MOME - Moholy Nagy Művészeti Egyetem



Celebration of Art Deco in Shanghai

hudec csejdy virag

 During one week in November 2015, Shanghai hosted two important events related to the popular Art Deco style. The 13th World Congress of Art Deco focused on the history of Old Shanghai, its architecture and cultural life, including the artists and architects of the era. The Miami-based International Coalition of Art Deco Societies (ICADS) has organized the World Congress since 1991. Participants at this year's Congress in Shanghai came from Australia, USA, Europe and South America. The diverse program featured lectures, walking tours, evening dinners and cocktail parties celebrating the city's fascinating architectural and design heritage. The high-quality programs were run by two organizations: Historic Shanghai and Shanghai Art Deco, both well known for their activities in heritage protection and historical research of Old Shanghai.

The Budapest-based Hudec Cultural Foundation was also involved in the World Congress, representing Hungary and Central Europe. Virág Csejdy (MOME), the foundation's curator, gave a presentation on László Hudec, her great-grand uncle. Her lecture focused on Hudec's life story, his cultural background and his Art Deco projects, based on material gathered over seven years of research in family archives in Budapest and Canada.

László Hudec's reputation in Shanghai represents a bridge between Hungarian and Chinese culture. Hudec designed the Park Hotel, the first skyscraper in Asia; more than 60 buildings designed by him still stand in the city. Hungary, though a small nation, is putting major efforts into cultivating the Hudec legacy in Shanghai. On November 4-5, in connection with the Art Deco World Congress, the Hudec Cultural Foundation and the Consulate General of Hungary in Shanghai organized an open conference entitled 'ART DECO Budapest-Shanghai' . The program welcomed 100 participants to presentations by Chinese and Hungarian experts, who focused on László Hudec's legacy in Shanghai, his Hungarian contemporaries, and Art Deco architecture and interior designs in Hungary. Conference events were held in the beautifully renovated "Green House" villa designed by Hudec in 1937 for a wealthy Chinese family, and now owned by the Shanghai Urban Planning and Design Institution. The entire building was open to participants, who could explore this Hudec masterpiece combining Eastern and Western influences.

photo by Didier Pujol