Exhibition featuring the aesthetics of contemporary Hungarian handicrafts – Budapest


The exhibition can be visited until November, 22.2015., from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., except for Monday

at the

Várkert Bazár  (Castle Garden Bazaar) –  District II.,  2. Ybl Miklós Square – Budapest

Respect for tradition, authenticity and renewal: these key words precisely convey the essence of the current Hungarian handicraft movement. The exhibition is a review of the most outstanding masterpieces of Hungarian crafts folks. It provides an ample representation of the genres and riches of technical, conceptual and creative diversity that characterise the movement.

The Association of Hungarian Folk Artists  (Népművészeti Egyesületek Szövetsége, NESZ),  is an umbrella organisation of the folk crafts, having the membership of over 4,000. For the past 29 years it has been the main organiser of the biggest review of Hungarian arts and crafts, the highly popular Festival of Folk Arts that is held annually during the week of celebrations marking the St. Stephen’s Day national holiday on August, 20.

The exhibition introduce a selection of works from the most outstanding master crafts folks. Besides conveying authentic knowledge, rooted in folk tradition, an important criterion in the selection of the objects was to filter out the over-decorative items that merely demonstrate technical virtuosity for its own sake.

The selected works were all created in the last 10 to 15 years. The exhibited objects have been produced with an impressive range of professional skills and profound ethnographic and historical knowledge. The creators “speak the language” of traditional regional styles, techniques, forms and motifs, but experiment and strive to find their individual “voice” by creating unique artistic works.

The beauty, quality and harmony of the exhibited pieces draws attention to the timeless aesthetic quality of the world of traditional objects. These objects might well be unique and highly individualised wardrobe accessories, find their place naturally in our everyday lives, or create a more intimate warmth in our immediate environment. To-day, amidst a sea of cheap, throw away products, quality hand-crafted objects that serve and connect generations have the potential to strengthen relations and reinforce stable values, beyond monetary considerations, in the world of objects  in our lives.

Slowing down and ensuring time for ourselves and for each other is the newly found old wisdom towards which environment and health conscious people are currently striving, as witnessed in trends such as “slow food”, “slow travel”, “slow city” and “slow living”.

We would do well to rediscover a more sustainable rhythm in our lives, one that is gentler on the soul and has a more human scale and dimension. The principle of “less is more” means quality-conscious choices and an orientation towards real value. The new handicraft renaissance is a part of this revival throughout the world. The Hungarian arts and crafts movement can contribute to the creation of values through its respect for tradition and its profound knowledge.

Updated by Aggie Reiter


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