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Culture Express : It's modern, but also German

【明報專訊】Meticulously manufactured products — that might be the first impression most people have in mind when asked about which area Germany excels in (擅長). Of course that overgeneralises the country's achievement. You might have heard of the Bauhaus art school. Established in 1919, it was a world-known art school in Germany.

This is perhaps a stereotypical but useful way to get a basic grasp of the Bauhaus style of architecture — minimalism, functionalism and an alignment with the modernist approach to architecture by using innovative construction methods. Granted, they not only tell us a bit about how the art movement originated by emphasising technology, but also illustrate a paradox.

The Bauhaus architects aimed to create a Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) by blending fine art and crafts together, just like how the German composer Richard Wagner created Der Ring des Nibelungen.

However, as mentioned in a book named The Bauhaus Idea and Bauhaus Politics, the quest for practicality was perhaps at odds (與……相矛盾) with the idea of fine art.

Nevertheless, the movement was concerned with how to integrate the works it had created into society. By exploring how the people interact with the movement, we could perhaps get some inspiration, or at least learn one thing: there is much to explore for the Garden Company building — but don't wait until there remains only the logos and the clock face. There is an ongoing exhibition on the Bauhaus school organised by the Goethe-Institut Hongkong. Google "Picturing Bauhaus" to learn more.

© Dr. Stephan Consemüller; Klassik Stiftung Weimar

■Text: Staff Reporter

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