K20: The K Stands For Art

Kultur - K20 Picasso

Among the shopping facilities, theaters, the Rhine and other highlights, Dusseldorf also offers a lot of exciting spots for people who are interested in art.  Of course, there are a lot of galleries and let’s not forget about the Art Academy… but this is not what I would like to talk about today.  I am excited to introduce the K20 to you.  The K20 is one of my favorite museums here in Dusseldorf.

So why the name K20?  Once called the Art Collection North Rhine-Westphalia the name was changed in 2002 to better reflect its global collection of 20th Century art.  The K stands for the German word Kunst, which means art.  And of course the 20 is representative of the 20th Century.

Kultur - K20 Picasso

The collection is impressive and includes works from Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock.  And of course Joseph Beuys, who taught at the Art Academy in Dusseldorf between 1961 and 1972 is proudly displayed.

My favorite part of K20?  It is just a 5-minute walk from Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel, making it ideal for guests looking for quick inspiration.  In fact, I’ve been known to stop by on my lunch break to marvel in its greatness!  Be sure to get details on current exhibitions from your Breidenbacher Hof Personal Assistant during your next visit.  I am sure you will love the museum as much as I do!

K20: Das K Steht Für Kunst

Neben einem großen Shoppingangebot, verschiedenen Theatern, der Rheinpromenade und anderen Highlights, hat Düsseldorf auch eine Menge spannende Dinge für Kunstinteressierte zu bieten. Natürlich gibt es viele Galerien, nicht zu vergessen die Kunstakademie… aber heute möchte ich Euch über etwas anderes berichten. Ich freue mich, Euch das K20 vorstellen zu dürfen. Das K20 ist eines meiner Lieblingsmuseen hier in Düsseldorf.

Wofür steht K20 eigentlich? Früher nannte man das Kunstmuseum Kunstsammlung NRW, bis man 2002 den Namen in K20 änderte, um besser das widerzuspiegeln, was sich hinter dem Museum verbirgt: Die Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts. Nun könnt ihr Euch bestimmt schon denken, was es mit dem Namen auf sich hat. Das K steht für Kunst und 20 steht selbstverständlich für die Epoche, nämlich das 20. Jahrhundert.

Kultur - K20 Picasso

Die Sammlung ist sehr beeindruckend und enthält sogar Werke von Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Andy Warhol und Jackson Pollock. Es gibt aber auch Ausstellungsstücke des bekannten deutschen Künstlers Joseph Beuys, der zwischen 1961 und 1972 auch an der Düsseldorfer Kunstakademie unterrichtet hat.

Was das Beste am K20 ist? Der kurze Weg! Das K20 ist nur fünf Minuten vom Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel entfernt und bietet Euch somit die Möglichkeit für eine schnelle Inspiration. Ich bin sogar dafür bekannt, öfter mal in meiner Mittagspause vor dem Museum zu sitzen und das Gebäude zu bestaunen. Lasst Euch am besten immer von unseren Persönlichen Assistenten über die aktuellen Ausstellungen informieren wenn ihr das nächste Mal bei uns seid. Ich bin mir sicher, dass Euch das K20 genau so beeindrucken wird, wie es mich beeindruckt hat!

Emily Of Emerald Hill At The Peranakan Museum

peranakan museum

Earlier this month, the Peranakan Museum was having a very special exhibition on Emily of Emerald Hill, an iconic Singaporean play written in 1982 by local playwright Stella Kon.  Emily of Emerald Hill has been performed numerous times in Singapore as well as other parts of the world such as Malaysia, Hawaii and even Edinburgh!  It is considered one of the regions greatest literary works.

peranakan museum

Paying tribute to the symbolic play, the Emily of Emerald Hill Exhibition at the Peranakan Museum showcased the different interpretations of the play through the costumes, props, scripts, photographs and videos.

Emily of Emerald Hill follows the life of a young Peranakan bride, Emily Gan who marries into a rich matriarchal family on Emerald Hill.  What is interesting about the play is that it is a one-woman play narrated by Emily as she recounts the challenges and experiences from her past.

Emily of Emerald Hill is touted as a symbol of Singaporean Identity and one of Singapore’s most iconic plays because of how closely it follows and preserves the Peranakan culture.  The Peranakans were born from the early Chinese immigrants to the British Malaya, now known as Singapore and Malaysia.  Many of them were traders, the middle people between the British and the Chinese and they grew to be among the wealthiest group in the early 20th century.

The Peranakan culture is interesting because of the integration of both Western and local culture.  As such, while they mostly spoke English, hints of Malay and dialect would be present as part of their speech.  The Peranakan also continued to practice many of the Chinese beliefs, which are depicted throughout the play.  True to the story of Emily, Peranakan Families are very matriarchal, because the women would run the household while the men were off to work to earn money to support the family.  Peranakan women were known to be extremely capable, not just in cooking but also in intricate handicrafts.

The next time you visit Singapore, I would definitely recommend a visit to the Peranakan Museum where you will be able to experience first hand the exotic Peranakan culture.  Please talk to your Capella Singapore Personal Assistant, who will be happy to help with planning your visit!

