Terence Koh, Warhol remains as a Chinese winter garden in my heart (self portrait, 2006, © Terence Koh
Yesterday we saw the Terence Koh exhibition in Frankfurt. It was a very intense and somehow surreal experience. You enter the exhibition room through a small, maybe 100 cm by 150 cm, 39.4" x 49" opening and then you enter a totally light and glaring white space. Walls, floor, ceiling, the objects, everything is white and you can hardly see because of the brightness. It is hard though to stay longer in this room, after a short time you feel dizzy and it gets unpleasant. But in any case, it was a nice afternoon after strolling through the flea market at the shore of the river Main. We almost bought a beautiful bistro marble table for the garden. It was only 25 €, but the car was quite far away and it was difficult to get back there in time, since we had only 30 minutes till they packed up their stuff. So maybe next week or so, we will try our luck again.
Here is the text about the show:
Terence Koh is installing one of his signature monochrome environments especially for the Schirn; for this exhibition, he will initiate the surreal objects, ritually summoning them to life, in a secret performance. Under the title “Captain Buddha”, visitors who set foot in the luminously flooded room are invited to accompany the artist on a journey that will take them on a search for themselves through the entire world – India, China, Burma, Belgium, Africa, Mexico and Canada are just some stations along the way – one that aims to reach nirvana and ends in nothingness.
For his installation at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Koh links two worlds that at first glance seem almost antipodal: Buddhism and that popular classic of world literature, Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” – the tale of the fateful quest of charismatic and supremely obsessed Captain Ahab for the Great White Whale. But the two worlds are alike in their descriptions of endless and irresolvable search - a unity conveyed in the title “Captain Buddha”. For this installation, Koh himself set out on a quest: clad as a monk in a golden robe, he journeyed to fifteen places – Canada, Japan, China, Thailand, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Israel, Iceland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Africa, and the USA – in his search for objects, much as Captain Ahab sailed the world over in search of the White Whale. In Terence Koh’s words: “I’m like the captain in Moby Dick. I’m trying to find the White Whale in the white objects, but in the end I find nothing.”