Art from Austria – The Present and the Dawn of Modernism

Two positions of Austrian painting from two centuries:
Gustav Klimt & Karin Pliem. Nature and culture as a connecting link.
艺术家:卡琳·普莉姆 & 古斯塔夫·克林姆特

Organizer: Austrian Culture Forum / Austrian Embassy Beijing & Winland Group
Curator: Lucas Gehrmann, in cooperation with Yilin Chen and Peng Peng Zhang, Winland Group.

On the occasion of the UNESCO 50 years World Heritage celebration, the Austrian Cultural Forum Beijing in cooperation with the Hangzhou Winland Center, an urban landmark combining ancient and modern, and designed by renown Arquitectonica Architecture Studios in Shanghai, presents a dialogue between two Austrian artists whose birth years are almost exactly 100 years apart. A period in which the world – and with it art – has changed radically. Are there nevertheless connecting lines between artistic thoughts and formulations from then and now?
One issue that underlies the work of both artists like a driving force is nature. Both have not only studied its external appearance, but have also recognised principles in it that are significant for all life and development.
At the same time, both artists include both contemporary and historical cultural assets and world views in their work – with an attentive eye far beyond Austria and Central Europe, i.e. also as far as East Asia.

Karin Pliem. Biocultural Community
The title of Karin Pliem’s exhibition in the first room combines the still young scientific term “biocultural diversity” with the traditional word “community”. Biocultural diversity encompasses the diversity of life in all its manifestations – biological, cultural and linguistic. In this sense, for over 20 years Karin Pliem in her paintings, installations and video animations has been linking elements of nature and civilisation into a world society of living beings and cultural goods.

Gustav Klimt. Forerunner of Modernism
In the second part of the exhibition, 26 high-quality fine art prints document major works by the internationally best-known representative of Viennese Art Nouveau. The presentation provides a sophisticated insight into Klimt’s different creative phases, his favourite issues and his artistic intentions.
The presentation “Gustav Klimt. Forerunner of Modernism" was developed as a touring exhibition by Manfred Thumberger/SelenoArt (Graphic & Design/Production) in collaboration with curator Sandra Tretter/Klimt Foundation Vienna

"Art from Austria – The Present and the Dawn of Modernism" also features two contemporary examples of technical-media art production: Karin Pliem shows the video animation “L’Infinito della Natura” in her part of the exhibition, and Gustav Klimt’s presentation ends with the animated image collage “FLOEGE FLOEGE” by the Austrian media artist Bernadette Huber.

s.a.: 新展开幕 | 奥地利艺术-现代性的当下与黎明——卡琳•普莉姆与古斯塔夫•克林姆特


FUTURE MEMORIES. Utopia Dystopia Nature @ Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre - City University, Hong Kong 2021

The exhibition "FUTURE MEMORIES. Utopia Dystopia Nature" articulates the changed image of landscape and nature in contemporary art. Triggered by a rethinking of the future challenges in dealing with a nature in transition, 34 inspiring positions of international artists were selected by Harald Kraemer for an exhibition hat was held in  in spring 2021 at the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre designed by Daniel Libeskind in Hong Kong. Utopian speculations of tomorrow take their place alongside dystopian scenarios. Since the 1960s, our increasingly crisis-ridden planet has inspired artists to create works that show the changing relationship of humans to nature.

One of the main themes of art, especially in painting and photography, is the exploration of nature and landscape. The exhibition FUTURE MEMORIES focuses on the central question of how the artist's relationship to nature has changed in recent years.

The exhibition is designed as a labyrinth and to reach the centre you have to take a utopian or dystopian path. 

FUTURE MEMORIES is accompanied by an extensive supporting programme on site and online with lectures and discussions, readings, film screenings.



