The Mother Mountain Institute

6 November 2021–20 January 2022
The opening takes place on 6 November 2021 and the exhibition is on view through 20 January 2022.
Visit this page to learn more about the opening program and how to visit.

Casco Art Institute in partnership with Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund 2020/2021 is proud to present The Mother Mountain Institute by Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide), an ongoing artwork and artistic research project that collects testimonies from mothers who have lost their child to transnational and transracial adoption. These testimonies have been processed by the artist into a sound piece.

The project presents itself as a room-size installation work that invites the viewer to enter, listen, and honor the otherwise-erased stories of the mothers in the company of the spiritual presence of the mountain as the ultimate protector.


At Casco The Mother Mountain Institute shares the stories of two mothers from South Korea and Bangladesh whose children were stolen and trafficked for transnational and transracial adoption. The centerpiece of the installation is a mountain, whose presence evokes a spiritual entity, a patient shelter, and a companion for meditative walks who might provide answers to impossible questions transcending reason or logic. Inside this space representing the universe, a woman’s voice narrates the story of a mother and in alternation the mountain speaks. As an ongoing project, The Mother Mountain Institute mobilizes us to intervene in the current transnational adoption system that embodies colonial order and capitalist logic, and ultimately imagine what an institution could be like if based on motherhood and the mountain, as a resource of consolation and wisdom.

The installation is accompanied by twenty drawings of mountains made from 2015 to now, undertaken at mountains known for their spiritual qualities.

Artist Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide) has been creating an extensive body of work that embeds her critical inquiries in affective, intimate, and haptic forms of painting, installation works, and video-essays, presenting them on many significant national and international art platforms. The Mother Mountain Institute is one of Chang’s works that epitomizes her practice and also poses questions on the position and power of art to challenge existing institutions and their system. This work in particular inspires Casco’s long standing inquiry into alternative economic and social structures for long-term, ongoing, and socially engaged artworks that involve community and require care, maintenance, and sustainability. 

For more information about The Mother Mountain Institute visit and

Image description: A small mountain features in the centre of a circle in a dynamic space with a rotating planetary system on the roof. Credit: Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide), The Mother Mountain Institute, kinetic sound installation, 2017-ongoing, photography the artist.

Casco HQ


Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide), artist

Audio file 1, based on an interview/testimony of a Korean mother, February 17, 2017 in Chungcheong Buyeo district, South Korea
Alexandra Coutts, mother voice
Agnieszka Polska, mountain voice
Audio file 2, based on a testimonial from a Bangladeshi mother, Feb 20, 2020, Tongi, Bangladesh
Mehreen Mahmud, voice mother
Moktadir Dewan, voice mountain

mountain’s words: Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide), Agnieszka Polska, the head monk of the Seon Monastery of Mihwangsa, South Korea, the woman who can see the future and the past, South Korea

With special thanks to the mothers, and to Jung Sun Beijsens and Shapla Community.

Mark Thur, technician

Michael Klinkenberg, construction 

Michael Klinkenberg, Thomas de Kroon, Hannah van der Schaaf, Bram Kuypers, Emiel Vanhove, Kasper Van Moll, exhibition construction team

Ariadne Sergoulopoulou, Jonny Mehrez, Norbert Kovács, Leonardo Siqueira, Olga Maroudi, niet normaal*, exhibition build up volunteers

Olivier (Aro AndersTaxi), transportation

Yota Tselenti, Martha Miari, Rita Westwood, Jody Metcalfe, opening program volunteers

Sun Chang, Sandwich Stories, Shakeela Martinus from Caribbean Ice Cream factory, opening program catering

Norbert Kovács, Taliet Marsman, Martha Miari, Jonny Mehrez, Ariadne Sergoulopoulou, Leonardo Siqueira, Lux Sauer, Jody Metcalfe, Maria Sujecka, Rita Westwood, Olga Maroudi, hosts

Faisol Subroto (IMWU), cleaning

David Bennewith /, graphic identity

Clementine Edwards, English editor
Rosa Paardenkooper, translation Dutch

Aude Christel Mgba, Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund curator

Casco Art Institute core team:
Binna Choi, director
Erik Uitenbogaard, head of diverse economies
Staci Bu Shea, curator
Leana Boven, assistant curator
Marianna Takou, producer
Luke Cohlen, communication, website, & campaign

The Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund was established in 2020 and is part of the Hartwig Art Foundation.

The Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund stimulates experimentation and creativity at the highest level. Every year the fund supports a group of artists in the creation of new and ambitious work. The artworks are eventually bought by the Hartwig Art Foundation and donated to the Dutch State (Collectie Nederland). In this way, the fund makes a lasting social contribution.

For the Special Project 2020/2021 collaborations have been established with presentation institutions in the Netherlands. Besides Casco Art Institute (Utrecht) presentations by a total of 15 artists can be seen at Stroom Den Haag (Den Haag), Oude Kerk (Amsterdam), Vleeshal (Middelburg) and Kunstinstituut Melly (Rotterdam). Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund 2020/2021 at large is curated by Sharmyn Cruz Rivera, Iris Ferrer, Aude Christel Mgba, Jo-Lene Ong, and Rita Ouédraogo. Find more information at:

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