada Kim (Painting) and Kim Hwang (Installation, Documentary film screening) transform the circumstances and conditions of time and space into songs, performance and visual delights.

The multicultural upbringing of Helena Parada Kim – she is half Korean and half Spanish and grew up in Germany – fuels her creative inspiration in various ways. She uses photographs of members of her mother´s family to create her artworks. Using family portraits as fundamental inspiration for her paintings, allows her to present a multidimensional homage to Korean traditions and culture.

 

Helena Parada Kim: Nurses and cranes, 180×250 cm, oil on linen, 2017

 

Artist Hayoun Kwon on the other hand, specialises in film work. At Non-sense music, she exhibits the animated political documentary “489 Years”, a film grounded in personal stories and linked to geopolitical questions of borders and territoriality. With virtual reality glasses, we are being taken to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula to serve as a buffer zone between North and South, immersing us in the personal memories of a soldier. Hayoun Kwon’s film allows us to see a forbidden place, where nature has totally reclaimed its hold.

The WildKat team is very excited to be working alongside the Korean Cultural Centre in Berlin and its many cultural and artistic projects to come, including an in-house exhibition of Thearesa Cha (September 2018), the Grassimesse Leipzig (October 2018) and the Jazz Korea Festival (November 2018).

 

(Written on April 20, 2018 )

On Friday, the Vienna Philharmonic announced that it’s crowdfunding campaign has raised an astonishing €10, 000, towards a home for asylum seekers, which it bought last month. There are still 54 days to go and over 60 000 still to raise! You can donate here: http://bit.ly/1lNJXVn

The Vienna Philharmonic has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise  €75,000 towards buying and renovating a former inn in St Aegyd, Lower Austria. For every donation made,  the orchestra offers a special thank you in the form of CD’s, DVD’s, concert tickets and backstage passes.

Vienna Philharmonic home for refugees

Vienna Philharmonic home for refugees

Following the huge numbers of refugees arriving in Europe this year, questions of nationality, social cohesion, and belonging have arisen. These issues are especially apparent in countries such as Austria and Hungary, which have faced the greatest influxes of asylum seekers. The CEO of the Vienna Philharmonic, Andreas Großbauer believes that aiding refugees exemplifies everything that classical music stands for,  ‘When we play an opera like Fidelio, for example, the singers are singing about freedom – it struck me that if we did nothing to help the refugees coming to Austria, then our music just wouldn’t be honest anymore.’ Indeed, 40 members of the Vienna Philharmonic come from families of migration backgrounds and 20 don’t have an Austrian passport.

The Vienna Philharmonic’s campaign is of course hugely impressive, but there are also ordinary people throughout Austria continuously providing refugees with meals, blankets, clothes and shelter. On the other hand, in October’s elections, there was increased support for the Austrian far right ‘Freedom Party’. It got 31 percent of the vote, on an anti-immigrant platform that included a proposed border fence. In the face of this and of tensions throughout Europe, the crowdfunding campaign and generosity of the Vienna Philharmonic appears all the more impressive.

20, 000 people took to the streets in Vienna in September to demonstrate against the ill treatment of refugees/ Lhv news

20, 000 people took to the streets of Vienna in September, to demonstrate against the ill treatment of refugees/ Lhv news

It might seem like a huge amount of money to direct to housing just four families, but the orchestra also wants to set an example and inspire others. The whole community is committed to the project and to integrating the asylum seekers in the long term; they will be taught German and the home will be a place for cultural exchange and benefit concerts. The campaign is raising money to provide more than just accommodation.

The Vienna Philharmonic has consistently had a strong focus on charity work. Throughout the year, it raises money for ‘Light in Darkness’, the Red Cross, Amnesty International and victims of landmines, it also gives charity concerts in hospitals. On September 28th, the orchestra gave a benefit concert which raised €116,892.73 towards the refugee crisis. Their latest campaign to house and permanently support 16 immigrants deserves particular congratulations!

(Written on December 1, 2015 )