A selection of a dozen images from “The Silent Strength of Liu Xia,” the touring exhibition of photographs by the dissident Chinese photographer, artist, and poet, were included in “Visible and Invisible Prisons,” a group show that was part of the 12th International Literary Festival Berlin, held in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele from September 4-16. This marked the first exhibition of Liu Xia’s work in Germany.
In addition to a group of Liu Xia’s photographs, the show included works by four other notable contributors to contemporary Chinese culture: the artists Ai Weiwei and Meng Huang, writer Liao Yiwu, and Tibetan photographer Tsering Dorjee. Guy Sorman, who instigated this Liu Xia project, attended the opening on the evening of September 3. The Haus der Berliner Festspiele is located at Schaperstraße 24, 10719 Berlin.
Materials available from this exhibition:
- Festival press kit (PDF) in English and German.
- Exhibition synopsis from the festival’s website, in English and German.
- Liu Xia’s biography from the festival’s website, in English and German.
- Exhibition catalogue, 64 pp., with selected illustrations and texts in German and Chinese (PDF). Includes curator A. D. Coleman’s text on Liu Xia, in both languages.
- Slideshow of the event. (Forthcoming.)
Press response to the Berlin showing proved both extensive and favorable. Here are links to some of those reports and reviews, arranged chronologically:
- Stilbruch/RBB-Online: “Politisches beim Internationalen Literaturfestival Berlin,” August 30, 2012. Video report on the exhibiton includes brief glimpse of the Liu Xia installation. (In German.)
- Der Tagesspiegel: “Nur einsame Gespenster sind sauber,” by Liao Yiwu. Statement about this group exhibition by its co-curator, September 2, 2012. (In German.)
- 3sat: “Schreiben gegen die Diktatur,” by Katharina Wenzel, September 4, 2012. (In German.)
- Zeit Online: “Literaturfestival: Liao Yiwu fordert Freiheit für Tibet,” September 5, 2012. (In German.)
- Jan Sobottaka: “Ausstellung Die sichtbaren und die unsichtbaren Gefängnisse,” 17-image slideshow by this photographer made during the opening ceremonies, September 5, 2012. Five depict the Liu Xia images as installed, and co-curator Guy Sorman.
- Taz.de: “Unfreiheit, die ich meine,” by Susanne Messmer, September 6, 2012. (In German.)
- Frei Presse: “‘Literarischer Rettungsschirm’ wird aufgespannt,” September 12, 2012. (In German.)
- Sampsonia Way: “Liu Xia and Her Dolls,” by Tienchi Martin-Liao, September 26, 2012.
- Sampsonia Way: Slideshow: “The Silent Strength of Liu Xia,” a selection of her images with extracts from her writings and those of Liu Xiaobo, October 8, 2012.