Women Holding up Half the Sky – Beijing nov. 2019

Women Holding up Half the Sky

Nov. 2019 at the Danish Cultural Center – Beijing – China.

Women Holding up Half the Sky, a new installation build around the installation Sisters in the Sky, now in China with Chinese pilots. The art work was originally exhibited at the 48th international Venice Biennale, dAPERTutto, Venice, Italy  13 June – 7 November 1999. Simone Aaberg Kærn was as a young artist who was then a student at Goldsmiths College in London, personal invited by legendary director Harald Szeemann. SISTERS in the Sky  was founded by the Danish Arts Council who is also supporting the Women Holdning Half the Sky exhibition in China.

Installation view Louisiana Humlebæk Denmark 1997, foto Bent Ryberg Planet foto













Pilot and artist Simone Aaberg Kærn with Women AirForce Service Pilot Vi Cowden i L4 piper Cub 1998 Dallas Texas.

SISTERS IN THE SKY – Women pilots in war duty during WWII – Simone Aaberg Kærn 1997.

More on skysisters.com

Installation in 30 meter long curved corridor:
text: historical information on pilots, regiments and aircraft
45 paintings, Oil on Canvas 35x 65 cm with text by Simone Aaberg Kærn
Sound composed from WWII aircraft distributed from 8 speakers (20 min loop)
Sound in corporation with Morten Carlsen and Emmerick Warburg
Architect: Gert Jørgensen

The Louisanna collection.

45 paintings of women who flew military aircraft during WWII with sound of aircraft.

For the China exhibition a lot of changes and new features will be added. Just the great flow of visitors requeres af full new design of the corridor.  The project for China is now being founded. You can be part of the project by donate or by ordering a payed talk by Simone Aaberg Kærn: Write to info @ aaberg-kaern.dk


Sisters in the Sky

Female Pilots on Active Service during World War II.

World War II was the first war in which air power played a decisive role. However, it was not the first time women served as combat pilots. World War I saw the first aerial combat, and among the pilots there were some women.

After World War I, it was clear that aviation had developed from a mere sport to a factor of definite social importance both in civilian life and in the armed forces. The new possibilities in aviation seemed unlimited. And in the late 1930s young people all over the world flocked to the flying schools, where they were trained under programs often subsidized by the government.

This exhibit shows a small selection of the women who flew during World War II. In Britain the best ATA pilots might fly any of 117 different types of aircraft, from Tiger Moths to four-engines Lancasters. Female Russian fighter pilots kept the skies free of German bombers; others attacked tanks and supply lines in low-flying bombers. Their mission covered the air space from Stalingrad all the way to Berlin. In the US the women pilots flew domestic military missions of every kind.

Whether the pilots were involved in actual combat or carrying out other military tasks, the highest level of technical skill, commitment and professionalism was required. All programs had pilots who were mothers, too, and the ATA in Britain had at least one grandmother among its pilots.

Now the exhibition will include a chapter on female Chinese pilots.


–  by Simone Aaberg Kærn and Stine Kirstein. Produced by DR-TV/ Zentropa. This part is the beginning of the special cut -Sisters hero remix witch is only 30 minutes. The original Sisters in the Sky was 4 x 29 minutes public service TV produced for the danish Broadcast Corporation.

Sisters in the Sky. Women Pilots In War Duty During WWII, 1997
45 portrætter. Maleri- og lydinstallationSimone Aaberg Kærns passion for fly og flyvning er drivkraften i flere af hendes værker. Sisters in the Sky. Women Pilots In War Duty During WWII består af 45 oliemalerier af kvindelige piloter og lyden af kampfly. Portrætterne er malet ud fra fotografier af russiske, britiske og amerikanske kvindelige piloter fra 2. Verdenskrig, og under hvert portræt er der oplysninger om pilotens navn, militærrang, hendes nationalitet, regiment, fly og særlige missioner.Installationen portrætterer kvinderne som stolte, stærke og målbevidste. I Sisters in the Sky. Women Pilots In War Duty During WWII bliver disse kvinder, hvis indsats ellers har været overset eller glemt i historieskrivningen, fremhævet, foreviget og hyldet. I 1998 modtager Kærn Jyllandspostens kunstpris og beslutter sig for at bruge pengene på at flyve tværs over USA for at besøge nogle af de amerikanske kvindelige piloter, hun har portrætteret. Det kommer der en række interviews ud af, som senere sendes i fjernsynet, og danner afsæt for hendes vovefulde færd til Kabul med fly.

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