About time, imagination, passion and love


2022-07-01 14:00:00

This spring, the 59th Venice Biennale once again brought Venice into the spotlight of the world. Outside of the Art Biennale, HOMOFABER's event coverage even surpassed that of the Biennale. Launched by the Michelangelo Foundation to support talented artisans from around the world, this handcraft-themed event is in its second edition this year.
"Homo faber" comes from Latin, which means "creator". Since the Renaissance, it has been used to express the infinite creativity of human beings. This year's HOMO FABER also tries to use these handicrafts to invite people to temporarily "power off" and open their senses, to connect with people's original and pure creativity and their surroundings. Make connections with the environment, feel the time, imagination, passion and love behind the craftsmanship, and experience what Jean Blanchard calls the suffocating beauty that transcends the limitations of time and space.

The theme of HOMO FABER this year is "Living Treasures of Europe and Japan", by Italian curator Jean Blanchaert and Italian architect Stefano Boeri, Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa, American theater director and visual artist Robert Wilson, London fashion curator Judith Clark, German designer The curatorial team of active experts from a variety of industries, including Sebastian Herkner, focuses on Japanese craftsmanship traditions and their influence on European craftsmanship.

"The Next Europe" exhibition site

The second HOMO FABER took place on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. The entire event consists of 15 exhibitions, including more than 850 works, with the participation of more than 400 artisans and designers from more than 40 countries and regions. Here they display 110 different crafts and the resulting works. The audience can appreciate the finished product, watch live demonstrations by master craftsmen, or participate in workshops to experience the process of handicraft.
Jean Blanchard and architect Stefano Boeri curated the exhibition The Next Europe. This exhibition focuses on European master craftsmen. They come from different parts of Europe and create with craftsmanship passed down from generation to generation. The central theme of the exhibition is "How to build a more humane future". “In today’s era of complete mechanization and complete internet domination, it’s important to be able to use our hands to create something beautiful and functional, to keep us connected to our roots,” says Blanchardt. We are not only exposed to the creators’ personal histories, but also to their hometowns, the collective cultural heritage. It's like when you describe where a wine or a certain cheese is made, or when you speak, you have a certain accent. "
One of the exhibitors at The Next Europe is the glass and ceramic artist duo Rick Gerner and Johanne Jahncke living on the Danish island of Borholm. Yanke and Gener, who were also glass-crafters, were both interested in geology, and they were good at looking at soils from an aesthetic point of view. In the past few years, they went to Italy, Japan and other places to investigate and collect soil, gradually expanding their "soil color collection library". When making the glass, they added soil collected from different locations to the glass recipe and found that the texture and color of the final product would vary. Their enamel works are made from soil and water, and soil plays an important role in their work. The soil of the "multiple background" is like an unpredictable dye, projecting various colors and textures onto the surface of the enamel. Their work brings to mind the geological diversity of nature. In this exhibition, they showed how to make glaze with soil. "Based on the Nordic natural environment, we wanted to create a coherent, recognizable narrative that would allow people to actually experience a sense of belonging that is rooted in a place." "Our goal is to actually create with what's under our feet and what we rely on as artisans," said the soil-focused duo.

The Soil of Rick Gerner and JohanneJahncke's "Diverse Backgrounds"

"Peace and Waiting in the Darkness" exhibition site

"The Garden of Twelve Stones" exhibition site

"Miracle Studio" exhibition site

The exhibition Peace and Waiting in the Dark, curated by iconic American visual artist Robert Wilson, focuses on the craft of the theater world. In 1970, Robert Wilson made his first trip to Japan, a visit that changed his life and creation. In Japan, the theater stars he met and the Kabuki and Noh experiences he had experienced affirmed what he has been doing, especially creating immersive experiences. In his 1993 play Madame Butterfly for the Paris Opera, Wilson drew on elements of Japanese theatre traditions. Thirty years later, in Venice, he used elements of the work to bring together a group of contemporary Italian master artisans inspired by Japanese culture to transform what used to be the Gandini swimming pool's gravel courtyard into a dramatic stage, lighted , sound and visuals are still everywhere Wilson's signature language. This exhibition invites the audience to enter a suspended space full of visual experience and craftsmanship, where the craftsmanship of Japanese theater is presented in three dimensions. Upon entering, viewers pass through a dark passage that plays video clips of famous Japanese choreographer Suzushi Hanayagi. Suzuki worked with Wilson on the choreography of Madame Butterfly. Suzuki, now in her 90s, suffers from Alzheimer's disease, and the hypnotic slow movements of her face, legs and hands were recorded by Wilson as the "guide" for the exhibition. Entering the main exhibition hall, a rich visual world flocks to the audience: the all-black costumes by film costume designer Frida Parmeggiani, the minimalist ceramics by Taizo Kuroda, the ink paintings by Wilson , he and Dario Felli combined the eerie background sound made by the voice of Venice and the props made by Japanese craftsmen to form "Waiting in Peace and Darkness", the whole "waiting" makes people have nowhere to hide , where people experience the importance of master craftsmen to the world of theatre.
The exhibition "The Garden of Twelve Stones", co-curated by Nao Fukasawa and Tokugo Uchida, director of the MOA Museum of Art and Hakone Museum of Art, focuses on traditional Japanese handicrafts and brings together 12 Japanese artists. The works and stories of national treasure craftsmen are brought to Venice. A kimono, a lacquered harp, a bamboo flower basket, two traditional Japanese dolls and some containers made of different crafts are displayed on twelve stone-cut display stands in the magnificent Palladian restaurant Out, the entire exhibition hall is simple and devout, and the short films on the four exhibition walls lead people to go deep into the works of outstanding craftsmanship although the appearance is simple, and understand the work process of the master.
The photo exhibition "Miracle Studio" echoing "The Garden of Twelve Stones" also focuses on these craftsmen. Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi is the curator and creator of this exhibition. Her photography takes visitors to the studios of 12 Japanese national treasures. Through these photographs, people can experience the passion and dedication of these artisans to their crafts up close. Most of these craftsmen, designated as "Japanese National Living Treasure" by Japan's official government, are mostly gray-haired. The whole life is mingled with the craftsmanship in which it is devoted. Noboru Fujinuma, a bamboo artisan, is one of the protagonists. In Rinko's shot, he selects the right bamboo for creation in the forest, and weaves thin bamboo sticks into flower baskets or other objects in the studio, his expression is always focused. Fujinuma used to work in a photography company. After getting in touch with bamboo craftsmanship, he decided to quit his job and devote himself to bamboo art under the tutelage of bamboo art master Yagisawa Keizo. Fujinuma believes that creation means expressing original ideas and choosing an appropriate medium as a carrier. Artisans should remain connected to their raw materials, allowing them to express individuality in their work. Creation includes not only the physical production of a piece, but also the artisan's ability to speak to the viewer through its intangible details.

Article Source:艺术与设计