Date: September 14
‘Peace and Cultural Diversity’ Art Exhibition
Gallery at the Yunus Emre Institut, Währinger Str. 6-8/14-15, 1090 Vienna
'Peace and Cultural Diversity' art exhibition gathered 39 names from the art world and transmitted powerful messages of peace, diversity, equality, and unity.
Gallery at the Yunus Emre Institut, Währinger Str. 6-8/14-15, 1090 Vienna
“We are proud to have provided a platform for artists around the world to transmit their message of a united world in times of uncertainty,” stated ICDO President, Josipa Palac during the opening of ICDO’s “Peace and Cultural Diversity” art exhibition in the Yunus Emre Institute in Vienna on September 14, 2022. The exhibition brought together 39 artists from 18 countries to display works that transmit messages of respect, unity, diversity and inclusion.
This year’s art exhibition theme revolved around the peace and cultural diversity, inspired by ongoing conflicts around the world, including the most recent war in Ukraine.
Exhibition aims to explore and artistically convey ideas around achieving peace through justice, equality and honoring of differences among all people, said Ms. Palac.
Photographs of the families and friends of refugees aided by ICDO through “ICDO’s Ukraine Emergency Relief”, and taken by Christopher Rogel Blanquet in Ukraine, were exhibited alongside historical photographs of Ukrainians from Ivan Honchar’s “Ukraine and Ukrainians” exhibition. The display sent a powerful message of support for all people and the protection of cultural heritage worldwide.
The artworks featured themes and materials as diverse as the artists who created them. A seven year old artist, living with a disability, touched the hearts of those in attendance with their piece, The Tree of Life. Bullets from Bosnian War were incorporated into a powerful piece calling for respect for cultural differences in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The birds of Colombia were brought to life through augmented reality and transported attendees to the rainforest of South America. Three NFTs, made exclusively for this exhibition by an incredible Azerbaijani artist, illustrated the sharing of traditions across cultures. Two artworks by famed El Salvadorian artist Fernando Llort Choussy shared a piece of the colorful Mayan culture. The exhibition inspired the President of Kazakhstan to send his support for the work of ICDO and the talented artists who came together to support cultural diversity.
ICDO was honored to welcome many notable guests from different international organizations, governmental institutions, academic sector, esteemed Embassies and cultural institutions in Vienna to the exhibition opening. His Excellency Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Vienna, Ozan Ceyhun helped open the exhibition and expressed his gratitude to ICDO and the Yunus Emre Institute stating:
“Today’s event is important and meaningful in these times. Together in this room we can create a place for the artists of this world, where people can live better and more humanly without wars, without hunger.”
ICDO was privileged to invite on the podium:
The art and the humanitarian communities provide the cornerstone for the construction of the institutional and the sustainable bridges between nations through exhibitions and events such as this one. It is so important for us to strive to make sure and spread the beauty of life around us in the form of art and culture, said Mr. Raymond Nader.
Guests were welcomed into the gallery with artwork created by Yasmin Bahaa, who presented Egyptian street scenes through her art works. Special thanks to His Excellency Ambassador Mohamed Hamdy El-Molla from the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt who was in attendance to support Bahaa and ICDO.
The powerful role of cultural diversity in peacebuilding was on full display in the works of artists Agustin Castilla Avila, Darko Taleski, Ray Vuilsen, Anita Zecic and Milko Dolinsek. Their works were brought together to amplify their message of hope in the face of conflict. Multiple symbols of peace were present including olive trees in the photography of Dolinsek, silence in Castilla Avila’s musical prints, and the simple but powerful statement “Make Art Not War” in Taleski’s digital artwork. The search for resolution is evident in Vuilsen’s digital photography that depicts the conflict in the Afar Triangle while Zecic’s use of bullets from the Bosnian War created a compelling piece of art that showcased the artist’s homeland. The theme of peacebuilding was also seen in the work of Lidia Molinski and Faust Campama Peleja. Both artists utilized a monochromatic palette with pops of red to create visually stimulating pieces.
