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“Garden of Unity 2020” Enthralls Locals, Expats in Heart of Seoul
Cultural Event Held to Mark 30 Years of German Unity

A gala opening night was held on the spacious rooftop of a building in the heart of Seoul on Oct. 15, 2020, as part of the four-day event being held in celebration of the 30 years of reunification of the once divided East and West Germany.

The opening ceremony of the special cultural event titled “Garden of Unity 2020” attracted close to 100 of the highly selected guests both foreign and Korean nationals. All the participants were required to wear a face mask due to the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organizer of the event, Mr. Tom Bueschemann, said that "Garden of Unity 2020”event is being held for four days from Oct. 15 through Oct. 18, 2020, on a 1,400-square-meter rooftop of Myeongsan Building in Gyeongnidan-gil in Seoul's Yongsangu area, near Itaewon.

Local Koreans and expats attend the opening night of the four-day cultural event “Garden of Unity 2020” on the rooftop of Myeongsan Building in Gyeongnidan-gil in Seoul's Yongsangu area, near Itaewon on Oct. 15, 2020.


He is the co-founder and CEO of the global cultural event planner,"Platoon Development, which has three global branches: "Platoon Seoul," "Platoon Berlin," and "Platoon Mexico City."

He said a variety of cultural events including a mixture of multimedia art and installations, exhibitions, and documentary screenings are being introduced for the local Korean audience.

The new German Ambassador to South Korea Michael Reiffenstuel attended the opening reception from start to finish, mingling with nearly all the guests. He gave a special welcoming speech in front of the gathering.

In his speech the German envoy stressed the lessons of the falling of the Berlin Wall and the ensuing German Reunification which took place 30 years ago.

“Garden of Unity 2020” is being held on the rooftop of Myeongsan Building in Gyeongnidan-gil in Seoul's Yongsangu area, near Itaewon on Oct. 15-18, 2020.


Amb. Reiffenstuel made an explanation of the special German cultural event.

According to the German envoy and Mr. Bueschemann, the "Garden of Unity 2020”show will serve as an opportunity to dwell on the creative ways of uniting people and communities when global citizens are exploring new ways of social interaction and communication in the era of COVID-19 pandemic.

The show is directed at looking back on the history of the East and West German Unity through the artistic expressions and creativities of the artists.

The “Garden of Unity” event is open to the general public and all programs are offered free of charge.

German Ambassador to S. Korea Michael Reiffenstuel (2nd from right) poses with Ms. Heidi Storandt (center), education expert of Goethe-Institut Korea, Frank Lohmoller, CEO of German Architecture Co. "Zero Squared," his fiancee Ms. Pavia Choi at the opening ceremony of the four-day cultural event “Garden of Unity 2020” held on the rooftop of Myeongsan Building in Gyeongnidan-gil in Seoul's Yongsangu area, near Itaewon on Oct. 15, 2020. At right is Mr. Park Soung-Jin, staff reporter of The Seoul Times.


“Garden of Unity 2020”is aimed at inspiring the both South Koreans and the global audiences, making them ask themselves such questions as “How do we unite in the post-pandemic times?”“What does unity mean in the context of North- and South Korea in 2020?”and “How do we heal social divide in our contemporary societies?”

Mr. Bueschemann announced that six artists are participating in this event, saying that the artists share their own experiences of the East and West Germany and express their unique talents through the state-of-the-art installations, exhibitions, and films in this event.

For participations or for details Email the organizer of the event at seoul@platoon.org

German Ambassador to S. Korea Michael Reiffenstuel (right) talks with Mr. Joseph Joh (left), managing editor of The Seoul Times at the opening ceremony of the four-day cultural event “Garden of Unity 2020” held on the rooftop of Myeongsan Building in Gyeongnidan-gil near Seoul's Itaewon on Oct. 15, 2020. At the center is Ms. Lena Schipper, Seoul Bureau Chief of The Economist.


Schedule for the Opening Night:

Time: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Oct. 15, 2020
(Door opens at 6 p.m.)

Place: 3F 240 Noksapyeongdaero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

7 p.m. Welcome speech by German Ambassador Michael Reiffenstuel and Platoon CEO Tom Bueschemann

7:15 p.m. Urbanscreen video installation show

8:00 Diverse programs and movie screenings
("Beauty and Decay,” “War of Art,” “Symphony of Now”)

11 p.m. Door closes

MULTIMEDIA INSTALLATIONS: URBANSCREEN:

URBANSCREEN: '30 Jahre Friedliche Revolution – Mauerfall’

In celebration of the 30 years of the German Reunification, URBANSCREEN created six different projection mappings using a combination of historical archive materials, historical photos, sound and animations for those six significant places in Berlin including Humboldt-Forum, Gethsemanekirche, Alexanderplatz, Europacenter, East Side Gallery and the former Stasi headquarters.

