Exhibition opening:
Monday, 21 November 2022, 7 pm
Hauptkirche St. Katharinen
22 Nov
11 Dez
I have been in a cage for a long time, but now I can return to nature.

久在樊笼里,复得返自然。(jiu zai fan long li, fu de fan ziran)

Tao Yuanming (372-427), Return to Nature, Gui tianyuan ju 归田园居
The group show Clear River, Calm Sea 河清海晏 explores the relationship between the individual, nature, and society against the backdrop of the global climate crisis in the age of the Anthropocene. How can humans, caught between a longing return to nature and the realization of the devastating state of the environment, redefine their role as part of the natural order? Through sound and video installation, photography, painting, and sculpture, a poetic narrative emerges that creates an emotional connection to the individual experience of nature using multisensory activation.
The scope of the climate crisis as a global issue is difficult to comprehend. Although the effects are felt right at our own doorstep, the consequences of global warming and species extinction remain beyond imagination. The connection between one’s own consumption, production and supply chains, CO2 emissions and the resulting consequences for the environment seems abstract. The time lag of cause and effect leads to the assumption that individual behavior has no impact on the planet's future. At the same time, in the West as in China, the human relationship to nature has fundamentally changed since the beginning of industrialisation. While the Taoists in ancient China spoke of a harmonious unity between man and nature and Goethe in the late 18th century of reverence for the same, the view of the natural environment has evolved into a resource-oriented subject-object relationship as a result of urbanization, turbo-cultivation of land and globalization. The feeling for nature has been lost.
The group exhibition is conceived as a meditative journey through Hauptkirche St. Katharinen, taking up the different aspects of the relationship between individual – nature – society, revealing and leading them to a new order. Clear River, Calm Sea describes a utopia in which the forces of nature are once again in harmony. According to the Chinese saying, “peace can only reign in the universe” when the “rivers are clear and the seas are calm.”
Clear River, Calm Sea is curated by Bettina Freimann and hosted by HIPPOCAMPUS KULTURPROJEKTE UG. It is a part of CHINA TIME 2022 and is sponsored by the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and Media.



Clear River, Calm Sea 河清海晏

22 November – 11 December 2022
Opening hours: daily 10 am – 5 pm

The exhibition will be closed on 9 & 10 December due to a concert.

Hauptkirche St. Katharinen,
Katharinenkirchhof 1, 20457 Hamburg, Germany


Monday, 21 November 2022, 7 pm
Exhibition opening
Hauptkirche St. Katharinen, Katharinenkirchhof 1, 20457 Hamburg, Germany
Friday, 25 November 2022, 7 pm
Panel Talk Art and Sustainable Urban Development
With Teng Yuning (Visual Art Center Beijing), Ellen Blumenstein (Imagine The City), Frank Engelbrecht (Hauptkirche St. Katharinen), Lars Zimmermann (Cities For Future)
Monday, 28 November 2022, 7:30 pm
Breath in & out! Atmen
Sound-movement meditation with Franzi Künne (flying carpet) and music by TISKO (Live)
Tuesday, 29 November 2022, 7:30 pm
Book Launch: Robin Hinsch Wahala
Robin Hinsch presents his publication Wahala
Sunday, 11 December 2022, 12:30 pm
Closing: Clear River, Calm Sea 河清海晏
11:00 – 12:00 am, Church service
12:30 – 13:30 pm, Tea ceremony with Julia Nordholz
13:30 – 14:30 pm, Curator tour with Bettina Freimann