*1977 in Singapur


Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, Bachelor of Fine Arts


In the 2000s, Terence Koh became an overnight sensation and enfant terrible of the New York art scene with his divaesque performances. After his first institutional solo show in Germany, the reviews were divided: While some saw in him a new Warhol, others dismissed him as a charlatan.

When Koh came to Hamburg’s HafenCity in 2019 with his Bee Chapel, all the excesses had fallen away. Instead, he counteracted the hectic energy of the city with an oasis of calm that was emblematic of his new lifestyle: today, Koh cultivates his own personal Eden near Los Angeles, far from the New York art world.

With spiral home, the artist has created a similar place to retreat and regain strength, right in the middle of Frankfurt. But in Frankfurt it is not the meditative humming of bees that sets the tone of the cosmic vibrato—it is the view of the sky. The artist invites one to forget the city, leave behind the hustle and bustle, and look up at the stars from a floating bed. This place of rest under open skies, suspended meters above the ground between one of the Metzlerpark’s linden trees and two posts, marks the heart of the spiral structure that winds inward and upward. The construction’s basic form, reflected in the environment as spirals of herbs, symbolically illustrates the connection of all existence between the micro- and macrocosmos. It calls to mind not only the appearance of snail shells, but also the shape of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
Plants become the most substantive protagonists in the ensemble of components forming this predominantly open structure. Their interplay in spiral home can be understood as a concept for a peaceful coexistence between all earthly species. The intercultural idea evident in the flora becomes clear when observing an apple tree, which has come to be a recurring element in the artist’s work. From a European point of view, the apple—the fruit of temptation that is so popular in Germany—is an exotic plant imported from Asia many hundreds of years ago. In spiral home, Koh’s apple trees “live” near other plants that can be used to make tea. Consequently, it seems logical that the artist meant for a linden tree to be the starting point of his installation. The tree’s blooms possess healing properties, while the tree itself is a symbol for peace and justice and in these latitudes commonly marks the middle of a village, simultaneously designating the center of society.

Terence Koh’s symbolic and unconventional home is ultimately a manifestation of nothing less than a reflection on how human life can and must be in the future: in harmony with nature and using available resources. To this end, spiral home is constructed primarily from found materials.

Lydia Korndörfer


kindly supported by:

Deutsche Reihenhaus AG, Friedhelm Dorndorf, Till Richter