[Art]Hundertwasser exhibition

While I was staying in Seoul in January, I was looking for art exhibitions that are hard to find in the US. The first exhibition I went in this year is this one: Hundertwasser exhibition in Sejong cultural center. Sejong cultural center is in Gwang-hwa-mun area where it was crowded with thousands of people for protesting against the president every Saturdat night. It was one of quite weekdays but you can see some people are protesting hard core by staying in a tent in Gwang-hwa mun until she’s officially kicked out.

Hundertwasser(in German, it means hundred water) is not a complete stranger to me. I’ve seen his architect in Wien.


My first impression on him is that “oh, he’s really similar to Antoni Gaudí”and that was my impression on him until I attended this exhibition. He was a real hippie andpursue environment -friendly life. He had dreamt of “Green City” and inspired Vienna to become more environment-friendly.

Hundertwasser was an Austrian-born New Zealand artist and born in a Jewish family in 1928. He stood out as an opponent of “a straight line” and any standardization, expressing this concept in the field of building design. He was fascinated by spirals and called straight lines “godless and immoral” and “something cowardly drawn with a rule, without thought or feeling”. You will be able to see how much he loved spirals in this blog post afterward.

The exhibition contained a lot of various methods of his works. There were painting,carpet arts and models of his architects.

As you can see in the left below painting, he emphasized” we are guest in the earth” and this message penetrates most or almost all of his works. You can obviously see how he loved to use spirals. The interesting thing is that he didn’t put the title of his works but his aficionado named his works.

After I bought the admission ticket, I was very lucky to listen principal curator’s explanations on this exhibition. She did a great job in explaining his ideals and I was amazed how she was so passionate about this exhibition.


And this is the miniature of Rogner Bad Blumau which is a famous resort in Austria. It is said that Hobbiton was inspired by this design. As it is wellness hotel, Hunderwasser wanted it to be close to the nature. The design of the thermal park, which originally opened in 1997, boasts colorful patchwork façades and green roofs, without a single straight line in sight. arranged like a city with various districts, the indoor ring-shaped spa is the center, with the diverse range of accommodation, swimming, bathing and restaurant areas branching out into the open landscape.

This is the real  Rogner Bad BlumauIt would be really dreamy and relaxed if I stay here and take a break for a week.


Can you imagine it’s actually a waste incineration plant? This is the miniature of waste incineration plant near Vienna.

Copyright: Wien Energie/Hubert Dimko

Hundertwasser also wanted the incineration plant look aesthetically great. It was a great model for urban design so many civil servants from the world came to visit this place.

And this art works are made of carpet works. The curator also mentioned that he used to have two studios: one in Mexico and the other in Vienna. Interestingly, the style created from two studios are different that one done in Mexico is more fierce while the one done in Vienna is more soft. Can you spot which one is made in which studio?

the death of thousand windows


Here is his poet. If you see closely on the right bottom side of the work, you can notice Chinese old characters. As a matter of fact, he was intrigued in Japanese arts so he occasionally visited Japan as well. In this poet, he was very passionate about “green” and he was a passionate environment activist.In 1980, Hundertwasser visited Washington DC to  oppose nuclear proliferation. Hundertwasser planted trees in Judiciary Square and advocated on behalf of a co-op owner who was fined for designing her own window. Mayor Marrion Barry declared November 18 to be Hundertwasser Day.
In latter part of his life, he immigrated to New Zealand where he considered it’s less artificial and more natural and spent his life until his death. He planted lots of trees in New Zealand and his last words was to bury his body after cremation under one of his trees so that he can be back to the nature soil.
“I am looking forward
to become humus myself
buried naked without coffin
under a beech tree planted by myself
on my land in ao tea roa.”
From the exhibition, I definitely got to learn his art and message is more than pure aesthetic. Although this exhibition is already closed, I wish I can see his works again somewhere in the world. As he wished, I hope that many people around the world reckon the importance of nature and accept that we are the guest in earth.

Author: amysfernweh

Hi, this is Amy. I'm a data scientist but I like reading, going to art museums and traveling for my free time. If you want to connect with me, shoot me an email:amygko@gmail.com. Thanks!

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