A Visual Diary

We interviewed the lovely and talented Surya Gied – a globe-trotting artist who is based in Berlin, but exhibits all over the world, to find out more about what’s behind her colorful abstract works, as well as her collection of drawings from her time in Seoul. Her exhibition opening last weekend featured the Korean speciality Kimbap, so we were curious to find out if she could recommend places in Berlin to get delicious and authentic Korean food. You can also meet her at her next opening this Friday in Neukölln! 

BAPS: You were born in Cologne, what brought you to Berlin originally?
SG: Nothing exciting: my parents moved to Berlin when I was 16…and I am very thankful for that! I fell in love with the city instantly and still am in love. I think I have moved more than 8 times in my life and Berlin was the first place that actually felt like home!

BAPS: Your latest exhibition was called “This is Original Korean Paper” –  Why did you select this title and what does it mean to you?
SG: I spent my childhood in Korea and came to Germany when I was 8 years old. I did not go back for 20 years and when I did it was an explosion of two opposite feelings: familiarity and otherness at the same time. So the title of the exhibition is also the title of the drawings which were created while I was in Seoul for 6 months in 2009. The drawings are very dear to me because they distinguish themselves so much from my abstract work. Contrary to my abstract paintings, which are reduced to colour and forms, the drawings are very associative and figurative. Each of the drawing tells a little story.  And also my humour finally gets out! To make a long story short: the series “This Is Original Korean Paper” is a visual diary of my emotional state, thoughts and experiences during my time in Seoul.

BAPS: What is the best place to get authentic Korean food in Berlin?

SG: In the last 2 years Korean restaurants pop up everywhere and I can´t really keep up with trying all of them! But for a good Korean meal I would recommend “Madang” in Kreuzberg near Mehringdamm. But if you want to have very authentic Korean food go to”Hodori” near Yorckstrasse. The food is really delicious and you might be the only not Korean person in the restaurant.

BAPS: You’ve had exhibits all over the world – from LA to Iowa, Australia and South Korea. Which has been your favourite location to exhibit?
SG: Every exhibition is special and precious for me: all your energy, thoughts, money and willpower is put into the artwork/exhibition. The moment when it is revealed to everybody, you see your own work in a new light. I love this moment and appreciate it every time!

BAPS: How has your global travel and experiences influenced your artwork?
SG: I really like working at home in Berlin, but I experienced my travels as very essential and important to have new ideas and to get progressive impulses. I think feeling alien is a great opportunity to create something new.

BAPS: Tell us about your upcoming projects or exhibitions? Where can our readers find you next?
SG: On Friday June 15th I am showing 2 new works at the group exhibition “Positioning Osmotic Impulses”. One is a collaboration video work with Angelo Wemmje and the other is an installation I made for the space.  It’s an interesting project at a former prison in Neukölln, where each of the 23 artist show a site specific work in a cell! Come and join us for the opening! Find more information here