DISCRETE AUSTRIAN SECRETS @ Galaxy Museum of Contemporary Art, Chongqing, China 2019 - 2020








32 contemporary Austrian artists are represented in an exhibition at the Galaxy Museum of Contemporary Art, Chongqing, China. It compromises spatial installations and interventions, sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, sound and video art. New media and fashion are also included. A ll media are united in a diverse but homogenous entity reflecting the heterogeneity of the vibrant Austrian art scene.



Finest Austrian Design @ Beirut Design Week 2018

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The exhibition "Finest Austrian Design at Beirut Design Week 2018 - Design as our common future heritage", was organized by ed. Triton Productions and curated by Bariaa Mourad. The exhibition represents some of the finest and most renowned contemporary Austrian designers based mainly in Vienna with close ties to reputed international design brands and academic institutions such as the d:'angewandte (University of Applied Arts), Vienna. Design projects: "Social design" by DOTTINGS-GOODGOODs /  "inWASTEment" by mischer'traxler studio / "Iris" by najjar & najjar architects / "WaldInhalierbar" by pavillon_35 / "Raw" by Soda Designers - Nasrallah & Horner / "mitiMistici" jewelry by Daniel Spoerri.

The exhibitions are accompanied by panel discussions, design demonstrations and design films, as well as presentations by academic institutions such as the departments of Industrial Design 2 and Social Design of the d:'angewandte (University of Applied Arts, Vienna) and the MAK museum, Vienna.


dottings, the office of industrial design is active in the areas of product-, light-, and furniture-design, as well as the conception of public spaces. Dottings is about creating designs with intelligent and honest solutions for their clients.
“Clever product design in all its diversity should always achieve more than just look good. We consciously and extensively develop the term industrial design and are also eager to move off the beaten roads with our design-ideas, notably in areas which accordingly deserve a bit of it. We develop products from concept to their industrial maturity.“
The people behind dottings are Sofia Podreka & Katrin Radanitsch and a network of outstanding specialists. Sofia Podreka and Katrin Radanitsch studied Industrial Design at renown institutions such as the University of Applied Arts in Vienna where they graduated with distinction. They successfully participated in numerous competitions and exhibitions.

mischer'traxler studio

Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler form mischer‘traxler studio. Balancing between handcraft and technology, they design objects, furniture, production processes, kinetic or interactive installations and more, thereby focusing on experiments and conceptual thinking within a given context. After graduating from the IM-masters department at the Design Academy Eindhoven and several years of collaboration, Katharina and Thomas founded mischer'traxler studio in Vienna in 2009.
Their works have been displayed in numerous museums and at international festivals and fairs. Projects by mischer'traxler are to be found in the permanent collections of the Art institute Chicago, the Vitra Design Museum and the MAK Vienna. Their projects have won several awards, while as a studio, mischer’traxler was honoured with the ‘Designer of the future award’ by Design Miami/Basel and W-hotels in 2011 in 2014 with the ‘Young talent award’ by the Be-open foundation and recently with the Swarovski Design Medal 2016 by Swarovski and the Vienna Design Week.

Najjar & Najjar Architects

Karim Najjar & Rames Najjar founded their studio in Vienna back in 1999. Since then, the office expanded internationally and is now based in Vienna and Beirut. The practice activities include designs for residential, commercial and multi-purpose buildings, bridges, interior spaces, and furniture.
Their interdisciplinary approach to design and their research efforts that span a variety of fields, have enabled the work of Najjar & Najjar Architects to standout as Karim and Rames Najjar provide custom-tailored and smart solutions to a wide variety of issues.
Their involvement in research projects that bridge various disciplines shapes the way they conceptualize and design. Nature is the primary source of inspiration. The two brothers grew up near the Mediterranean and have a passion for sailing and hiking. This proximity to the sea has also molded an affinity for horizontal lines, extending roofs and open plans.
Having studied and designed various projects in Austria, Lebanon and internationally, the accumulated technical knowledge, leading-edge solutions and high-end craftsmanship are integral to their work. But as Architects, Najjar and Najjar are also aware of their social responsibility and have designed cost-effective, resource-saving solutions such as sustainable schools for refugees or kinematic structures to harvest energy for the fishermen community at the Beirut coast through architecture. Currently, as a professor, Karim Najjar is teaching at the American University of Beirut and Rames Najjar at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.


