From 23rd to 27th November 2022, the MK&G messe will be back to present the latest international trends in contemporary craft. The fair will feature some 50 exhibitors along with a new program to support Young Talents and the launch of an exhibition series devoted to Contemporary Craft. The participants, 60 per cent of them newcomers since last year’s makeover, come from France, Italy, Austria, and North Macedonia; from South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, and from every region of Germany between Munich and Kiel, Leipzig and Leverkusen. The new format has brought fresh perspectives and more space for up-and-coming artists throughout the five-day event, which will showcase jewelry and textile design, ceramics, and unique creations of metal and wood, all meeting the highest aesthetic and technical standards.
Image above: Key Visual, Knitted Jewellery Project, 2021 © Cécile Feilchenfeldt Photo: Aurelie Cenno
Two new programs at the MK&G messe confirm that this fair is not just an opportunity to sell original wares. There is also a strong focus on artistic exchange and on publicizing recent trends and innovative exhibits or techniques. The Young Talents category is designed to promote a rising generation: This year, for the first time, selected artisans and designers will be provided with a free booth and a stipend, enabling them to display their work and to enter a conversation with collectors and galleries. The accompanying series, entitled “Contemporary Craft”, will be launched alongside this year’s MK&G messe, and will spotlight outstanding work by creators of particular renown. The first show will present work by the well- known ceramicist Young-Jae Lee of South Korea, since 1987 the guiding hand behind the long-established Keramische Werkstatt Margaretenhöhe in Essen.
Offering a broad range of high-quality one-offs, artworks, and utensils, the MK&G messe prioritizes authentic production and resource-sensitive consumption. The creative processing of valuable natural materials such as wood, wool, metal, glass, paper, and clay and the re-use of waste products and recyclables reflect the current demand for greater sustainability and durability. Today’s craft fairs have drawn renewed purpose from public interest in environmental issues, in New Luxury, in the relationship between singularity and mass output, and in production and working conditions. The MK&G messe responds to these issues and offers a forum for discussion.
The high calibre of the MK&G messe will be further endorsed by the participation of five Justus Brinckmann Award winners from the years 2009 to 2021. The prestigious award comes with a purse of 7,500 euros and will be announced this year on 22 November by the jury of eight. An additional award worth 2,500 euros will be made for emerging talent.
The jury also chose to invite seasoned exhibitors from earlier years. The presence of such long-standing participants as Wolfgang Skoluda (since 1959), Christa Lühtje (since 1964), and Jan Wege and Anne Andersson (both since 1997) attests to the time-honored tradition behind the MK&G messe, which dates back 130 years.
Prof. Tulga Beyerle, Director, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G)
Cécile Feilchenfeldt, winner of the Uustus Brinckmann Award at MK&G messe 2021 and freelance artist, Paris
Thomas Geister, Director, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Prof. Axel Kufus, Professor of Drafting and Development, Institute for Product and Process Design, University of the Arts, Berlin
Wolfgang Lösche, Head of Exhibitions, Chamber of Crafts for Munich and Upper Bavaria
Erika Pinner, Curator and Head of the Applied Arts & Design Collection, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G)
Prof. Angeli Sachs, Professor, Zurich University of the Arts, Zurich
Marlo Scheder-Bieschin, Deputy Chair, Justus Brinckmann Gesellschaft, Friends of MK&G, Hamburg
Contemporary Craft: Young-Jae Lee
The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G) is putting a stronger focus on the subject of contemporary craft with a new exhibition series dedicated to the topic. The first edition of the series, which will open every year on the occasion of the renowned MK&G messe, will feature the well-known potter Young-Jae Lee (*1951, Seoul, South Korea). Lee has been considered a pioneering figure in the field of ceramics for 40 years. The exhibition will present her one-of-a-kind artworks in the field of ceramics, which combine the formal languages of the Far East and the West. Lee’s ceramic objects have been exhibited internationally and are held in museums and private collections worldwide. Since 1987, she has also led the historic Margaretenhöhe Ceramics Workshop in Essen, Germany, which opened nearly 100 years ago. In the solo exhibition at MK&G, Young-Jae Lee will show large- and small-scale ceramic works spanning her career, such as her familiar spindle vases and bowls, as well as new vessels created especially for the show.
For this year’s MK&G messe the organizers have launched a new category: Young Talents. A small selection of emerging artisans have been invited to Hamburg, where they can participate in the fair without going through the application process. The goal of Young Talents is to promote young creatives and showcase the future of craft and its innovative possibilities. In short, through the curated selection and support of these Young Talents, the general aim is to advance and enhance contemporary crafts. Contributions to the fair are displayed without galleries and all participants remain present for the full duration. This tradition creates and supports lasting relationships between collectors and artists, which are crucial to contemporary craft practice today. With the Young Talents, MK&G aims to build a strong connection for future collaborations. Five Young Talents from Belgium, France, the Czech Republic and Germany have been invited to take part this year. They are given a booth free of charge and receive a financial stipend to support the production and transportation of their work. They are not eligible for the annual awards.
The fair will be accompanied by a program of events, such as interviews with artists, discussions of trends and collections in contemporary craft, guided tours, and a pop-up exhibition.
Duration: Wednesday, 23 November to Saturday, 27 September 2022
Opening hours: Wed 10am-8pm ; Thu 10am-2pm ; Fri, Sat, Sun 10am-6pm
MK&G Handicrafts Exhibition #1: Young-Jae Lee
Opening: Tuesday, 22 November 2022 at 6 pm
Exhibition duration: 23 November 2022 – 23 April 2023
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg