Swedish craft art defies clean image
By Philip Iglauer
Ambassador Lars Danielsson, newly accredited ambassador of Sweden and the Swedish Embassy hosted an opening ceremony Thursday for its Swedish Contemporary Craft Art Exhibition at the Korea Foundation Cultural Center Gallery.
Some 17 well-known and talented Swedish craft artists are represented in the exhibition with 49 pieces of work in materials such as ceramics, glass, metals, textiles and wood. The exhibition will run from Oct. 6 to 27.
The one thing participating artists all have in common is their desire to tell stories. Postmodern quotes, historical interest and the destruction of hierarchies have enriched their production. The silversmith Anders Ljungberg twists and turns the concepts of function and form. There is a quite a difference between these works and the clean, strict Scandinavian style which once made Sweden famous in the 1950s, and which many people still associate with Swedish design.
Many of these artisans are internationally recognized. Among them is the ceramic artist Eva Hild, renowned for her huge, beautiful organic sculptures. There is also the silversmith Tore Svensson with his sensitive treatment of materials used in his hollowware and jewelry. The fabulous ceramic and glass artist, Per B. Sundberg continues to expand the borders of what it is possible to achieve. He worked earlier at the Orrefors glass factory, and now works in his own ceramic studio.
In this exhibition one can also find sculptures depicting human relations and situations which are executed in surprising materials. The results are sometimes drastic, humorous and tender. The works made by Anna Sjon Nilsson evoke associations to folklore art.
Sponsors of the exhibition include The Korea Foundation, Korea Sweden Cultural Society, IASPIS (The Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Program for Visual Artists), the Estrid Ericson's Foundation, and the Helge AX: son Johnson's Foundation.