Moya Hoke, Guenter Seyfried and Kristin Weissenberger are members of the "Gesellschaft für wissenschaftsbasierte Kunst", which is an independent, registered association, based in Vienna, Austria.
The projects of pavillon_35 spring up from a close and interdisciplinary collaboration between artists and scientists, in the fields of fine art and molecular biology. Pavillon 35 cooperates with the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Open Science, Biofaction, Institut fuer Polycinease and FH Campus Wien Molekulare Biotechnologie.
The collaboration involves research into concepts of art,  philosophy and biology and the development of works of art. With the help of all project partners Pavillon 35 supports artists and scientists to concretize and realize projects in the tense field of art and molecular biology. The project "WaldInhalierbar" (Inhalable forest) is a sort of "mini-shisha" made of porcelain and wood (woodwork by Paul Stempberger), filled with sound medical and ecological herbal essences explicitly developed by a pharmacist, Alexander Ehrmann, of St Charles pharmacy, Vienna.  "WaldInhalierbar" (Inhalable forest) brings the scent and breath of nature back to the city dweller.

Soda Designers - Nasrallah & Horner

Nada Nasrallah and Christian Horner met whilst studying Industrial Design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and the ENSCI/Les Ateliers in Paris.
Coming from the different professional backgrounds of carpentry and gold/silversmith, the common interest that led to their working together was the adoption of challenging design projects.
With teaching experience from the Kingston/New Design University and the Design College St. Pölten and work experience at Sottsass Associati and Paolo Rizzato/Milan, Radi Designers/Paris, Philips Design Vienna/Singapore, Sagem and Bene Office Furniture, Soda Designers are now based in Vienna and are engaged in a variety of projects covering furniture design, consumer-electronics, interior design and home accessories.
Soda Designers are kindly supported by Breitwieser Stone World.
Projects for: Wittmann, Ligne Roset, Fontana Arte, MDF Italia, Rapsel Spa., Berndorf, Porro and more.

B_D bdw 2018

Daniel Spoerri Jewelry

There is no need to present Daniel Spoerri at this place since his artistic achievements in the art history of the 20th century are incontestably iconical, reaching out now to the third millennium.
The jewelry collection "mitiMistici" as shown in this exhibition, reflects and resumes Daniels longstanding interest in idolatry, as well as in ritual and mythical phenomena in ethnology. Those recurring topics throughout his artistic life, also inspire the projects, happenings, and exhibitions taking place at his own venues - Il Giardino, a sculptural garden founded by himself in Tuscany, and the Ausstellungshaus Spoerri in Hadersdorf, close to Vienna, Austria.
The contemporary jewelry objects of the collection question the relationship of man to nature, to animals, and also men's origins and social integration. All jewelry objects are unique pieces and made with precious (gold ...) and durable natural/organic materials or objets trouvés and thus also refer to important questions concerning sustainability and ecology.

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The Age of Experience / City University, Hong Kong 2015 & University of Applied Arts, Vienna 2016

Entitled "The Age of Experience", this exhibition displays projects by 31 Hong Kong- and Asia-based designers, architects, film-makers and artists working or trained at the School of Creative Media and Design of the City University of Hong Kong with departments of media art, animation, film and photography. Since its inception, the School of Creative Media - housed in the distinctive Daniel Libeskind Building in Kowloon Tong since 2011 - has become one of the most important venues and a culminating point for creative projects in Asia. This pioneering role in teaching and research was confirmed once again in 2016 by the hosting of the International Symposium on Electronic Arts (ISEA) in Hong Kong under the motto 'Cultural R>Evolution'.
Since 2015, the School of Creative Media has had a cooperation agreement with the University of Applied Arts Vienna, which provides for the transfer of research results as well as the exchange of exhibitions.


