20th Silver Triennial International

Exhibition  /  30 Oct 2022  -  30 Dec 2022
Published: 18.10.2022
20th Silver Triennial International.
Christianne Weber-Stöber
Koichi Io. Object: Three legged Vase, 2022. 970/000 Silver.. Photo by: Yosuke Otomo. Koichi Io
Object: Three legged Vase, 2022
970/000 Silver.
Photo by: Yosuke Otomo
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The Association for Goldsmiths’ Art (Gesellschaft für Goldschmiedekunst e.V.) and the German Goldsmiths’ House Hanau have been holding the Silver Triennial International for the promotion of contemporary artistic silversmithing since 1965. The contest promotes innovative design ideas for silver hollowware, objects in silver, and cutlery. Through the presentations in Germany and abroad, the Silver Triennial has become a globally recognized exhibition series.
From October 30 through December 30, 2022, the German Goldsmiths’ House Hanau is showing works by 67 international and national silversmiths who took part in the contest of the 20th Silver Triennial International.

The 20th announcement of the contest attracted an impressive number of competition bids and an astounding diversity of pieces: 121 silversmiths from 21 countries sent in objects that fulfil a function – like cutlery or coffee pots – as well as freestyle works. While the latter may hold echoes of a function, they no longer fulfil it or have fully detached themselves from any functional reference. It is particularly noteworthy that not only artisanal/artistic aspects are at the forefront, these days. Many of the pieces have a sociocritical and contemporary historical background. Both renowned designers and emerging artists submitted their works for the main contest or the youth promotion contest (year of birth 1987 and younger). All works were required to be made of silver; other materials were allowed merely as complements. Students and apprentices were permitted to submit silver-plated pieces, while unique objects and prototypes for subsequent serial production were likewise eligible.

The jury of experts comprised: Dirk Allgaier, a publisher from Arnoldsche Art Publishers, Stuttgart, Dr. Claudia Banz, curator of Design at the Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, and JaKyung Shin, silversmith and assistant professor at Seoul National University, Korea, who selected the 67 most innovative, masterfully executed submissions for the exhibition and, in the main contest and youth promotion contest, delivered their verdict on the awarding of eight prizes in total, valued at 20,000 Euro, which were donated by numerous supporters. 

Markus Pollinger (DE), with the Ebbe Weiss-Weingart-Prize, won the first prize in the main contest for his Gefäß 2020. The jury justified its decision as follows: The vessel’s outstanding feature is free, ironic handling of the material silver, which is contrasted with steel. A close-up view reveals the artisanal virtuosity, for instance in the way the vessel’s body is elaborated and the deliberate visibility of the soldering seams. The Robbe & Berking Prize was received by David Huycke (BE) for Cosmic Bubbles: The blow-up technique is convincingly employed in this object; the sculptural impression exhibits a clear proximity to Fine Art. The surface of the ‘Cosmic Bubbles’, polished to a gleam, stands in contrast to the matte, black surface of the base; what is more, games are played with the impression of lightness and heaviness. Maja Houtman (NL) was distinguished with the Ebbe Weiss-Weingart-Silver Prize for her objects Sphere I, II und IV. The textile structure exhibits high artisanal competence and its technical advancement. With the use of wire, a flowing movement is produced that lends the objects lightness and transparency at once.

For her Hand-Lighthouse, HyeSun Lee (KR) received the 1st Lions Club Hanau Prize in the youth promotion contest. The jury was convinced by the transformation of an everyday device into sculpture: Silver is combined with ocean-recycled plastic and reveals an exciting discourse on the topic of material resources. The light object can be also understood as a warning light and hence as a sociocritical statement. For his monumental Three-legged-vase, Koichi Io (JP) was awarded the 2nd Lions Club Hanau. This piece impresses through the artisanal competence in chasing with a hammer. The irregularly worked, polished edge lends the vessel a particular emphasis. Merit Christan (DE) receives recognition for her work Born with a silver spoon with the 3rd Lions Club Hanau Prize: The conceptual, sociocritical approach is realized with the designing of the oldest eating implement, a spoon. The play with the non-functional variations of a spoon is intended to illustrate the unequal participation in food intake in our society. JaeHui Jeong (KR) won the Hanauer Schmuckhalbzeug Silver Prize with her Hidden Object. The classic vase plays with round and square shapes. The hide-and-go-seek of the geometric elements results in an unusual, emphatically structural design. The Heimerle + Meule Silver Prize went to Kazuhiro Toyama (JP) for Biophilia. In the object, the classic silver handicraft with the perfect surface is counteracted by experiments with the ‘thermal spraying’ technique. Cracks and splits become visible; the vessel’s stability is lost. This new approach in silver design can be interpreted also as an allusion to the fragility of our society.

In the accompanying bilingual catalogue (DE/EN, special price € 25.00 in Hanau) from Arnoldsche Art Publishers, Stuttgart, illustrations of the prizewinning works as well as of all submissions selected for the exhibition appear alongside accompanying texts.

The exhibition will be on show in Hanau until December 30, 2022; the exhibition then travels to the DIVA, Museum for Diamonds, Jewellery and Silver, Antwerp (January 19 through April 16, 2023), the Silbermuseum Ott-Pausersche Fabrik, Schwäbisch Gmünd (May 7 through August 27, 2023), and the Museum Zons / Dormagen (October 1, 2023 through January 21, 2024).

You will find a selection of press photographs free of charge here.
Markus Pollinger. Vessel: Handle Variant 2, 2020. Silver, forged steel.. 21 cm heigh. Alternative view.. Markus Pollinger
Vessel: Handle Variant 2, 2020
Silver, forged steel.
21 cm heigh

Alternative view.

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Gretal Ferguson. Object: Nailed Down, 2021. 950/000 silver, steel, rubber.. Gretal Ferguson
Object: Nailed Down, 2021
950/000 silver, steel, rubber.
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Paula Repp Álvarez. Bowl: Untitled, 2020. Silver 925, slate.. 5 x 25 x 8 cm. Photo by: Luzia Huber. Raised and assembled.. Paula Repp Álvarez
Bowl: Untitled, 2020
Silver 925, slate.
5 x 25 x 8 cm
Photo by: Luzia Huber
Raised and assembled.
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Maja Houtman. Object: Sphere I, II and IV, 2021. Sterling silver.. Photo by: A10design. Maja Houtman
Object: Sphere I, II and IV, 2021
Sterling silver.
Photo by: A10design
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