The UMPRUM Studio of Product Design is part of Krásná Práce (Beautiful Work) in Milan
17. 4. - 23. 4. 2023
Casa Ceca, Via Giovanni Battista Morgagni 20, Milano, Italy
The exhibition Krásná Práce (Beautiful Work) represents Czech work at the Milan Design Week - Fuorisalone. It continues the tradition of the Krásná jizba (Beautiful Room) and cooperative work and revives traditional folk crafts. The unique project involves students from four art universities, including the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM) and the local Studio of Product Design.
The Krásná Práce project builds on the legacy of institutions from Bohemian traditions, which took care of traditional folk art production and connected it with design. It presents Czech craftsmanship and folk art in new contexts, presents an alternative to today's interior design concepts, and responds to the current demand for authentic and sustainable clothing. The crafts will disappear with the old masters if they cannot teach their skills to new successors. That is why this year's Krásná Práce show is in the spirit of passing on old craft knowledge to young people.
60 students of product design from four of the most important art universities in the Czech Republic joined with masters of traditional crafts to create a unique set of applied objects. They blend the sensitive updating of traditional shapes and decors by young designers with the precise handicraft of experienced craftsmen.
Students from the studio of Michal Froňek and Jan Němeček worked with such materials as straw, burlap, wicker, ceramics, leather, metal, and even fish scales. Ivo Jedlička, for example, created a bread-baking set where he tried several crafts - ceramics, brush making, and woodworking. Jan Lechner revived the technique of shepherding, where he realised a table lamp made of wrought brass. Štěpán Smetana used the technique of wirework in a set of decorative DIP baskets. Also notable are the jewellery and fashion accessories made of fish scales created by Sofia Artemeva.
The artefacts that have emerged from the collaboration of craftsmen and young designers can be a model for a new lifestyle of returning to nature, the need to anchor ourselves, and a sense of pride in our traditions. By combining industrial art with traditional handicrafts, students have given contemporary expression to artisanal techniques. Students worked with original natural materials and updated traditional objects, often associated with activities that are no longer practiced, to bring them closer to today's way of life. The resulting collection aims to create simple, modern yet rustic forms that freely expand on the legacy of folk art.
Exhibiting on behalf of UMPRUM: Adam Kvaček, Ivo jedlička, Jan Lechner, Karolína Vintrová, Sofia Artemeva, Natálie Costantinová, Štěpán smetana, Miloslav Chytil, Tereza Bláhová, and Sára Kučerová.
The exhibition project Krásná Práce is part of the New European Bauhaus (NEB) initiative, which prides itself on the revival of artistic craft.
The exhibition was created with the support of the following institutions:
Prague City Hall, Municipal Authority of Prague 1,
The Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design,
Faculty of Art and Design at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Multimedia Communications, Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Gallery 1 of the Czech Centre in Milan, in cooperation with the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Milan, Casa Ceca and the support of the headquarters of the Czech Centres.
The exhibition is part of the project Forum Krásná Práce - a platform for strengthening actors in the field of traditional crafts, their networking, and the development of interdisciplinary cooperation, supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway under the EEA Grants 2014-21, from the Culture Programme.