Every show ends with a sound collage of contemporary voices, and leaves the audience with questions such as “What does it mean to be brave?”“Why and how do people protest today?”and “What do we long for nowadays?”

Urbanscreen was founded as an artist collective in 2005. Driven by a deep passion for the potential technology that holds for cross-disciplinary artistic expression, the German artist group was a pioneer in exploring projection mapping as a tool to change the way we experience our environment.

Philipp Geist:

The Berlin-based artist Philipp Geist has worked worldwide with his projection mapping, video mapping, light art projects and photography and painting since 1996. He is one of the pioneers of video mapping artists. Geist’s projects are characterized by their complexity and the integration of the location, the sound and moving images. In his video mapping installations, he avoids using canvasses and turns diverse architectures into moving, painterly light sculptures, which challenge the audience's perception of two- and three dimensionality.

EXHIBITION:

“From the Peaceful Revolution to German Unification” from the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany) Dictatorship and of the Federal Government Commissioner for the New Federal States

With the historical photo images from the museums, archives and media, the author of the exhibition and historian, Dr. Ulrich Mäahlert captures the East Germany-side of the stories from the Peaceful Revolution to the German Reunification. The exhibition layout was provided by the Leipzig artist, Dr. Thomas Klemm.

Founded in 1998 by the German Bundestag (federal parliament), the foundation has supported more than 150 projects to advocate for a consistent and differentiated reappraisal of the history and consequences of the communist dictatorship in the GDR and of the division of Germany.

DOCUMENTARY FILM SCREENINGS:

"Symphony of Now" by Pappel Studio:

A cinematic love letter, a hidden perspective of Berlin by night. Different artists united to express their love to the city and their time. It’s a vision of a remarkable filmmaker and renowned musicians from the electronic music scene of different eras. While watching the “Symphony of Now” in the virtual world using the digital event tools, DJ Alex.Do will perform the film’s soundtrack immersed in the film’s striking images of Berlin.

“Comrade Couture” (Ein Traum In Erdbeerfolie) by Marco Wilms with Heldenfilm

It is a journey into the wild underground world of the fashionistas and Bohemians of East Berlin. Director Marco Wilms, a former model of the East Germany’s fashion institute, combines film footage and photos from the 1980s and revisits four of the scene's most vivid personalities in an attempt to summon the thrill of freedom and economically unencumbered creativity that East Germany's fashion underground its potency.

“Beauty & Decay” by Annekatrin Hendel

Sven Marquardt might be the most famous bouncer worldwide. But beside standing in front of the legendary techno club Berghain in Berlin, he is also a well-known and skilled photographer. Long before the Berlin Wall came down, Marquardt portrayed the subcultural East-Berlin scene. His black and white photography illustrates it as voluptuous, laid-back, dirty and existential. Annekatrin Hendel, the film’s director, born in East Berlin, is also a writer and producer. She founded and is managing director of the It Works! production company.

"Metal Politics Taiwan” by Marco Wilms with Heldenfilm

Metal Politics Taiwan tells the story of a metamorphosis. The singer from the internationally famous heavy metal band Chthonic, Freddy Lim, just became a freshly elected member of Taiwan’s parliament, sitting on committees for National Defense and Foreign Affairs. The film accompanies this rock star politician for his first year in political office. Freddy Lim is on the front line, trying to create a new kind of democratic identity for Taiwan. But he still occasionally puts on his face paint and sings in a diabolical voice at the front of his black metal band. But strangely, the two worlds are coming together.

"War of Art" by Tommy Gulliksen

In 2017 when the world was on the verge of nuclear war, a group of Western contemporary artists were invited into the eye of the storm—North Korea. The aim was to collaborate with North Korean artists in an art exchange project displaying new and challenging art in a country where abstract art is forbidden. We observe as the notoriously clandestine and bleak country is invaded by this cast of colorful characters. They arrive in pursuit of a peaceful cultural exchange, but the project may well turn into a War of Art.

Contact Information:
For media inquiries, please contact us
02) 3447- 1191
email at yewon@platoon.org
facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/380042100033352/ instagram: @platoon.seoul
twitter: @platoon_seoul
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