Arno Brandlhuber

This is Me, This is My Country

On the occasion of a visit by Kim Il-Sung to Indonesia in 1965 the then Indonesian President, Achmed Sukarno, presented the state guest with an orchid. It was not just any orchid, but a specially hybridized variety, which he insisted on naming “Kimilsungia” after the North Korean president. To this day, “Kimilsungia” remains the national flower of North Korea. Pictures of the orchid can be found throughout Pyongyang, often accompanied by a red begonia, the “Kimjongilia”, named after Kim Il-Sung’s son. Since then, the tradition of dedicating orchids to heads of state and political dignitaries has extended beyond North Korea. New varieties are given names such as “Dendrobium Angela Merkel”, “Maxillaria Gorbatschowii”, or “Brassolaeliocattleya Margaret Thatcher.” In the entrance area of HKW Brandlhuber has planted a ‘Garden of Ideologies.’

Arno Brandlhuber (*1964 in Germany) is a Berlin based architect and university lecturer whose practices reach beyond architecture and urbanism. One of his most renowned projects is the gallery and studio building at Brunnenstrasse in Berlin (Brandlhuber+ ERA, Emde, Schneider). His internationally acclaimed work has been shown in exhibitions such as the 9th, 10th, 11th and 13th Venice Biennale of Architecture. He teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts, Nuremberg, and is co-founder of the public seminar Akademie c/o, currently doing research on the spatial production of the Berlin Republic.