Bee Chapel HafenCity Terence Koh
Terence Koh, bee chapel, 2015, photo: Terence Koh
Terence Koh, the whole earth, 2017; photo: Morán Morán
Terence Koh, sail forth road the roadrunner runs forth yet still hear, 2016; photo: Morán Morán
Terence Koh, power, sun, rainbow, 2017; photo: Morán Morán
bee chapel 2015, photo: Terence Koh
Terence Koh, bee chapel, 2015, photo: Terence Koh
Terence Koh, the whole earth, 2107; photo: Morán Morán
Terence Koh, the whole earth, 2017; photo: Morán Morán
Terence Koh, sail forth road the roadrunner runs forth yet still hear, 2016; photo: Morán Morán
Terence Koh, sail forth road the roadrunner runs forth yet still hear, 2016; photo: Morán Morán
Terence Koh, power, sun, rainbow, 2017; photo: Morán Morán
Terence Koh, power, sun, rainbow, 2017; photo: Morán Morán

After equally delighting inhabitants, art enthusiasts and passers-by on the Störtebeker Ufer during the month of August, the installation Bee Chapel HafenCity by the Canadian artist Terence Koh found a new home on the rooftop of the Ecumenical Forum HafenCity. During wintertime the beehive will recover in a protected place before the bees return in springtime and the Bee Chapel HafenCity opens again for visitors. The artist‘s  sculptural work  offers space for a single  person and enables an intimate encounter with the bee colony living within it. Safely separated by a protective net, the visitor can follow the insects’ goings-on and observe and listen to their daily business as well as take in the aroma of their honey. On the roof garden of the Ecumenical Forum HafenCity, an association composed of 22 Christian churches is gathered, forming part of the installation, which remains accessible to the public.
During the month of August 2019, on a green space at Magdeburger Hafen, Koh installed a retreat that focused on 'deceleration' in the busiest part of HafenCity: his utopian garden was home not only to a bee chapel but also a herb and flower garden constructed specifically for the bees and for the preparation of tea.  A converted boathouse also featured served as the artist's hideout. Koh’s own sanctuary was based on a 5.70 metre long converted dinghy, a so-called 'pirate ship', which accommodated enough space to sleep, cook and to host guests.

Koh realised Bee Chapel for the first time in 2015 on his property in Upstate New York, as a reaction to the works of the Indian philosopher Krishnamurti, for whom social change begins with one’s self, in fact in each moment anew. The sculpture marks a change of direction in the way the artist works: Internationally renowned in the noughties for exclusively white, extravagant performances and installations, Koh has since been intensively engaged with bees, gardens, and alternative concepts of life. Since his relocation to California, boats also play an important role in his projects, which are often oriented towards traditional rituals. Bee Chapel HafenCity links these three elements to Koh’s first installation in a public space, which addresses residents, accidental passers-by and the professional art audience alike. The installation has been realised in collaboration with local cultural producers. Terence Koh was born in Singapore, spent his youth in the Canadian state of Ontario and attended the Emily Carr Institute for Art and Design in Vancouver. His past solo exhibitions include shows at Morán Morán Gallery, Los Angeles (2017); Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York (2016); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany (2011); MUSAC, León, Spain (2008); Whitney Museum for American Art, New York (2007); Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (2006); Wiener Secession, Austria (2005). Koh’s works are represented in collections such as the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Jumex Collection in Mexico City, the MOCA in Los Angeles; MUSAC, León; MoMA in New York, the Tate Modern in London, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

The exhibition is funded by the Canada Coucil for the Arts. Supported by NUE foundation founded by Lotterie BINGO! Die Umweltlotterie, Andere Zeiten e.V. and the Embassy of Canada.

Additional thanks go to: Till Richter, Lea Kissing, Anna Mieves / bauer + planer, Gunnar Weidt / Imkerverein Hamburg-Altona e.V. and Mellifera e.V. , Henning Klahn / Ecumenical Forum HafenCity, Marita Krempl, Jürgen Lohfink / Grau trifft Grün, 25 Hours Hotel HafenCity, Brigitte Witthoefft / HafenCity Hamburg GmbH.

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