Eva Petric / IN-between-SPACE @ MMKK 2014 & Duomo di Santo Stefano, Vienna 2016

Collective Heart & Love, Belief, Hope - were extensions of the audio-visual installation IN-BETWEEN-SPACE first presented in the baroque Burgkapelle of the MMKK in Southern Austria, and which were then shown in the nave of Vienna's Stephansdom / Duomo di Santo Stefano (May 3, 2016 - Sep. 11, 2016).

Nella Burgkapelle Eva Petrič installa un lavoro multimediale, basato su una foto dell’ESA proveniente dal telescopio spaziale „Hubble“ e rappresentante nuove stelle e costellazioni. L’artista riproduce questa particolare formazione astrale, cucendo insieme innumerevoli centrini di pizzo e dando vita a grandi elementi di stoffa con forma propria, che vengono poi appesi a creare uno scenario. A ciò si aggiungono lo sfondo sonoro, con registrazioni di rumori spaziali della NASA, il canto dell’artista e la musica suonata da lei e da Matija Strniša nonché proiezioni fotografiche, che trasformano lo spazio della cappella in un atmosferico tessuto interattivo ed evocativo. L’ambiente, pregno d’immaginario spirituale, fuoriesce così dagli argini limitanti della sua precedente destinazione. I quesiti esistenziali di fondo, percepiti come ag- gressione all’interno del contesto spirituale, vengono posti in un discorso ampliato, al di là della cornice religiosa, in cui la teoria del big bang ed il mito teologico della creazione riescono a fondersi /.../

In the Burgkapelle, Eva Petrič stages a multimedial work based on an ESA photograph of the space telescope "Hubble", depicting newly emerged stars and star constellations. Petrič replicates this specific stellar formation, by sewing countless little doilies together into large textile shapes and stretching them across the chapel like a backdrop. Additionally, there is a soundscape with NASA recordings of sounds from outer space, the artist's singing and music by her and Matija Strniša, together with photographic projections which transform the room into an interactive, evocative structure. The chapel as a spiritual setting oversteps the boundaries of its former purpose. The existential questions, so pressing in the spiritual context are raised in an extended discourse, outside the religious framework, which combines the big bang theory and the theological myth of Creation /.../



The appearance of musical notation has changed several times from its beginnings to the present day. Over the past 2,000 years, the history of notation has produced various systems and signs for recording and representing music in writing. The "notation images" presented in the exhibition NOTEN:BILDER at the Haus der Musik in Vienna show selected milestones of this development throughout history up to the standard notation in use in most parts of the world since the 17th century.
In addition, the autographs of those composers - to whom separate exhibition rooms are dedicated at Haus der Musik -  reveal their individual handwriting in dealing with musical notation. The fact that the form of musical notation is a changing process of different approaches as shown by the graphic notations presented in this exhibition as for example those of composer Anestis Logothetis /.../

Exhibition supported by the Lang Lang Foundation, Haus der Musik and ed. Triton.


Transapparent @ Kuenstlerhaus, Vienna 2014

Exhibition opening & book presentation the Künstlerhaus Vienna, April 10, 2014 / 7 pm

Speeches: Boris Podrecca & Bariaa Mourad

The Shadow is the visual esthetics that guides Eva Petric's work in this exhibition at the Kuenstlerhaus, Vienna. The body itself is too sincere in conveying the passing of time on itself - thus it is much easier to observe its Shadow which is immune to the passing of time and to find the esthetics in it.
Nevertheless she wants to also show the body confronting its Shadow - the tension arising from this confrontation with its Shadow, in other words, with itself - its unknown part. Upon confrontation there must be an explosion - a seeing of more reality.

