The 5th Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland has been opened

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Jing Liu Chinese artist received the Grand Prize of the biennial

On the 13th of October 2018 the exhibition of the 5th Graphic Art Biennial has been opened in the Transylvanian Art Center of Sfântu Gheorghe. The Awards Gala took place at the Tamási Áron Theatre, where the organizers presented the awarded artists and art works of the biennial. The Grand Prize was awarded to the Chinese artist Jing Liu for his series entitled Masters.

At the opening ceremony of the exhibition Zoltán Vécsi Nagy, director of the Transylvanian Art Center welcomed the public, he emphasized, that this event had already crossed the boundaries of Szeklerland:

“The Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland has arrived now in truth in Europe. We have grown by now to the level of a real European biennial”.

Then Apor Ferencz S.,  the curator of the biennial evaluated the event, saying, that the 2250 art works of more than 900 artists from 58 countries submitted to the contest show clearly, that the Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland has become a professional event appreciated in the whole world, being at the same time one of the most important artistic events of the region.

“One of the most positive aspects of this biennial beside the quality of the works is that the artists responded in great number to the issues raised by the concept of this biennial: they addressed the complex questions regarding the relation between the pixel based image and traditional graphics, at which point and how do the traditional and digital technical solutions meet, what kind of interactions do these overlappings bring about and what kind of actual intellectual contents do they represent”.– pointed out Apor Ferencz S..

Art historian Iréne Kányádi, lecturer of Partium Christian University  held the opening speech: “The great number of the submitted artworks lead more and more to the growing of the professional level, so we can declare now, that the Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland is crossing more and more confidently the boundaries of the region to meet the international standards.” – she phrased.

Beside the art works of the inland artists the art works submitted to the biennial came from various countries of the world: Hungary, Poland, Russia, Serbia, China, India, Bangladesh, Nepal respectively Taiwan and Vietnam. The jury selected 294 art works to the exhibition this year. Some of these works can be visited at the Transylvanian Art Center, some others are exhibited in the conference room of the Székely Mikó College.

The Awards Gala and the awarded artists

The Grand Prize of the biennial worth 2000 euro, offered by Perla Harghitei, was awarded to the Chinese artist Jing Liu for his series entitled Masters.

The prize named after Pál Nagy offered by Mureș county was awarded to Jakub Jaszewszki (Poland) for his works Xfirewall and Xerror. Zoltán Novák Csaba, senator of Mureș county transmitted the message of his county: There is no life without culture and no society can function without culture. That is why it is worth to invest in such events, because if we have a rich culture, we will have a future, too.”– he formulated.

The prize named after Imre Nagy offered by Harghita county was awarded to Art Werger (United States) for his work Life Below. The Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland is very important for us in many respects, it can contribute to a more emphasized presence of Szeklerland on the cultural map of Europe.”pointed out Csaba Borboly, president of Harghita County Council with the occasion of his speech at this event.

Samira Zamani (Germany) won the prize named after Sándor Plugor offered by Covasna county with her work entitled Back In The Day. Sándor Tamás, president of Covasna County Council mentioned, that the decade-long organizing work around this event seems to come to an accomplishment. The organizers of the event put all their energy into the work, so that the premature and unexpected death of curator Zsolt Siklodi would not interrupt the process: The Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland is the result of the common thinking of this region. Right from the start we had had three main objectives: to define ourselves through the language of the art, to show Szeklerland to contemporary artist around the world, as it represents truly a cultural specialty in the Carpathian Basin and last but not least, to present for the home public the main contemporary tendencies of graphic art around the world.” – emphasized the president of the council.

The prizes offered by the three counties of Szeklerland are 1000 euro worth each of them. Csilla Hegedűs, executive vice president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, responsible for cultural issues was present at the event, too. She said: A community that can put through such an event meeting international standards, is a living community which develops and grows. We do not only show ourselves to the Romanian society, but we also step out into Europe, into the wide world. The Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland has a kind of ambassador role concerning culture, community- building and unity.”

The Consulate General of Hungary in Miercurea Ciuc offered the prize of 500 euro to Răzvan Anton (Romania) for his work Fading Study. At the same time the prize offered by the Cultural and Art Center of Lăzarea along with the possibility of the participation in the art camp of Lăzarea went to Liza Lehoczki (Hungary) for her works Everything is more beautiful in pink 1, 2 and 3.

Éva Mayer (Hungary) won the prize of the Pulzus Art Camp for her works Imprints 1 and 2, the 500 euro prize of Zereda Art Camp 500 went to Ágota Krnács (Hungary) for her work Apparition in Cered 3The second alas is gone. The prize of the Institute of Visual Arts of the Eszterházy Károly University of Eger went to Kinga-Noémi Ács (Romania) for her work entitled Hunyadi Square 2.

The jury awarded five Nivo Prizes to the graphic artists Łukasz Koniuszy (Poland), Haruhiko Yoshinaga (Japan), Zoran Mishe (Bulgaria), Liu Fu (China) and Haider Ali Jan (Pakistan). The prize offered by the Hungarian University of Fine Arts went to Marcin Bialas (Poland).

The organizers of the biennial associated graphic art with jazz music, like they used to in former years, too. This year the awards gala was enriched with the jazz concert of the  Luiza Zan and Sárik Péter Duo.

The works selected by the international jury can be visited in Sfântu Gheorghe at the Transylvanian Art Centre and at the Székely Mikó College until the 9th of November. In December some works of the biennial will be exhibited in Miercurea Ciuc as well.

The main sponsors of the 5th Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland are the National Cultural Fond of Hungary, Bertis and Perla Harghitei.

Photo credit: Vargyasi Levente