The View from Mount Sumeru

10. May 2019 - 06. July 2019
Thursday, 09. May 2019 / 19:00

galley damdam

The View from Mount Sumeru

 „The View from Mount Sumeru”

  • Künstler: Dai Goang Chen
  • Kuratorin: Ka Hee Jeong
  • Vernissage: 9. Mai 2019, 19 Uhr, in Anwesenheit des Künstlers

Dai Goang Chen is an artist who uses architectural forms to express and share his research and interest in spatial experiences as site-specific installations. He constructs topologies as models of natural representation, but also as spaces isolated from the outside environment, in order to allow visitors to interact with and form their own sense of belonging in his creations. This stems from his own preoccupation with space, as a means to materialize and examine his own experiences and nostalgia. The title of Chen’s first solo-exhibition in Berlin is “The View from Mount Sumeru”. This show is an extension of the Traction City Project series that began in 2013. This is a life-long project, where the artist creates a new piece inspired by each new city he visits. Mt. Sumeru is a five-peaked holy mountain in Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. It is considered to be the center of the universe as well as utopia. For this exhibition, he uses Yin/Yang and Wu-Xing theory as the basis for his new piece, which attempts to recreate balance of all the universe’s elements, thus, creating utopia.

Yin/Yang and Wu-Xing is a concept in East Asian Philosophy and which is used to explain various phenomena of the world. The philosophy explains all phenomena of the universe and human society with two distinctive energies - negative and positive. It also explains the creation and destruction of all things with interactions and relationships between the five types of energy forces, such as wood, fire, earth, metal, and water, dominating at different times. 

Chen believes that achieving balance and harmony in all things is the key to creating utopia. In this exhibition, he attempts to present a model of utopia. In particular, he plays the role of a medium, to undercover any hidden messages at this particular location of the Korean Cultural Center as well as within the gallery space. Then he applies East Asian Philosophy to determine the findings and utilizes these as resources to create utopia. The carefully built five rooms representing the five elements transform gallery damdam to an immersive landscape rich in hidden elements that can trigger a sense of nostalgia for utopia. These feelings of nostalgia leave open the possibility that we do not only wish to return to what we may have experienced, but also to a condition or even a place that we feel connected to even if we have not come across it - a fundamental sense of belonging. When the exhibition finishes, this piece will be destroyed. This creates a further additional relic of nostalgia. It is perhaps our postmodern loneliness that propels us to feel connected with an idea, and hence attempt to trace these reflections to a deeper understanding of oneself.