Here is a video excerpt of the play Emily of Emerald Hill:


Photo via The Peranakan Museum.

Andreas Gursky On Display


Perhaps you have gathered from my previous posts or during your own experiences in Düsseldorf, but this city is rich in culture.  From the theatres to the museums, there is always some form of art to take in.  One of my favorite museums in Düsseldorf is the Museum Kunstpalast.  You might recognize the name from my visit to the El Greco exhibition.  And now we have another showstopper in town: the Düsseldorf-based and internationally renowned photographer, Andreas Gursky!

Andreas Gursky was born in Leipzig in 1955 and studied – among other places – at the Art Academy (Kunstakademie Düsseldorf) in Düsseldorf. From 1985 to 1987 he was also master student of Bernd Becher.  Today, Gursky is considered one of the pioneers of contemporary German photography and his works are in high demand throughout the world.

Whatever your thoughts are on photography, let them go, because Andreas Gursky has turned traditional photography on its head.  Gursky’s works uses various shots, which he magically combines, revises and digitally reworks – with the aim to transform his visual experiences into a greater vision.

I liked his exhibition very much because of the variety of his subjects.  Gursky has shot everything from architecture to interiors to landscapes to crowds and much, much more.  The exhibition, which showcases 60 pieces ranging from the early 1980s through today, does not move chronologically, but but jumps from year-to-year showcasing different moods and themes constantly.

The exhibit was so impressive that I plan to make a second visit!  This way I can take a closer look at some of the pieces.

Museum Kunstpalast will host Andreas Gursky until January 13, 2012.  Hopefully you will have an opportunity to see it for yourself.  The Personal Assistants here at Breidenbacher Hof would be happy to arrange tickets for you!

The Düsseldorf Art Academy

The Düsseldorf Art Academy

As you might have noticed from previous posts, Düsseldorf has a lot to offer when it comes to art and culture.  However, it is not just galleries, museums and theaters that are artistic havens.  One very special venue is the Düsseldorf Art Academy.

Elector Carl Theodor founded the Düsseldorf Art Academy in 1773 with the intention to build a creative space for painters, sculptors and architects.  Over the years, the academy expanded to also include stage design, photography and film.  Among the school’s successful alum are internationally recognized arts August Macke, Paul Klee and Joseph Beuys.  In addition to fostering new artists, the Academy also works to restore and preserve art throughout time.

Since 1972 the public has been invited to visit the illustrious school once a year.  During this time they are welcome to explore the halls and in turn view the work of about 550 students.  The best part?  The students are on hand to discuss the pieces with their guests.  Each year this event attracts both art aficionados looking to discover the next great master, as well as the more novice art lover simply looking to enjoy the sights.

The next event takes place from February 20-24, 2012. You can also visit the Düsseldorf Art Academy website (www.kunstakademie-duesseldorf.de) for additional information.  Of course if you are staying at Breidenbacher Hof your Personal Assistant can help you plan your visit.  Hopefully you will have a chance to partake in this fantastic event during a future trip to Düsseldorf.

Salvador Dali Comes To Capella Singapore

Salvador Dali 1

I remember accompanying a friend to a Salvador Dali exhibition a few years ago. While it was filled with some of his most iconic and interesting work, I could never understand how art lovers were able to stand in front of art pieces for extended periods of time, going over every minute detail of the work.

Until Salvador Dali stepped into my life for the second time.

At the start of August, Capella Singapore welcomed many sculptures from one of the most influential Surrealist masters of all time, Salvador Dalí.  Together with the art consultants at Opera Gallery, we were able to bring this prestigious gathering to life. Nestled alongside the sea, Capella Singapore echoes the Catalan landscapes of Cadaques where Dalí spent his childhood vacations, making it the perfect location for a commemorative event.

The art exhibition which took place in the gift shop at Bob’s Bar featured 27 of Salvador Dali’s sculptures from 28 July to 5 August. The unique location which featured floor-to-ceiling glass windows allowed guests to view the art pieces in their full glory, untained from the artificial lighting sometimes found in galleries and museums.

The beauty of art broadens perspectives, stimulates imagination and adds color to life. The Surrealist Piano was one such sculpture which caught my attention.  During the exhibition, I took the time to admire its beauty and discover its hidden character. Instead of the ordinary wooden legs of a piano, he replaced them with dancing female legs, embellished with what appears to be a can-can skirt. To me, Dalí created an animated instrument which can not only play music, but appreciate it and dance to the very music it is playing.

The works on display were exemplary presentations of the form, beauty and even insanity of the artist. Conceived by Dalí on the basis of his most famous pictures, the bronze sculptures vigorously demonstrate the force of expression behind his iconographic surrealist imagery.

It was Salvador Dali that once famously declared, “The one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous.” This quote is not only apt for Capella Singapore’s celebration of art and culture, but has come to encapsulate everything Dalí has opened my mind to.  In thinking out of the box and pushing the boundaries of creative expression in my work, I too, want to pursue the outrageous.

After all, a life not lived outrageously, is a life not lived at all.  Learning this under the guise of art I am now eagerly anticipating the next art exhibit to come to Capella Singapore.