The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship and its partners welcomed journalists, cultural commentators and key figures in the international arts and design world and Traditional Arts Association to Venice to celebrate the opening of Homo Faber Event 2022. The second edition of this groundbreaking showcase of contemporary craftsmanship is now open to the public at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, San Giorgio Maggiore island, Venice, until 1 May.
Diverse stories by human talents
The artisans selected for this edition of Homo Faber Event represent the diversity of crafts, cultures, customs, human talents and life stories around the world and across the generations, from young talents taking over a family business to long-established masters sharing their knowledge with the next generation. Visitors will discover the work of a Franco-Beninese ceramicist striving to connect diverse cultures, a young British leatherworker giving new life to traditional saddlery techniques, and a pair of woodworkers from Afghanistan whose hand carved tabletop games tell stories from their homeland. Together, the more than 400 artisans showcased in the event demonstrate the depth and breadth of craftsmanship in Europe, Japan and beyond, and its continuing relevance to all our lives.
An immersive event, it invites visitors to not only admire the objects on display, but to get up close to craftsmanship and witness artisanal skills in action. Meet master artisans and see how they are passing on their skills to young apprentices; turn a crank to set in motion automata created by design students and master artisans in Switzerland; step inside Japanese artisanal workshops through fascinating photographs; take refreshments in a ‘crafted’ tea room where every table, mug and vase tells a story; and discover the Michelangelo Foundation’s growing community of artisans through an immersive audiovisual installation which transports visitors into workshops in Scotland, Norway, Lithuania, Greece and elsewhere.
Objects to enhance our lives
This second edition of Homo Faber Event urges visitors to reflect on the nature of craft and its place in our everyday lives: from our homes and our wardrobes to the wider worlds of theatre, music, cuisine and flower design. Not only does the event present unique decorative objects which would take pride of place on our mantelpieces, but it also shows how craft is essential to creating exquisite functional objects that enhance our daily lives better than any machine-made piece: tables made with Italian heritage stone, handcrafted porcelain dishes, glass vases made using traditional techniques from Murano, unique leather bags embossed by hand, and fountain pens carefully crafted using age-old French techniques.
In keeping with its mission to show how craft can connect cultures and people around the world, Homo Faber Event explores the entwining cultural relationship between Europe and Japan. It honours the official recognition that Japan gives to its finest masters, the National Living Treasures, who are considered keepers of important intangible cultural properties. A fil rouge running through the whole event demonstrates Japan’s influence on European craftsmanship, from porcelain design to luxury goods, while visitors can get even closer to Japanese culture by participating in workshops demonstrating the art of ikebana and the Japanese tea ceremony.
Building a sustainable future
Guided by a philosophy of sustainability, the event highlights the importance of making craft businesses viable and safeguarding them for the future, showcasing the transfer of knowledge between master and apprentice and placing a strong focus on the next generation. The event’s Young Ambassadors, carefully selected from Europe’s top arts and design schools, are on hand to guide visitors around the exhibition spaces, imparting the knowledge, passion and enthusiasm that make them the faces of craftsmanship’s bright future.
The event’s sustainable approach is also evident in its selection of hospitality partners, which showcase artisanal food and offer visitors an elevated hospitality experience. The gardens and outdoor spaces of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, as well as the yacht club of San Giorgio Maggiore island, become beautiful settings for the event’s carefully curated food and beverage outlets, which present a range of local, sustainable dishes and drinks reflecting the craftsmanship behind Italian gastronomy.
ALMA, the School of Italian Culinary Arts, invites visitors to the ALMA Circle – Experience the taste of art, a unique gastronomic experience connected to art, culture and the great Italian craftsmanship of taste. Created in collaboration with San Giorgio Cafè, this journey through flavours offers a choice of themed tasting sessions and a fine dining menu in the enchanting setting of the Compagnia della Vela. Master artisans in its exclusive lounge tell stories through their iconic artisanal creations.
Presenting a new side of Venice
For the first time, Homo Faber Event goes beyond the walls of Fondazione Giorgio Cini to allow visitors to experience the craftsmanship hidden between Venice’s canals. More than 100 artisanal workshops, businesses and museums across the lagoon city will open their doors as part of Homo Faber in Città. Using the app or website, visitors can create bespoke self-guided craft tours according to their interests. Whether they chose to witness the age-old process of gold leaf beating, step behind the scenes at a costume maker’s workshop or visit the last furnace operating with fire in Venice, visitors will experience the city in a completely new way.
The Homo Faber experience
Seven specially devised experiences are available to book in advance. Ideal for private groups, these special packages encompass craftsmanship, entertainment, gastronomy and memorable moments across Homo Faber Event and Homo Faber in Città, and can be tailored according to visitors’ interests. See the website for details. https://www.homofaber.com