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Curators present: Protest banner and Dove

Anne-Katrin Ziesak, project manager and curator of the exhibition „The Luther Effect“, presents two pieces of the national special exhibition in Berlin. 

Protest banner of Hyanglin church in Seoul. “Away with the National Security Law!”; “Sow justice, reap peace”; “Peace treaty instead of ceasefire!” Plastic, 700×90 cm each, 2016. (Hyanglin Presbyterian Church, Seoul)

Protest banner of Hyanglin church in Seoul

The Hynaglin church in Seoul is a politically active parish. Since 1991 it makes political claims by means of protest banners which are fixed on the church façade. During my stay in Seoul I have attended a service there. The music impressed me: in the Hyanglin church, western church music and traditional Korean instruments are brought together. But I also found the sincerity of the sermon (a colleague translated for me) and the community spirit of the parish remarkable. There was also a lunch together following the service.

Figurine of a dove with inscription: Chosŏn, Pyongyang. Marble, 7×8×4 cm, 1986, North Korea. (Suh Kwang-Sun David, Seoul)

Dove – a gift from North Korea

The South Korean theologian Suh Kwang-sun David received the dove at the first meeting of South and North Korean Christians in 1986 in Switzerland. This unspectacular piece is for me a favourite object, because I got to know M. Suh at a research trip to Seoul in 2016. Since our freelance employee for Korea studied with him in the 1980s, a personal connection was quickly established. Professor Suh invited us to accompany him into his house and workplace (a tiny room with a desk and a bed). 

There he talked about how his life had been overshadowed by the violent death of his father. The family originally came from what is today North Korea; the father for Professor Suh was a priest and was shot for this reason. Only decades later did Mr. Suh succeed to free himself when he asked himself how he can be Christian and be possessed by hate and desires for revenge. He made peace with himself, the dove being the symbol of it. In 1986 it was a gift of the South Korean delegation to him, because after being reluctant at first, he agreed to interpret for them.

Under the heading “Curators present”, the curators of the national special exhibitions write on in a loose series about the different pieces of the exhibitions. The exhibition pieces have been selected by the authors of the texts themselves. 


Curators present, Berlin, Art, exhibit, protest