Contemporary Art Exchange Exhibitions

A series of exchange exhibitions, Segment strives to present the work of Hungarian and Far Eastern artists. Its roots go back to the now ten-year long activity of the artists’ colonies the Hungarian artists’ group Tulsó P’Art (“The Other Side”) have organized. We have regularly invited Far Eastern artists to these colonies, and thus had an opportunity to encounter contemporary Far Eastern art life, its – from a European vista – rich and variegated aspirations. It was on the basis of this system of connections that the idea of organising a series of exchange exhibitions was conceived, which we have now been able to bring about the fifth time over.

The first exchange exhibitions in the programme were put up at three venues in Japan and Hungary each in 2004. Continuing the programme, Segment II presented the work of 15 Hungarian artists at the Zanabazaar Museum in Ulan Bator in 2005. Parallel to this event, we started organizing a Hungarian-Taiwan exchange show, Segment III, the first station of which had Taiwan artists present their work at the galleries MMG and MAMÜ. This set of exhibitions included material by young and mid-generation Taiwan artists, in our opinion, well representing the thematic and technical trends dominating the contemporary art scene of Taiwan. Its corresponding Hungarian show was housed by the Gallery of the National Taiwan University of Arts. Then Segment IV was organized in Daejeon, Korea, in July 2007, and in Budapest in November the same year. The exhibitions had several venues in both towns: 12 Hungarian artists showed their works at the galleries Ingong, Wooyeon and Yian in Daejeon, while their Korean counterparts at the galleries 2B, IX, Art9 and Erlin in Budapest.

It is an important aspect of arranging the Segment shows that the exchanges take place between countries that know little about each other’s culture and contemporary art life. We have therefore attempted to present selections that represent the major tendencies in contemporary Hungarian art from both a conceptional and a technical point of view. On the other hand, this is what justifies, given the opportunity, organizing symposia, as in the case of the Hungarian exhibition at the Taipei University, where lectures were delivered on contemporary Hungarian art and its context, deepening understanding and facilitating the reception of the exhibited material.

Running for five years now, the particularity of the Segment shows is that their events are the fruit of not an institutionalized system of connections but of the initiative and organizing activity of individual artists. They are artists who have a genuine interest in other cultures and are also capable of acting in order to learn about and familiarize them. These both professional and personal relations do not cease to exists after the shows, they make an invisible and living network. This is important because a Segment, due to its characteristic features, is capable of presenting aspects of the art life of a country that fall outside the purview of major institutions, as the art of the day is much richer and more colourful than what our institutions are able to show.

Segment V is thus the Indian station of a several-year long exchange show programme, and its counterpart is to be presented at the Inda Gallery and the exhibition spaces of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in Budapest in December 2009. All the 14 artists exhibiting at Vyom Centre for Contemporary Art, from fresh, young artists confidently employing inter-medial techniques to classical painters, are leading figures of the Hungarian art scene. Naturally, this does not mean that this selection pretends to cover all contemporary Hungarian art, it merely shows, as the title conveys, a slice of it, giving an inkling of the art life of a European country probably little known.

István Erőss
Artist, Organizer