Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A trip to Hamburg: Day 3, Part 1

On our third day in Hamburg, we planned to see a few museums before our trip back home. The first museum we visited was the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (Museum for Art and Industry), conveniently near the Hauptbahnhof.

I feel that the museum is not necessarily a must-see, but we still enjoyed it. Some of the pieces seemed so mundane and everyday, but perhaps that's just because they were from within our lifetime or just before it. For example, a Nizza bathroom from the 1972 Munich Olympics was on display. Who thought that a plastic potty would be in a museum?

A special exhibit really made our trip, though; it's called Small Worlds and it's a collection of miniatures made by Willard Wigan, a British sculptor who uses materials like carpet fibers and paintbrushes made from his eyelashes (more about him here). His sculptures are completely amazing: they fit within the eye of a needle as he was influenced by the Biblical quote “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven."

During our visit, we entered the exhibit, which is in two small rooms with rows of microscopes to view the sewing needles and the sculptures within their eyes. We were completely blown away by the intricacy of his work; he had created everything from the Last Supper to camels.

I was incited to a fit of giggles when I read about his techniques. The first part is serious: he has to control his breathing and heartbeat to be able to work with such small sculpture; pieces can literally be breathed in if he's not careful. Poor Little Red Riding Hood met that fate as a misplaced breath sucked her in. I couldn't help it; I laughed about that one. After all, how many artists accidentally eat their sculptures?

It was a fantastic exhibit and a high point to our visit at that museum. Our next two stops were lunch and another museum. More to follow...

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