* 논 · 論 (pronounced ‘non’), was commonly used in the ancient times in some parts of Asia(BC5 – BC3) to describe rhetorical writings.
論 was written to clear doubts, to distinguish and determine the rights and wrongs and to describe and interpret objects or situations.
NON Berlin intends to raise consciousness on modern times. By breaking away from Western-oriented theories and by collecting extensive discourses that cover Eastern, Western philosophy and art we pursue to make a balance of yin and yang, a symbol of harmony.
By introducing Asian philosophy and experimenting with art, we create a playful and communicative atmosphere where people can enjoy this whole process.
Berlin is an ideal place for NON as it has been the center of European culture in the past and modern times. Significant political events that happened in the past have also made Berlin a place which enables NON to look into the Asian identity from a more objective point of view.
The current stable economic status of Berlin and Germany has enabled the city to re-emerge as the capital of European culture and arts, therefore, becoming the perfect area for NON Berlin to build networks, connect with people and practice our philosophy.
NON Berlin is in opposition to quantitative or comparative growth.
We prefer to progress slow and steadily with a careful and sincere approach to issues that need attention.
NON Berlin will proceed with network and archive building in the contemporary art scene with an aim to present a constructive vision to the future generation.
NON is a project space founded by video artist Chan Sook Choi and architect Ido Shin. As Koreans living in Berlin since 2001, since the very beginning they have been interested in seeking a kind of universal identity spanning the various backgrounds of Berlin based contemporary artists in order to examine the question of identity as it is often perceived from the outside; according to gender, nationality and cultural milieu.
To this end they created NON Berlin – Asia Contemporary Art Platform – in 2014. Two ideas are the mainstay of this:
firstly, ‘NON’ means ‘to discuss’ in Chinese. Thus NON Berlin opens up a platform for discussing the dichotomy between ‘East and West’ and ‘Asia and Europe’ and initiates ‘face to face’ meetings, facilitating exchange, discourse and networking. Secondly, and somewhat paradoxically, NON Berlin serves as a negation, ‘not Berlin’, although the project space – a draw for artists and producers from the independent cultural scenes of the world – is situated in Berlin’s centre. NON Berlin is not limited to a particular artistic scene or cultural identity. Instead, it presents projects that seek new interdisciplinary perspectives in order to create an intermediary zone for re-evaluating existing categories.
Nomads from multiple or dynamic locations, and mostly stemming from multicultural backgrounds, possess a sensibility for current topics, transformations and fractures via their positioning as contemporary artists. NON Berlin has been a member of the Network of Independent Berlin Project Spaces and Initiatives since 2016.
In 2018, NONBerlin received the prize Independent Art Space by Senate Department for Culture and Europe Berlin.