Surya Gied
Godori – Battle of Flowers / Dieter-Ruckhaberle-Award

Künstlerhof Frohnau (KHF Berlin), Berlin / Germany

April 1–May 22, 2022
April 1, 2022
Vernissage: April 1, 6:30–10pm
Artist talk: April 10, 3–5pm

GalerieETAGE at Museum Reinickendorf
Alt-Hermsdorf 35
13467 Berlin
Germany

www.khf-berlin.org
www.museum-reinickendorf.de
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With Surya Gied’s solo exhibition Godori - Battle of Flowers, Museum Reinickendorf and Künstlerhof Frohnau / KHF Berlin present a multi-layered artistic oeuvre, which interweaves painterly techniques with oral history, photography, sound and video works, performance, and sculpture. Surya Gied creates forms and spaces for multidimensional historical narratives that explore the historical and contemporary living conditions and struggles of Korean migrants in Germany and Korean rice farmers.

The works in the exhibition connect various strands of narrative and experience into a collective biography of the artist’s grandparents house in Hwaho-Ri, Jeongub, a small village in rural South Korea. In two installations that combine painting, video, sound, and textile works, the house emerges in its material and social architecture. Through the stories of the women who currently inhabit and those who once lived in the house, its structures become manifest. The clay walls and roof mats of the house were replaced with stone and brick after Choonok Gied-Lee, the artist’s mother, emigrated to Germany and for years sent most of her monthly income as a health care worker to her family. As part of a generation of emigrants and migrant workers, she accelerated the South Korean economy during the military dictatorship by supporting her family. At the same time she helped save the West German health care system from a deep crisis together with fellow nurses of Korean, Indian and Filipino origin, who were recruited as “guest workers.”

Responding to questions from the artist, her aunts, mother, and grandmother recall different memories. They draw the house as a place of desires, alienation, and of struggle that is shaped by patriarchal structures and the capitalist devaluation of peasant labor and ecologies. Elsewhere, we hear their voices chatting and bantering, laughing and cursing while they are vividly engaged in a card game called Godori. The paintings presented in the exhibition are based on selected motifs from the 48 cards and were created at Künstlerhof Frohnau in the summer of 2021. The artist cooperative was founded in 1998 on the initiative of the artist, curator, and cultural politician Dieter Ruckhaberle. Until the late 1980s, the same buildings were part of a Mental Hospital, where several Korean nurses were employed. Surya Gied’s paintings reference this place by combining various material relics from its institutional and domestic infrastructure to create sculptural remixes.

Exhibition curator: Suza Husse / Director Museum Reinickendorf: Dr. Cornelia Gerner / Assistance: Katja Hock / Director Künstlerhof Frohnau/KHF Berlin: Kaya Behkalam / Artistic collaborators for the textile, video and sound works: Emma Cattell, Angelo Wemmje and Ray Kaczynski.

GalerieETAGE - Museum Reinickendorf, Alt-Hermsdorf 35, 13467 Berlin
Opening times: Monday–Friday, Sunday 9am–5pm
Vernissage: April 1, 6:30–10pm, with a performance by SHIN Hyo Jin and Otto Oscar Hernández Ruiz.
Artist talk: April 10, 3–5pm, with Suza Husse and a concert by Zihern Lee (Gayageum / Korean zither).

Surya Gied (*1980 Cologne) is a visual artist based in Berlin. She graduated from Berlin University of the Arts in 2008. In 2020 she received the research scholarship of the Berlin Senate and in 2021 the Dieter-Ruckhaberle-Award. In 2022 she was awarded a one-year fellowship from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, NYC and in 2022/23 she received the German Academy Rome Villa Massimo / Casa Baldi fellowship. Her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions worldwide, including: Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien Berlin, Hillyer Art Space in Washington DC, PyeongChang Biennale South Korea, University Delaware USA, Savvy Contemporary Berlin and Galerie Wedding Berlin.

The Dieter Ruckhaberle Award is awarded to artists who in their work find innovative forms for addressing political subject matter. It has been initiated in 2019 by Künstlerhof Frohnau in cooperation with Bezirksamt Berlin-Reinickendorf, department of Art & History. The prize commemorates life and work of artist, curator and cultural politician Dieter Ruckhaberle. The award comes with a two months’ residency at KHF in Berlin, a production budget, an exhibition and/or publication. The jury members from 2019-2021 were: Antonia Alampi (curator, director Spore Initiative), Kaya Behkalam (artist, director KHF Berlin), Cornelia Gerner (director Museum Reinickendorf), Gabriele Horn (director Berlin Biennial), and Heike Ruschmeyer (artist and curator of the estate of Dieter Ruckhaberle).

The project has been supported by funds from the Berlin Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa, the Ausstellungsfonds für die Kommunalen Galerien and the Fonds Ausstellungsvergütungen Bildende Künstlerinnen und Künstler.