You may prefer products which are designed beautifully and which demonstrate harmony between beauty and function. By combining art with function, our life becomes abundant. Then, when did the study of this combination begin? The answer is during the Bauhaus Movement which was established in Germany in 1919. A Bauhaus exhibition is being held until December 28 at the KUMHO museum under the name of UTOPIA. Before you go to the exhibition, it will be very beneficial for you to get some information about Bauhaus.
Perhaps Bauhaus is not familiar to you. Bauhaus was a national formative art school and it emphasized the combination of art and technology. The derivation of the word “Bauhaus” was “Bauhüttee”. Also, it is an inverted form of “hausbau” that means to build a house in German. But the Bauhaus Movement influenced not only construction but also every form of design which makes up our housing life. Looking at the products displayed in F1 and F2, you may be surprised because the designs of products which we use in our present life are no different from those of eighty years ago.
Walter Gropius, who founded Bauhaus, declared that he would combine the fine arts and handicrafts in order to create a brand new architectural formation. Bauhaus judged that the interval between new machines and artists should be narrow. Accordingly, it can not be that artists can’t understand the machines which are used in their major fields. Thus, Bauhaus members proceeded to lecture about both instruments and machines. This was a very exceptional way compared with earlier art education.
The Frankfurt Kitchen in Museum b1 is the original version of the present universal kitchen form. This was designed to realize an efficient and rational way of working as it was perceived that kitchens are supervised through scientific management. This kitchen model in the exhibition is one of only three that remain in the world, so you may feel overwhelmed because of its historical value. Above all, it is noticeable that the purpose for which this kitchen was designed is to allow the housewife to play the role of technician. If you relate this to the Korean social movement that finds commercial value in housewives’ chores, this fact is even more interesting.
Bauhaus admitted females to its school, and many women joined Bauhaus as it is. Of course, it could have been intended for women to develop womanish skills such as making china or textile operations. However, in that they offered equality of opportunity to the sexes, we can recognize how radical Bauhaus was. Exceptionally, in Marianne Brandt’s case, she produced various products through traditionally masculine education such as metalworking or making furniture. It is exciting to discover and compare feminine and masculine energy in her work.
Bauhaus craftsmen strove to realize Utopia through improving our life space. In that case, this exhibition could be a chance to check how close our life spaces are to Utopia. During the chilly autumn weather, if you discover Utopia in a café in Sam-chung dong in order to sip warm tea after viewing this exhibition, it will be a more valuable experience.