The National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) recently unfurled a rich tapestry of Hungarian artistic prowess through an exhibition titled ‘The Journey, Abstract Art of Hungary.’ Spanning from the 1970s to contemporary times, this visually arresting display brings together an assemblage of 49 abstract paintings crafted by six eminent Hungarian artists.
This exhibit, nestled in the heart of Beijing, is a part of NAMOC’s esteemed International Exhibition Exchange Series. Through this series, the museum intends to build bridges of artistic dialogue and understanding among cultures, and ‘The Journey’ is its latest nod in this direction. The chosen paintings and prints, full of depth and nuance, radiate with characteristics intrinsic to Hungarian visual art. Each piece tells a story, narrating tales of Hungary’s rich history, its aesthetic evolution, and the indomitable spirit of its artists.
Kinga Hamvai, who spearheads the MNB Arts and Culture, shed light on the overarching objective of this exhibition. While offering visibility to Hungarian artists on both regional and global platforms is undeniably one of the primary aims, the vision goes beyond mere presentation. As Hamvai elucidates, the goal is to weave these Hungarian narratives into the vast, intricate tapestry of global art discourse. A unique, poignant touch to this narrative is the inclusion of works by members of the Pesti Workshop. These artists, active between 1971 and 1988, were notable for their proficiency in silkscreen printing—a technique with roots in China. This choice of focus lends a site-specific authenticity to the exhibit, bridging the geographical gap with a shared historical art form.
The mobility of these screen prints, lightweight and easy to transport, meant they frequently found their way into international graphics biennials during their heyday. Such exposure played an instrumental role in ushering Hungarian art into global consciousness. Now, several decades later, the world has a renewed opportunity to immerse itself in this artistic treasure trove. Besides the celebrated screen prints, the exhibition boasts a multitude of large-scale canvases, inviting both Chinese and international audiences to embark on a journey through Hungarian abstraction.
In his opening address, Wu Weishan, the director of NAMOC, emphasized the profound implications of hosting such an exhibition. By facilitating this cross-cultural artistic exchange, NAMOC not only celebrates the universality of art but also underscores its role as a catalyst for fostering global understanding and appreciation.
Visitors and art enthusiasts have a limited window to experience this visual odyssey, as ‘The Journey, Abstract Art of Hungary’ will grace NAMOC’s halls only until October 24. Given its rich content and historic significance, it promises to be an unforgettable sojourn into the heart of Hungarian abstract art.