The German Library Pyongyang
Sara van der Heide (Sara Sejin Chang)
Sunday 5 November 2017 at 4 pm.

Practical Information

The Boghossian Foundation as a Centre for dialogue between East and West as well as a former embassy, is proud to host the launch and presentation of the publication The German Library Pyongyang. Considering the current nuclear threat from Pyongyang, it seems timely and relevant to consider the potential roles for art, and for a library, in deescalating conflicts and establishing dialogues that foster peaceful relations.

From 11 December 2015 to 10 April 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 was 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 merged with the continuing activities of the German learning center in Guangzhou, and all institutional printed matter in Chinese has been replaced by Korean.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.

With contributions by: Anselm Franke, Changho Choi, Chankyong Park, Chen Tong, Dongyoung Lee, Egon Hanfstingl, Gabriele Stötzer / Künstlerinnengruppe Erfurt, Hans Haacke, Henk Slager, Janet Grau, Kyungman Kim, Liu Ding, Louwrien Wijers, Rory Pilgrim, Sora Kim
Published by Sternberg Press


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.

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.

Centre for art and dialogue between the cultures of the East and the West
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 67
B – 1050 Brussels

Book launch and presentation
The German Library Pyongyang
by Sara van der Heide (Sara Sejin Chang)
and graphic designer Dongyoung Lee
Screening by filmmaker Kyungman Kim

In English

T. +32 2 627 52 30