Chinese artist Chen Haishu and his wife moved to the German city of Karlsruhe in 2017. The building they lived in as well as the surrounding neighbourhood were once called “Paul Revere Village” — part of a US Army military base established in Karlsruhe after the end of the Second World War. The village was a self-contained, autonomous “Little America”. The village’s presence as well as the soldiers stationed there for many decades influenced the local German society in various aspects.
With his photobook “German Balcony,” Chen Haishu overlays his personal experiences — building his new life in Karlsruhe, transforming his living space, experiencing the daily life of the area — with the history of the village. Using historic newspaper clippings, archive material and photographs, he blurs the boundaries between public and private and past and present, and explores the similarities, differences and difficulties faced by diverse groups and cultures coexisting together in different historical contexts.