set up by MVK International Exhibition Company under the direction of Alexej Shaburov (Moskow)
and the National Union of Calligraphers of Russia

The greatest exhibition worldwide that ever took place was to be seen from september 16th until september 21st 2008 in St. Petersburg (Russia). To participants from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, China, Japan, Taiwan, India, Israel, Jordania, Armenia, Persia, Syria, Tatarstan, South Amerika, Australia, the US of America, Turkey, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, France, and Germany was given a marvellous place to present their work to a large public. During six days the exhibition was visited by around 25 thousand visitors, some of them had a long journey to see that big cultural event. A light- and lasershow and classical music was set up during that phantastically designed exhibition. In one of the two large halls of the "Repin St. Petersburg State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture" from the Renaissance period with paintings and sculptures from this epoch the russian and latin Art of the Letter was presented, in the other hall the hebrew, east asiatic, indian and russian Calligraphy.

siehe Liste der Teilnehmer/list of The participants

The entire first floor of the "Repin St. Petersburg State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture"
was dedicated to the largest show ever in the Art of Calligraphy. Ten Radio and Television teams filmed and photographed
around the clock, made interviews with the organizers and the participants as well as life broadcasts.


Gigantic bunches of roses decorated the entrance of the exhibition, and two electronic pianos played automatically classical music. In the exhibition were not only shown works from over 60 participants, but also a large overview of writing tools, literature about calligraphy, letters applicated on plates or on tiles as well as in metal, and also artist books or historical documents of the Russian or Byzantine culture were presented. Among the texts an original letter by Catherine the Great was found. In addition to the exhibition program an exhibition of student works and a calligraphy competition for children was organized.


Each day the exhibition halls were crowded like on these pictures.


At the solemn opening ceremony a concert of the highest quality was heard, and among other groups
we saw the "Chamber Choir of the Smolny Cathedral" from St. Petersburg who sang russian literature
and at the end the Russian National hymn. Professor Pavel Semchenko from Minsk (Belarus), a famous teacher
and lettering artist in his county and above was presenting his work, for example an about ten meter long
scroll he calligraphed for his 70th birthday he will celebrate this year.


Avraham Hersh-Borshevsky from Jerusalem demonstrated during the opening ceremony
as well as Prof. Petr Chobitko, Prof. Chen Wenfu (China), Prof. Pavel Semchenko (Minsk) and Hans Maierhofer
(Regensburg, Germany). Dr. Nassar Mansour from Amman (Jordania) was holding an excellent lecture about
arabic calligraphy tradition and the preparing of the arabic writing tools.


Chen Fong-Shean from Taiwan was not only demonstrating chinese calligraphy on a very high level
but showed also miniature calligraphy on books and sculptures. He is a miniature painter too
and leads a museum of miniature painting in Taiwan.

Meeting of the different cultures: Izzy Pludwinsky from Jerusalem (among other he works for the St. Johns Bible),
Ganzorig Aleyksander from Ulan Bator (Mongolia) und Katharina Pieper standing in front of the powerful work of Ganzorig.


An excursion programm was organized to show the beautiful city of St. Petersburg -
the participants were shown many cultural highlights of the city.

On the last day of the exhibition all organizers of the exhibition and the calligraphy congress
presented themselves, and specially the leader of the project, Mr. Alexej Shaburov was celebrated.
In the background we see a large wall which was painted and calligraphed during three days
by Andrea and Volker Wunderlich from Bayreuth (Germany). A real focus point for the public!


The works of the exhibtors were presented in this way to the public, and specially young people
and school classes as well as visitors of all kind of people were hightly interested in the works.
Next to the calligraphies there were magnifying glasses to have a precise look at the works -
like here on the right side for the fine Copperplate work of Jean Larcher (Paris).
On the left picture and left on the right one you see the works of Katharina Pieper.


Jean Larcher is explaining his work to young visitors. On the right wall you see a part of the work of Prof. Werner Schneider.

Achyut Palav from Bombay was demonstrating a large scroll in front of the public - an excellent expressive work.
His colleague Manohar Desai was supporting him during his lecture about the variety of the
indian culture of calligraphy. Achyut and Katharina are friends since 22 years.


During the whole congress about 25 calligraphers, teachers and scientists from all over the world
were holding lectures and were doing demonstrations. The participants as well as students
and the interested public could see very different methods of presentation.
On the left side Katharina Pieper is showing how letters can be done with
simple selfmade writing instruments like here a Balsa wood. Together with Jean Larcher
she was doing a performance "by four hands" on a concertina book ("leporello").

On the right side you see a work of Leonid Pronenko (Krasnodar, Russia).


Gunnlaugur SE Briem (Iceland/San Francisco, USA) was demonstrating that letters can reach
an extremely high level by the help of the computer, not only in his work he exhibited but also in a very well done lecture.

On the right side you see a work of Olga Varlamova, student of Prof. Petr Chobitko (St. Petersburg).


Genady Matsur, book designer and calligrapher from Minsk and former student of Prof. Pavel Semchenko,
was exhibiting expressive works in large size

Students of Prof. Evgeny Dobrovinsky who show that calligraphy can also become dresses
when done on a fabric during archaeological studies!

weitere Informationen zur Ausstellung/further information:

article from Katharina Pieper about the International Exhibition of Calligraphy in St. Petersburg
for LETTER ARTS REVIEW, USA, 23:4, p 11-13

read here

article from Katharina Pieper about the International Exhibition of Calligraphy in St. Petersburg
for the catalogue of the IAKH International Exhibition of Hand Press Artists, Leipzig, Germany
published to the Leipzig Book Fair 2009


read here

article from Katharina Pieper about the International Exhibition of Calligraphy in St. Petersburg
for "forum newsletter" of Letter Exchange (english)

click here to read



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