Sara Sejin Chang (Sara Van Der Heide)
From December 11, 2015, until April 10, 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 temporary intervention by Sara van der Heide is an imaginary transformation of the current geography of the German Library in Guangzhou. Van der Heide’s 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 artistic, linguistic, and graphic interventions in the library merge with the continuing activities of the German learning center in Guangzhou, and all institutional printed matter in Chinese is 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 as well as documentation of the exhibition and the organized seminar.
Design by Dongyoung Lee