Due to the pandemic, the exhibition 'Heimat im Wandel' featuring works by artists Sonam Dolma Brauen, Hung Fai, Lee Ka Sing, Leung Chi Wo, MAP Office, Lulu Ngie and Wai Pong Yu is further postponed to May 5 - 22, 2022.

The exhibition is co-curated by Martin Brauen and Angelika Li and organised by Kulturkreis Zollikon, Switzerland.

Hong Kong artists Hung Fai and Wai Pong Yu during their site visit at Villa Meier-Severini, Zollikon in Winter 2018.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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Edward Wang, exhibition collaborator and graphic designer of 'Homeland in Transit by the River Rhine' (2020) shares his thoughts and experiences in Basel, plus the architectural story of Florastrasse 45, his home during his time in the city and where the exhibition took place.

Last year, my home was Florastrasse 45 by the river Rhine. I was in Basel to work at the architect’s office Herzog & de Meuron, whose glass windows I could often see glowing in the night, if I stood at the corner of the house’s terrace.

Looking from the street, the house could almost be cute: a little beige mansion tucked between a large riverfront villa and a multi-unit block along the street. It is in the perfect location being not quite at the corner but close enough to enjoy a view of the river while shielded from the constant traffic along the river. The first time we visited the house, us potential roommates were stunned by its elegant bourgeoisie interior, so lovingly cared for by the owners Peter and Veronika. It was packed densely with the ephemera of forty years worth of occupation. Our surprise was especially pronounced because the thumbnail on the website advertisement had been a photo of a single twin bed.

The house has had many previous lives. Before us, Florastrasse 45 hosted many guests as a bed and breakfast, after being for many years a cherished family home. It was built in 1912 by local architects Widmer, Erlacher, Calini for a wealthy dyer Julius Braun and his wife Olga Nielsen. The beautiful wood panelling that runs along its rooms and hallways was a wedding present from the bride’s father for the newlywed couple. By the time the house was purchased by Veronika and Peter in 1981, it had fallen into dilapidation. Much of the heating and water system needed to be repaired and the highest corner of the house was bricked off. Luckily, as I am to find out by his frequent visits to the workshop on the ground floor, Peter is a skilled craftsman and much of the work on the house was completed by his own hand. What is palpable in the end product is the effort and dedication that was poured into the home across four decades. Not only do I see this in the paintings and little mementos that seem to live in every corner, but also in the care for each surface and architectural element.

In several ways, living there was a novel experience. It’s the first stone house that I’ve occupied for a significant time -- where I’m from, in Canada, houses are made of wooden sticks. I’ve never had a room with its own balcony. I loved living in this house; but it was a guarded affection, coloured by the fact that my time in Basel was limited. Florastrasse was so clearly somebody else’s home, the product of a long standing attention that I had no claim over and filled with its testament: durable wooden furniture, an interesting toilet, tapestries, stacks of gilded dishes.

During my last day in Basel, I took a minute between folding and packing to walk through the house for the last time, to commit it all to memory. Florastrasse 45 has an evolving history. What I admire most about Peter and Veronika’s work is that despite the house’s designation as a historical property, they have not let it become a museum. The house is a vibrant living entity -- allowed to change and absorb new fictions, new characters such as myself.

Edward Wang

January 2021

#florastrasse #homelandintransit #bytheriverrhine #home #memory #reflection #history #basel

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Updated: Jan 5


Transitioning into a fresh decade and a new lunar zodiac 12-year cycle with unknown possibilities, we expand our community and explore new forms of exchange: first with a VIDEO TALKS series launched in Basel presenting works by Hong Kong artists May Fung and Law Yuk Mui in February before the CV19 regulations were introduced in Switzerland. Due to CV19, all of our programmes and activities scheduled for Asia have been postponed.

Entering autumn, the Berlin exhibition featuring Hong Kong artists Kongkee, Leung Chi Wo, May Fung, Law Yuk Mui and MAP Office together with Berlin-based Japanese artist Yukihiro Taguchi opened at the gallery of our partner Momentum in Kunstquartier Bethanien on 1 October through 29 November. The VIDEO TALKS with Kongkee and Taguchi moderated by the founder of the project Angelika Li on 3 October accidentally coincided with the Germany Reunification Day. Further discussions followed with the audience after the talk with ad-hoc interviews conducted, views of 'homeland' shared and some local Berliners' experiences collected. Our project is indebted to their valuable contributions and grateful for their participations. Thank you very much! Vielen Dank!

Concurrently during the Berlin exhibition period on 30 and 31 October, five video works with strong notions of water by Kongkee, Taguchi and MAP Office were interwoven with and BY THE RIVER RHINE at the outdoor video installation at a heritage-listed building on the well-known Florastrasse in Kleinbasel under the rare blue moon on 30 & 31 October. To the neighbours' surprise, the building has temporarily turned into a house with moving images running and moving around on the exterior. If one went closer to the building, sounds from the videos could be heard which added other layers to their immediate environment by the River Rhine. Another accidental coincidence was the rare blue moon rise which was not known during the planning phase and it miraculously offered the most dreamlike backdrop for Kongkee's two works from his 'Moon in the River' series. Our team hoped that this project also did act as a tool to cheer up and inject some energies to the communities around the area during the pandemic times.

In November, Kulturkreis Zollikon has announced that 4 - 21 March, 2021 are the new dates for our exhibition HEIMAT im WANDEL at Villa Meier Severini co-curated by Martin Brauen and Angelika Li. The new programme from the organiser and the event with Asia Society Switzerland will be updated in due course. A new chapter of exhibition is being targeted to happen in Basel in June, 2021.

Stay tuned for more updates of our new journeys in 2021. We wish you all a healthy and fruitful year ahead! ​

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