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DESTINATION BERLIN | 21 September to 23 December 2012

DESTINATION BERLIN: the search of identity. In November 2009, when the city of Berlin was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a twist of the fate brought together six international artists: Jacqueline Kooter (Amsterdam), Shirley Wiebe (Canada), Susana López F. (Spain), Thea Jentjens (Amsterdam), Wai Kit Lam (Hong Kong), Wai Yi Lai (Hong Kong). 1a Space presents Destination Berlin, a group exhibition about the search for individual and collective identity through the work that was created during their shared art residency in the city of Berlin.

We start a journey through their different views and we explore different art techniques from graphite to paint to multimedia art, and we travel to investigate the different faces and interpretations of identity. Jacqueline, Shirley, Susana, Thea, Kit and Yi investigate concepts such as communication and integration in a city where the unfamiliar language of German made them vulnerable. At the same time, these circumstances help them to go within in order to express and respond to new complexities.

The concept of identity has been an ongoing discussion between artists and philosophers from the early centuries to the present. We define identity as “the state or fact of remaining the same one or ones under varying aspects or conditions”. This exhibition reveals six individual glances and expressions on the theme of identity, through a common platform: the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of the German city. The nomadic and fluctuating qualities that define contemporary life often require us to relocate to another city, a different country, with a new language and cultural background that are different from our own. Connections between environment, memory and identity form a continuous thread of questioning in Shirley´s work. Much of it is transient and migratory, reflecting our ability to move and relocate, to shift our lives into new settings. In Destination Berlin, Shirley exhibits two large-scale drawings, the first one created in Berlin, and second, upon returning to Vancouver. The works vividly reflect the experience of being immersed in a new environment and culture through fragmentary elements that appear to float and drift across a surface. Susana López F. shows in her work a reflection of many hours spent at airports waiting for flights. She explores how airports are places where identity is scrutinized and we become anonymous, but at the same time is the centre of contemporary culture. In Destination Berlin, Susana show us Letzter Aufruf. This project is a convergence of both topics from the show: Identity and the reunification of Berlin. In November 2011, Susana travelled to Berlin to give graphic testimony of two airports: Tegel and Schönefeld, which are still memory of that Wall that some day ago divided the city and also the whole world into two: West and East. And perhaps Identity, that we consider so valuable nowadays, was something people from East Berlin wanted to lose in order to have an anonymous life that let them be free. Jacqueline Kooter reflects on the lack of freedom to move around using three videos: “Walled in”, “Blocked off” and “Trapped in the city”. These videos are based on her stay in Berlin during the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 2009. Thea, shows us a series of drawings mostly with architectural elements, a reflection of her long walking tours in the formerly divided city. A reflection about how absurd history can be in a city where most of the official buildings are duplicated because of its old leaders´ search of identity. As a result of her constant international trips Wai Kit Lam thinks about who She is very often. she feels as Chinese when she is abroad and when she comes home she feels closer to Western culture than Chinese Traditions. During her stay in Berlin in 2009, Wai Kit continues to examinate her identity in this foreign city through a language she does not speak and is not able to understand. We are going to conclude with Wai Yi Lai´s work. She is a Chinese artist, which work is about the relationship between the environment and people. She looks for her identity through the sorrounding environment, but for her sorrounding environment refers to the correlation between humans and the entities embracing us. In Destination Berlin she shows us a tribute to Mr. and Mrs. Gu . . . and all who have lost their home in China.

Curator Susana Lopez Fernandez Participating artists Jacqueline Kooter (Amsterdam) Shirley Wiebe (Canada) Susana López F. (Spain) Thea Jentjens (Amsterdam) Wai Kit Lam (Hong Kong) Wai Yi Lai (Hong Kong)

Opening Cocktail Reception Date: 21September 2012 (Friday) Time: 7:00pm Artist Talk Date: 22September 2012 (Saturday) Time: 2:30 - 4:00pm Exhibition Period Date: 21 September to 23 December 2012 Time: 11:00am -7:00pm (Tuesday-Sunday) 1a Space Unit 14, Cattle Depot Artist village 63 Ma Tau Kok Road, To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong Tel: 852-25290087, Email: Fax:852-25290072, Website:

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