For the artist, then, the work is also about the act: catching it in a snapshot expression and then letting it loose to develop into an action. The initial snapshot expressions are therefore like fish hooks: they drag the artist into and behind themselves, into the realm of the shadows or the colors, or their fusions /.../


Beirut II @ CAP Kuwait, 2012

Beirut I was an exhibition curated by Bariaa Mourad and shown during summer 2011 at Kunsthalle Wein in Vienna – Austria. It was the first issue of an iterating exhibition cycle dedicated to the Lebanese capital exploring its creative potential as well as featuring various Lebanese artists work and subjects relating to Lebanon’s critical position in the world. Being presented at different international venues, its succeeding show Beirut II will now reach its next stop at the Contemporary Art Platform in Kuwait.
Beirut has been often the theater of armed conflicts. From a historical, social and architectural point-of-view, the city has became a space filled with tension between divergent interests. Being the first show of its kind in Kuwait, Beirut II will be featuring mainly video, photographic works dealing with issues of freedom, self realization, and social equalities under the aggravated conditions of permanent conflict, as well as sound-installations.
Participating artists: Maher Abi-Samra, Danielle Arbid, Ali Cherri, Edwin Daou, Rami El-Sabbagh, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Lamia Joreige, Mazen Kerbaj, Randa Mirza, Reine Mitri, Bariaa Mourad & Najla Said & Tanya Traboulsi, Sharif Sehnaoui, Rabia Stephan, Alfred Tarazi, Raed Yassin.


Zart, una cantata moebius & nowhere @ Kiesler Foundation, Vienna 2011

NOWHERE presented at the Kiesler Foundation, Vienna, is the synthetic interlacing of the moebius cantata ZART (see below) played backwards with video feedback materials. Since the composition ZART follows a strictly musical dramaturgy, as a totality, it is not a moebius sound. By means of the identically sounding moebius sounds, its experimental reverse playback simulates a forward movement, and carries off the recipients through a dramaturgical change in direction to nowhere. In the process, the moebius sounds enter into new connections and effective relations, which repeatedly flow into unexpected sound process. The synaesthetic connection to the moving picture is not capable of giving orientation – it far rather endorses this aspect. Video feedback materials are used which, owing to their methods of generation, represent a conceptually stringent pendant to the moebius sounds. Here, both optical as well as acoustic principles of potential infinity are applied.Through abstract, synthetic sound and image processing NOWHERE compels the listener to unconditional sensual devotion, leaving narrative moments infinitely far behind. The recipients are thrown back on themselves – alone in the here and now.
ZART una cantata moebius is a composition by Hofstetter Kurt. 

ZART provokes a musical experience along the “eventhorizon of time”. Specially designed sounds provide a timeless counterpart of the infinite principle of the so-called Moebius strip. Electronically generated Moebius sounds -- played forward and reversed while sounding the same -- are rated on two sound tracks. In the moment of their stereo-acoustic perception the cantata enfolds its sound potential directed both towards the future as well as towards the past.


Beirut @ Kunsthalle Vienna, 2011

The exhibition "Beirut" curated by Bariaa Mourad is the second instalment in a series of city shows of the Kunsthalle Vienna  that explores the creative potential of changing metropolises. Beirut, often referred to as the “Paris of the Middle East”, has been ravaged by decades of civil war and other armed conflicts. From an architectural point-of-view, as well as from social, economic and historical perspectives, the city has been a battlefield of divergent interests. The exhibition at the Kunsthalle Wien focuses on filmic works by artists who deal with the issues of freedom, self-realization, and equality under the aggravated conditions of permanent conflict.

Artists: Maher Abi Samra, Mounira Al-Solh, Danielle Arbid, Ali Cherri, Edwin Daou, Rami El-Sabbagh, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Mona Hatoum, Mahmoud Hojeij, Lamia Joreige, Randa Mirza, Reine Mitri, Bariaa Mourad & Najla Said & Tanya Traboulsi, Rania Stephan, Alfred Tarazi,  Akram Zaatari.