My ‘Das Ding’ is a Thermos flask. It is 21 centimetres tall and has a diameter of 6 centimetres. It is a Japanese model. A Chinese friend gave it to me as a present. She always had it with her, full of warm water, for her little son Li Wu. In Chinese, ‘Li Wu’ means gift. When mother and child moved away I received the Thermos as a going away present. It stands on my working table. Now, too, it’s still always full of hot water so that I can make myself some Japanese tea when I need some quiet. Then, sometimes, I think of Li Wu.
Translated by Nicholas Grindell
Candida Höfer is an artist who lives and works in Cologne. Her work has been shown in a number of international museums including Kunsthalle Basel; MoMA, New York, the Power Plant, Toronto; Kunsthaus Bregenz; and Museum Ludwig, Cologne. In 2002, she participated in documenta 11, and represented Germany at the Biennale in Venice the following year, together with Martin Kippenberger. Currently, she is the subject of solo exhibitions at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (through 29 January) and Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne (through 4 February). Her solo exhibition at Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City, titled 'In Mexico', opens 4 April.
First published in Issue 13