"100 years of Bauhaus" celebration in Hong Kong

Posted on June 10, 2019 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

100 years of bahaus

100 years of bahaus  100 years of bahaus

 

A hundred years ago, German architect Walter Gropius founded an art and design school in the small town of Weimar in Germany. The Bauhaus, subsequently became one of the most influential art and design educational institutions of the 20th century. Although the short-lived school only operated from 1919 to 1933, its influence and impact on art, design, craft and architecture can still be seen 100 years later.

On the occasion of Bauhaus' centennial celebration, the Goethe-Institut in Hong Kong, collaborated with various local partners to present "100 Years of Bauhaus - Rethinking the World", a special programme consisted of exhibitions, films, lectures, symposium, and creative workshops etc.

At Goethe-Institut in Wan Chai, I visted the "Picturing Bauhaus: Erich Consemüller’s Photography of the World’s most famous Design School" exhibition featuring historical photographs of life and work at Bauhaus from the Klassik Stiftung Weimar institute.

 

100 years of bahaus

100 years of bahaus

100 years of bahaus

 

Photographer Erich Consemüller (1902–1957) originally trained as a carpenter before moving to Weimar to enrol in the Bauhaus School, where he studied from 1922–1927. Consemüller was commisioned by Walter Gropius to photo-document the building, his fellow students and their design work, and around 300 photographs were thus taken from 1926 to 27.

Aside from the photographs, some ensembles of the Bauhaus furniture made by the Frankenberg-based furniture company Thonet were also on display. Founded in 1819 (a hundred years before the Bauhaus) by Michael Thonet, the company pioneered bentwood furniture using veneers, and later a cheaper solid-wood alternative. The company produced furniture designed by the Bauhaus architects Mart Stam, Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; these designsthe tubular steel chairs and tables – later became modernist classics, and are still in production today.

 

100 years of bahaus  100 years of bahaus

100 years of bahaus

 

My personal favourite, though, is the avant-garde costumes designed by German painter, sculptor, designer and choreographer, Oskar Schlemmer for his own ballet production, Triadic Ballet (Triadisches Ballett) , first performed in Stuttgart in 1922. Schlemmer described his playful costumes as “artistic metaphysical mathematics” and a “party in form and color.”

 

100 years of bahaus

100 years of bahaus

100 years of bahaus

100 years of bahaus  100 years of bahaus

 

A clip of the ballet was shown at the exhibition, while visitors were encouraged to try on the costumes and play with the props. I managed to find a reconstruction of the ballet on YouTube, which is still inspiring, unique and mesmorising to watch even after 100 years (see below)!

 

Triadisches Ballett von Oskar Schlemmer - Bauhaus posted by Aitor Merino Martínez

 

Besides the Goethe-Institut, the exhibition was also on view at HKU and City U. I only managed to go to the University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG), which displayed more of Erich Consemüller's photography works on the Bauhaus school, its interiors and works of the students.

In German, the word 'bau' means building and 'haus' means house. The teaching programme developed by Walter Gropius in 1922 placed ‘building’ at the centre of all the activities. Hence the school building played a significant role in this context.

Another influential aspect of Bauhaus was its teaching method, which replaced the traditional pupil-teacher relationship with the idea of a community of artists working together across different disciplinaries. Gropius aimed to create “a new guild of craftsmen”, and the school followed the 'apprentices and masters' structure similar to the traditional model that trained craftsmen and artisans.

 

hong kong university art gallery

hong kong university art gallery

hong kong university art gallery

100 years of bahaus

100 years of bahaus

100 years of bahaus  100 years of bahaus

100 years of bahaus

 

Although I have never been to the Bauhaus building in in Dessau (it is on my list), I have visited the Bauhaus Archive/Museum für Gestaltung (Museum of Design) in Berlin twice. The small but intriguing-looking museum was designed by Walter Gropius but was not completed until after his death. It has a good collection of furniture, products, art work, photography, architectural drawings and models, jewellery, and textiles featuring many famous names, such as Walter Gropius, Paul Klee, Marcel Breuer, Vassily Kandinsky, Josef Albers, Anni Albers, Oskar Schlemmer, László Moholy-Nagy and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe etc. Besides the permanent collection, there are also temporary exhibitions and a design shop, so I highly recommend a visit to this museum if you are a fan of Bauhaus.

 


This post was posted in Hong Kong, Exhibitions, Photography, Travel, Art, Design, Theatre & performance art, Modernist design, German design and was tagged with Hong Kong, art and design exhibitions, photography, furniture, German design, Bauhaus, Modernism, ballet

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