19/1-8/8 2018 In 2018, the American Swedish Institute will present a suite of exhibitions and programs exploring the theme, The Handmade. These projects delve into relevant and timely issues increasingly reflected in the handmade forum - from the old world to the new, and from the traditional to the contemporary, examining intersections among local and global, identity, heritage and sustainability.
The year kicks off with CraftBOWL, an exhibition project that explores vessel design and craft traditions represented through varied mediums of handcraft - from wood, to glass, to ceramics - as practiced in Sweden and around the world.
The exhibition explores the work and careers of three established Swedish masters in their respective fields: Jögge Sundqvist and Bertil Vallien, and Swedish National Treasure Ingegerd Råman. Through the craft movements they have inspired globally, we offer a sense of the Swedish cultural values and milieu that give rise for a respect for, and the intimate understanding of the handmade.
Rites of Passage is a deeply moving installation that explores the motifs, metaphors and archetypes that have dominated the work of Sweden’s leading figure in international glass, Bertil Vallien. Arranged together for the first time as a whole, this installation is at once a personal exploration of what motivates Vallien’s obsessive fascination with boats, bridges, portals, paths and at the same time evokes a universal appreciation for passing through life’s different stages. This body of work explores the meanings behind passing through life’s different stages, celebrating this Swedish master’s drive for innovation that has inspired artisans the world over. For more than five decades, Vallien has delved into both the mystical and narrative and worked as a guest teacher at the Universities of Chicago and Minnesota, the Rhode Island School of Design and the Pilchuck School of Glass, forming an important link between the U.S. and Sweden. Presented in collaboration with The Glass Factory and Kosta Boda.