With nothing to tell, will the exhibition speak for itself?
The exhibition, which went virtually unnoticed by the general public, was held April 9 – 12, 2016 on the 23rd floor of the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea. It was conceived of by Random Institute and curated by Anna Hugo and Sandino Scheidegger.
A manipulated and reproduced issue of the state-owned and hard to get Pyongyang Times serves as the official exhibition catalogue. This special edition is strictly limited to 100 unique numbered copies and can be ordered from Mark Pezinger Verlag.
Works of art exhibited:
Though Pyongyang is the capital city and heart of North Korea, to the outside world it is the epicenter of the unknown. It is surprising then that nine international artists were recently invited by Switzerland's Random Institute to exhibit in Pyongyang.
The resulting group exhibition was organized around the theme of silence, a concept that resonated with the isolated nature of the show’s host country. Additionally, the immediate inaccessibility of this exhibition reflects the widespread, present-day condition of “consuming” art remotely, often online and via secondary media.
In keeping with the theme of silence, only one significant trace of documentation (other than select installation views) was allowed to publicly surface: an enigmatic mention on each of the nine artists’ CVs. This unusual addition to the artists’ resumes points to another concerning phenomenon of our time: the increasingly CV-driven art world. Furthering the theme, while also feeding global curiosity about the hermit kingdom, the artists’ only response to requests to elaborate on their exhibition and experience are and will remain simply:
“I’m not supposed to talk about it.”
The special edition catalogue is strictly limited to 100 unique numbered copies and can be ordered from Mark Pezinger Verlag. The official launch takes place on June 15 at the I Never Read Art Book Fair in Basel, Switzerland.(Facebook Event)
The exhibition All the Lights We Cannot See, which was virtually unnoticed by the general public, was held April 9 – 12, 2016 in Pyongyang, North Korea. It was curated by Anna Hugo and Sandino Scheidegger.
Amid China's tumultuous dash to become rich, one man's photographs of families posing with their worldly possessions will soon seem like records from a distant era. Huang Qingjun has spent nearly a decade travelling to remote parts of China to persuade people, who in some cases have never been photographed, to carry outside all their household goods and pose for him.
Who says we live in a materialistic age?
The results offer glimpses into the utilitarian lives of millions of ordinary Chinese who, at first glance, appear not to have been swept up by the same modernization that has seen hundreds of millions of others leave for the cities.
Huang Qingjun, born in 1971, joined the Chinese Photographers’ Association in 1999. His works have been exhibited at 798 Photo Gallery, Beijing, China (2013); Photoquai Photography Biennial, Paris (2013); Conceptual Renewal-A Brief History of Chinese Contemporary Photographic Art, Beijing, China (2013); National Communication Museum, Germany (2007); National Train Museum, Nuremberg, Germany (2006); and Steam Locomotive Photo Exhibition in Beijing Dazhong Photo Gallery (2001).
His photographs have also been published and reported on by many media outlets, including BBC, The New York Times, Guardian Weekly, GEO, CCTV-2, CCTV-9, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and Bloomberg News.
More details can be found on Huang Qingjun's website.
Upon answering, Chilette not only announced that she would gladly forward all messages, but she also revealed—by reading from a script written by the curators—her low daily rate.
Chilette then offered to either engage in a conversation about the project with the surprised caller or perform additional work at the caller’s request (anything from performing research to creating artworks for artists on the other end of the line), all on the curators’ dime.
The protocols of the calls have not been published so far.