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

Singapore-born Canadian artist Terence Koh has developed the work Bee Chapel Hafencity, in which he personally invites visitors to linger. For one month, Koh stages the garden installation on the Störtebeker Ufer as an open refuge and open air residence - for himself, for the guests of the garden, and for a swarm of bees.

On a green space at Magdeburger Hafen, Koh will install a retreat that focuses on deceleration in the busiest part of HafenCity: his utopian garden will be home to a bee chapel, a herb and flower garden for the bees and for the preparation of tea, as well as a converted boathouse that will serve as his hideout. His sculpture Bee Chapel will offer space for one person and enable an intimate encounter with the bee colony living within it. Safely separated by a net, the visitor can still follow the insects’ goings-on and observe and listen to their daily business as well as smell their honey. Koh’s own sanctuary is based on a 5.70 metre long converted dinghy, a so-called pirate ship, which accommodates 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 reading 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 he works: Internationally reknown in the noughties for exclusively white, extravagant performances and installations, the artist 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, and when Koh leaves Hamburg at the end of August, the chapel will relocate to the neighbouring Ecumenical Forum HafenCity. On the roof garden of the association, composed of 22 Christian churches, the bee chapel will remain publicly accessible in the long-term as well.

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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