Photo art from Germany at the Kita Gallery — Siglinde Kallnbach exhibits
at Yamatokooriyama: Rhinegold-Shinkansen
16 November - 18 December 2005 — Reception: Sunday 20 November 2005 at
In 2005 and 2006 the cultural program, Germany in Japan, provides an overview
of present-day creative art in Germany. This includes also an exhibition of photographic
works by the German artist, Siglinde Kallnbach, from Cologne. She has been invited
to show her new works at the Kita Gallery in Yamatokooriyama City near Nara. At
the same time her exhibition is part of the Japanese program 2005 EU-JAPAN YEAR
OF PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE EXCHANGES.
In her media art projects, Siglinde Kallnbach has been engaging in the media of
photography and video since her first stays in Japan in the 1980s with the theme
of one's own identity amidst what is foreign and intercultural comparisons. Photographs
of festivals, everyday scenes, landscapes, historic and modern buildings as well
as urban situations in Germany, especially in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia,
and in Japan are to be seen.
What is shown are corresponding scenes in different cultural spaces and the simultaneous
formal and outward differences. The principle of the 'city' with its transportation
systems works the same way everywhere in the world, but nevertheless when visiting
foreign cities we sense the special features in their history, their architectural
monuments and their folklore traditions. It is particularly the traditional festivals
which everywhere attract an international audience and are often understood by
outsiders even as a symbol for a 'typical' specific cultural type. These include,
for instance, the October Fest in Munich along with Carnival in Cologne and Düsseldorf,
as well as the Nebuta festival in the northern Japanese cities of Aomori and Hirosaki.
Shots of Carnival in Cologne and the Nebuta processions in Aomori are a special
focus of this exhibition. A further motif is a juxtaposition of the baroque park
of Augustusburg Castle in Brühl in the Rhineland with photographs of Japanese
parks and temples.
For this exhibition, the title Rhinegold-Shinkansen was chosen. The mention of
two legendary trains is supposed to underscore the close connection between tradition
and modernity which determines the awareness of cultural identity everywhere.
The Rhinegold was a luxury train which on its maiden journey on 15 May 1928 managed
the journey from Hoek van Holland to Basel in eleven and a half hours. Later on
equipped with modern carriages, it was in operation until 1987.
Already when it was put into operation in 1964, the Shinkansen achieved a top
speed of 250 k.p.h. and, even today, it is regarded worldwide as a model for high-speed
trains on their own, specially designed rail system.
The acceleration of modern means of transportation allows temporal distances to
shrink and thus enables an intensification of exchange and communication in a
Translated from the German by Dr. Michael Eldred, artefact text & translation,