Show Calendar


Cinema Club: The Swim (He Xiangyu)

He Xiangyu shot The Swim in his hometown of Kuandian, which is located next to the Yalu River that demarcates the border between China and North Korea. Making several visits over the course of a year, the artist attempted to capture what had now become for him the ‘strange reality’ of his childhood home.

Opening with lyrical sequences of the area’s beautiful landscape, the film presents interviews with several Kuandian residents including Chinese veterans who fought in the Korean War and North Korean defectors who live there illegally. Each with a unique story to tell, they reveal their daily struggle for survival and identity, tragic past experiences and their expectations for the future. Collectively they touch on the historical events that occurred in China and North Korea during the 20th century, including the Land Reform, the Civil War, the Korean War and the North Korean famine. The film ends with a highly symbolic journey in which the artist attempts to swim across the Yalu River to North Korea, in order to better understand his protagonists’ lives as well as the ‘cruelty’ embedded within this bucolic landscape.

He Xiangyu was born in 1986 in Liaoning Province, China, and lives and works in Beijing and Berlin. He graduated from Shenyang Normal University, China, in 2008. Solo exhibitions include Qiao Space, Shanghai (2017); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2015); White Cube, London (2014); 4A Center for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney (2012); Künstlerhaus Schloß Balmoral, Bad Ems, Germany (2011) and Wall Art Museum, Beijing (2010). He has also exhibited in various group shows including Bunker #3, the Boros Collection, Berlin (2017), The 13th Biennale de Lyon (2015); Fire and Forget, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015); Shanghai Biennale (2014); Future Generation Art Prize, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev (2014); Busan Biennale (2014); Yokohama Triennale (2014) and 28 Chinese, the Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2013).

Contains scenes of an adult nature.


Join us for a weekly cinema experience each Sunday this spring. Films introduced by guest speakers, a delicious brunch menu in our café-bar, accompanied by coffee, cocktails and music from DJ Vicki Lester. Sundays from 17 February - 14 April.

2pm: café-bar open with brunch, coffee, cocktails and music.

4pm: feature film starts

General Information


The following access tickets can be booked online: spaces for wheelchair users, seats with flat floor access, best seats for sightlines of captions / BSL interpretation (when applicable). For guidance about online booking and for further information about accessibility at the venue see our Access page here.

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Box Office Opening Times

The box office (phone line and drop-in service) is open from 10am to 4pm, Mondays to Fridays. The box office is also open one hour before the advertised show start time.

Dates & Times

  • Sunday 14 April, 2019


  • All Tickets
Language: Mandarin, Chinese regional dialect and Korean dialect with English subtitles. Contains scenes of an adult nature
Cinema Club: The Swim (He Xiangyu)
Sunday 14 April

Cinema Club: The Swim (He Xiangyu) Tickets

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