The exhibition will be open Thursday, Saturday and Sunday between 12:00 – 16:00 until the 19th of february!
The Emperor Penguin is an odd bird, much like other penguins it never quite grasped the art of flight, and it somehow managed to settle on Antarctica of all places. You’ve probably seen images of it waddling around in the snow, or shooting through the cold water just below the ice on some nature documentary. In these movies the penguin is often portrayed as a symbol of courage and spirit in the face of the harsh, unforgiving environment, one that braves storms and navigates endless wastes. There is one challenge on the horizon that the penguins probably won’t overcome however, one that is anticipated to bring on their total extinction within this century, namely climate change.
These penguins have become the subject matter in many of Yinlin Kong’s paintings, here they can be seen doing different activities, like screaming at the top of their lungs, bleeding, or simply lounging on a pile of rubble. In some ways they’re shown to be alot like us, with rich inner lives and intensely meaningful social bonds. And haven’t we all felt like penguins at some point this winter, waddling down the ice filled streets of Trondheim? But the images also remind us that we will never be able to tell what actually goes on behind those beady eyes.
In the movie “Encounters at the End of the World” by Werner Herzog there’s a scene towards the end where a penguin takes off from a group heading for the ocean to instead go straight into the endless white wastes. Herzog’s droning voice implies that the penguin may have gone insane as the “deranged” bird is heading for certain death. But the truth is that there is no way to ever know why it would do such a thing, we can only guess. Seeing these images I can’t help but wonder what the penguins would make of us, what would they say about our way of living, and our consumption of natural resources that now not only threatens our own existence, but also theirs?
Yinlin Kong lives and works in Trondheim, she has studied traditional Chinese painting at the Sichuan Fine Art Institute and finished her Master of Fine Art at Kunstakademiet i Trondheim in 2022. Kong has exhibited her work at the Luozhongli Art Museum in Chongqing, Fangyuan Art Museum in Beijing, Kjøpmannsgata Ung Kunst and Nils Aas Kunstverksted among others.
The exhibition has been made possible by Kulturrådet, Trondheim Kommune and Norske Kunstforeninger.