Sergio Mantilla + Miguel Chaparro, Pedro Ruiz, and William Caceres Garcia were inspired by the diverse and colorful rainforest of South America, more precisely Colombia and Ecuador. Guests were invited to take part in the #ICDOManifiesta campaign that raises awareness of the importance of biodiversity.
The birds of Colombia made another appearance in the works of Mantilla + Chaparro who created an interactive experience for visitors through the augmented reality app Artivive.
Multiple artists utilized technology to enhance their artworks and engage visitors. In Norlie Meimban artworks “Fist to Peace ” and “Bonded in Prayers” documentaries featuring ICDO’s humanitarian projects emphasized his message of peace in light of the global pandemic and social unrest. Nadir Farajullayev created three NFTs specifically for the exhibition that depicted the beauty of sharing cultural traditions.
The colorful artwork of Fernando Llort Choussy, Ines Fuentes, Nastarbek Mamaev, Jana Simkova, and Florentinus Yosfiarso S. Sn. brightened the gallery and showcased cultural influences from around the world. Choussy, a world renowned artist, incorporated the Mayan culture into his works. Simkova’s uses the unique DotArt technique and crosscultural symbols to paint mesmerizing artworks. Mamaev is a storyteller who uses his canvas and paint to create futuristic worlds that draw in the viewer. Fuentes and Yosfiarso use color in non-traditional ways to create thoughtful pieces that bring their cultures to life.
Five artworks created during the “Inter-Art” International ArtCamp, the first and only artistic manifestation in which all the historical ethnicities in Romania are represented were exhibited. The artists Dumitrescu Mirela Stefania, Mleziva losif, Strugaru Rodica, Semenescu-Kureta Oriola, and Eperjesi Noemi represented multiple ethnic communities and their works demonstrated several artistic movements. The Romanian Under Secretary of State Mr. Dincer Geafer was in attneced and shared that, “The “Inter-Art” International ArtCamp in Romania has led to a fruitful and strong partnership based on common ideas regarding the role of culture and art as the most efficient ambassadors of promoting diversity.”
Award winning artworks from the “My Green Planet” art competition presented at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference and “Animals are my friends” art competition supported by United Nations Environment Programme Europe in Kazakhstan are exhibited. The artworks of Safiya Abdulina, Aliya Beisekina, Baiduisen Numukhamed, Akerke Aidarbekova, Madina Bekbanova, and Yana Demchenko feature calls for environmental protection, while artworks by Yeldos Zhangeldy, Zhasurbek Karchiev, Daniil Gerasimov, and Maria Ivanichenko promote the protection of animals. Four additional Kazakhstan artists from the “Helping Hand Foundation Kazakhstan”, Ayaulym Khamitova, Sofia Nesterova, Zhansaya Malikkyzy and Aigerim Khamzina featured beautiful scenes from nature. Ms. Aruzhan Sain, Ombudsman for the Children’s Rights of Kazakhstan was in attendance and informed the artists that, “The President of Kazakhstan, Mr. Kassym-Jomart had, expressed his gratitude to the children and confirmed their voices has been heard.”
Special thanks to our notable guests: Ms. Ghada Fathi Waly-UNODC Executive Director; H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Hamdy El-Molla; Ms. Gloria Maria Polastri Amat – Counselor at the Embassy of Ecuador in Austria; Mr. Dincer Geafer – Under Secretary of State on behalf of the Department for Interethnic Relations Romanian Government; Ms. Leyla Gasimova – Director of Azerbaijani Cultural Center in Vienna; Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niaah – ICDO Advisor and Deputy Dean, and Senior Lecturer at the Caribbean Institute of UWI, Mona; Mr. Raymond Nader from VIC Art Club; artists Norlie Meimban and Yasmin Bahaa.
The “Peace and Cultural Diversity” art exhibition will be on display until Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at the Yunus Emre Enstitüsü located at Währinger Straße 6-8/14-15 from 9:00 to 17:00.