Control and Censorship
in East Asian Democracies
Chen Chieh-jen
Chen Ching-Yao
Hong Sung-dam
Nakagaki Katsuhisa
Tomiyama Taeko

18 April - 14 June 2015

nGbK · neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst e.V.
AG Verbotene Bilder
Oranienstraße 25 · D-10999 Berlin
Phone: ++49-30 616 513-0 · Fax ++49-30 616 513-77
daily 12-19h · Thu-Sat 12-20h

The Exhibition

In the Western European and American view, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are considered to be democratic states governed by the rule of law, not least because they acquired this title during the Cold War.
There is, however, only limited recognition of the fact that in all three countries the state does not view freedom of expression as an inalienable right and that the monitoring or censorship of critical art and repressive measures taken against awkwardly critical artists are not uncommon.
The reasons for this are deep-rooted and entrenched – in Japan the failure to come to terms with the imperial past and the taboos surrounding the person of the Emperor, in South Korea the adversarial stance towards North Korea, and in Taiwan the state’s ideological rivalry with the People’s Republic of China.

The present exhibition Banned Images presents works whose aesthetic ambiguities are not only a provocation to this schematic opposition in East Asian consciousness but also relativize the artistic and art-historic perception for Western eyes, which have adopted the over-simplified polarizations.


Chieh-jen CHEN
Ching-Yao CHEN
Sung-dam HONG
Katsuhisa NAKAGAKI

nGbK project group

Kiwan CHOI, Nataly Jung-Hwa HAN, Youlee KU,
Tsukasa YAJIMA, Jae-Hyun YOO

You are cordially invited
Friday, 17 April 2015, 19h
Opening and Performance by Sung-dam HONG and Sunmu
Untragbare Bilder

Funded by the Lotto-Stiftung Berlin
In cooperation with Korea Verband
Supported by
ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen
Tama Art University Museum
Galerie Murata & Friends, Berlin

The programme of events is supported by

Werkstatt der Kulturen
Anti-Yasukuni Candle Lights Action
Berliner Missionswerk
Deutsch-Japanisches Friedensforum Berlin
Japanische Fraueninitiative Berlin
Koreanische Frauengruppe in Deutschland
Solidarty of Korean People in Europe

lotto Stiftung Logo

Korea Verband Logo

ifa Logo

Further Information:
nGbK Logo
Friday, 17 April 2015, 19h

with performance by Sung-dam HONG and Sunmu:
Insupportable Images

At the last minute, the specialist art transport company commissioned for the job refused to transport the works of Sung-dam HONG and Sunmu to Germany. During the exhibition opening, the two artists will portray this act of anticipatory obedience in an artistic performance.

Sunday, 19 April, 15h
The Japanische Fraueninitiative Berlin presents
Lecture by

Hiroko SAKAMOTO on female cartoonists in colonial and modern Shanghai and war – from a post-colonial perspective


Wednesday, 22 April 2015, 19h
Artist talk with

Sung-dam HONG and Taeko TOMIYAMA


Thursday, 7 Mai 2015, 10-20h

The german oak in the Yasukuni Shrine – 70 years after the end of the war and the long shadows of the past in East Asia and Europe

Werkstatt der Kulturen, Wissmannstraße 32, 12049 Berlin
The Yasukuni Shrine (“Pacifying the Nation”) is situated in Tokyo. The Shrine commemorates the fallen from the armed forces. Alongside war criminals, more than 50,000 conscripts from former colonies are honoured here – against the will of their relatives. Official visits by members of the Japanese Government therefore cause outrage in the neighbouring countries of China, North and South Korea and Taiwan. The conference will concern itself with this long-standing conflict, discussing, among other issues, why Germany shies away from taking a clear stance, or even makes a dubious contribution of its own in the form of gestures and gifts. Film, talk with contemporary witnesses, lectures, panel discussion

Sunday, 17 Mai 2015, 10h
Guided tour

Guided tour with Sung-dam HONG
in memory of the “Gwangju Massacre” of 18 May 1980


Wednesday, 20 Mai 2015, 17h
Guided tour

Guided tour with Sung-dam HONG


Sunday, 24 Mai 2015, 15h
The Japanische Fraueninitiative Berlin presents
Lecture by

Hiroko HAGIWARA about the artist Taeko TOMIYAMA


Saturday, 30 Mai 2015, 17h
Lecture by

Vladimir Tikhonov
Freedom of Expression: Illusions and Realities


Saturday, 30 Mai 2015, 20h
Reading by

Kyongni PAK: Familiensaga >Land<, Bd. 1-4

with music by

Peter Ehwald und Ensemble ~su

im Rahmen der Langen Buchnacht in der Oranienstraße
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