“In winter, the shining leaves of the persimmon tree fall to the ground, and only the orange ripe persimmon fruits still cling to the tree in peculiar beauty. At the end of the year 2000, as a thirty-six-year-old, I resembled a winter persimmon fruit; I fell from the leafless tree to the earth and burst into a pulp. I was pushed onto the operating table with a diagnosis of terminal cancer. My son’s father surprisingly fell in love with my sister, who already had a husband and a son, and eventually left me.”
Image above: Installation + Performance Huang Mei, 2022, Photo: amb photography by Anna Maria Baur
The Berlin-based author, curator and artist Dr Huang Mei will read from her autobiography “Loving until Death” on two evenings (Thu, 21.07. and Wed, 27.07.2022, admission at 7 pm). In it, the Chinese-born author deals with an international love story, the challenges of being a single mother and the fight against cancer. The first-person narrator allows an intimate glimpse into her life and personal development process towards becoming an economically and spiritually independent, modern woman – an individual unfolding against all odds of unvarnished life. The author talks about her path to attaining self-determination and becoming self-aware.
Following the reading, the audience is invited to an open discussion. Stephanie Schneider, Co-initiator of the CSR Contemporary Show Room and provider of various platforms for contemporary art, will welcome the audience and give a short introduction.
On 27 July, the artist Sabine Schneider will also be a guest on the podium. Since 2007, the Berlin-based artist has been the first female chairperson of the tradition-rich Verein Berliner Künstler, founded in 1841. Only since 1990 has it been possible for female artists to apply for admission to the self-governing artists’ association. Meanwhile, two thirds of the current 137 members are female artists.
The special thing about this reading: In the CSR Contemporary Show Room, Huang Mei reads from her novel for the first time in the midst of her own artwork. The artist contributes to the current exhibition ÜBERSCHAU #03 HUMANITY with a conceptual installation and photographs. She works with stoma bags, a taboo medical product that is needed by people who, for example, have bowel cancer – as the author herself was. By transforming this object into, among other things, items of clothing, seating furniture and lucky charm scarves, the artist wants to create the possibility for discourse and promote a removal of taboos.
By reading her novel in the midst of her own art, one of the central themes of the book unfolds a special effect and power of its own. Huang Mei’s installation opens the way for a dialogue – also about the great themes that occupy us humans: Living, loving, loss, struggle, self-determination. Huang Mei’s goal is to encourage people to believe in their own creativity, to actively shape their own personal future and to create independently.
The novel “Loving until Death” was written by Huang Mei in her native language Chinese. It was published in 2018 by the Chinese publisher Tiandi Press. Shortly afterwards, the Australian publisher Heart Space Publications bought the copyright during an international book fair and translated the novel into English. Reflections, Love until death” was published in 2020.
Huang Mei studied philosophy at Peking University. In 1989 she went to Germany to study and received her doctorate in art education from Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. Since then, she has published several German and Chinese books. She also curates international art exhibitions. As chair of the FIAKE association, she promotes international exchange for the arts and education.
The event will be held in German.
Date 1: Thursday, 21st July 2022
Date 2: Wednesday, 27tg July 2022
Door open: 7 p.m. / Opportunity to visit the exhibition HUMANITY – Contemporary Chinese Art
Reading starts: 7:30 p.m.
Reading duration: approx. 30 – 40 min, afterwards dialogue between audience and author / artist
CSR Contemporary Show Room, Friedrichstraße 69, 10117 Berlin-Mitte
Registration welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org (please state name and date 1 or date 2)
Drinks can be purchased at the bar.