New exhibition in China kicks off the Bauhaus′ centennial events | Arts | DW | 09.04.2018
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New exhibition in China kicks off the Bauhaus' centennial events

Founded in 1919, the Bauhaus revolutionized art, architecture and design. An exhibition in Hangzhou is the prelude to the movement's anniversary celebrations, which begin next year.

Several renowned international museums and institutions are participating in the global exhibition and event series, titled "Bauhaus Imaginista." The exhibitions are a prelude to the Bauhaus's 100th anniversary celebrations, which will be fully underway next year. The first of five Bauhaus exhibitions opened April 8 in the China Design Museum in Hangzhou.

The globetrotting project focuses on the philosophy behind the Bauhaus movement and its international reach. Many of the most significant teachers and artists fled persecution by the Nazis, spreading their knowledge all over the world in the process. The exhibition's curators, Berlin-based Marion von Osten and Londoner Grant Watson, worked with an international team of researchers, artists and designers to bring the project to life. Collaborating with international partners, the exhibition will be presented in a total of eight countries, including Germany, Russia, Japan, India and Brazil.

Read more: Bauhaus around the world: How German style is interpreted in globalized societiesHow Bauhaus is interpreted around the world

100 years of Bauhaus

In March 2019, the exhibition will be on display in Berlin's House of World Cultures, coinciding with the anniversary of the movement. Above all, it will show how elements of the Bauhaus spread into a variety of fields worldwide.

In 1919, the Bauhaus was founded by Walter Gropius (1883-1969) in the eastern German city of Weimar. During the Weimar Republic, the newly founded "Academy for Design," as it was originally called, began to develop a new way of conceptualizing design, art and architecture. Famous artists, among them Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger and Oskar Schlemmer, were some of the faculty members. They aimed to produce a variety of items in the Bauhaus style; from town houses to dinnerware. Technical and artistic aspects of art, architecture and design were given equal importance in the school's curriculum.

Architect Richard Paulick, a long-time assistant of Walter Gropius, and his student Wang Dahong brought Bauhaus teachings to China. In the 1940s, they played a decisive role in the urban development of metropolitan Shanghai, which was largely built on Bauhaus principles.

Read more10 things you need to know about Germany's Bauhaus movement

Bauhaus designs around the world

The interdisciplinary project "Bauhaus Imaginista" is the result of a joint effort between the Bauhaus Cooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar, the Goethe Institute and the House of World Cultures in Berlin. The Hangzhou exhibition will open a show at the China Design Museum, located on the campus of the China Academy of Art.

The 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus will be honored with numerous exhibitions, shows, symposiums and documentaries. The project is supported by Germany's Minister of Culture, Monika Grütters, the German Federal Cultural Foundation and Germany's foreign office.

Read more: The Future is Now! 100 Years of Bauhaus

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