Empty Gallery is pleased to present Kaya Cynara, Hans-Henning Korb's first solo exhibition in Asia. Spread across three discrete exhibition spaces on Empty Gallery’s 18th floor, Kaya Cynara takes the form of a complex modular installation comprising sound, sculpture, video, and virtual reality. Korb’s environments are activated daily by participatory performances, in which the visitor is ritualistically guided through the installation.
Kaya Cynara is composed of three core states or stages, each evoking a distinct realm of consciousness. In Yumco and Yin Skin, the gross physicality of the natural body merges sculpturally with the materiality of the virtual. The dialectic between these two elements is deepened and expanded in the second stage, an earth filled room that sprouts an LCD display from the cover of branches, stones, moss, and artichoke leaves, and serves as the site for Yukti, a ceremonial preparation and presentation of artichoke water realized in collaboration with Jonas Wendelin.
In Yukti, visitors are invited into physical communion before entering the final exhibition space, an amorphous cavern whose fleshy membrane serves as the setting for Korb’s deployment of immersive virtual reality. Korb’s dreamlike, fluctuating abstractions, scored by Robert Lippok, attempt to express the origin of all material forms in consciousness. This multi-leveled spatial experience is completed via the additional feeling and eating of the artichoke plant, creating a micro-macrocosmic relationship through simulated, built, and haptic reality.
Kaya Cynara’s playful utilization of simultaneity highlights the complex and contradictory nature of haptic reality within a hypermediated present. His holistic environments invite personal exploration, celebrating the generative nature of human consciousness, and sensitively courting technological engagement.
Hans-Henning Korb (born 1988, lives and works in Berlin) he completed an MA at the Universität der Künst Berlin, studying in the class of Hito Steyerl and the Institute for Spatial Experiments (Institut für Raumexperimente) of Olafur Eliasson. He was a visiting student at the Addis Ababa School of Fine Arts in Ethiopia and the Hunter College in New York. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in venues such Center, Berlin, 2013; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2014; Vitamin Space, Guangzhou, China, 2014; Photo LA, Los Angeles, CA, 2012; and Goethe Institute, São Paulo, 2011, among others.