When you’re given the chance to display your work among some of the industry’s best design associations and artists, you take it. For artists and designers, having your name recognized on a global scale is an incomparable experience. A group of faculty and students in design from Missouri State’s Art + Design Department had the opportunity after receiving an invitation to display work in the 11th Asia Graphic Design Triennale, held in Seoul Arts Center in South Korea.
The Asia Graphic Design Triennale is hosted by the Korea Ensemble of Contemporary Design (KECD). Since 1992, the Triennale has been held every three years as a way for artists and design organizations from around the world to share their work. Missouri State MFA student and artist Nadia Issa had previous contact with Professor Jay Choi, Secretary-General of the KECD, and Dr. Mohamed Zakaria Soltan of “O6U” University in Egypt. Her contact led Missouri State’s invitation to participate in the exhibition. Department of Art + Design students and faculty were featured among 316 works from 23 countries for the Triennale’s 11th installment in November 2021, which focused on the theme of “The Collective.”
Eight artists from Missouri State were featured: two faculty members, Balazs Faa and Maria Gerasimchuk-Djordjevic, MFA students Nadia Issa, Anton Pleshka, and Erin Sedra, and undergraduate students Daniella Gonzalez, Ashlyn Hendrickson, and Curtis Lenssen. “This was my very first global exhibition, and a very big milestone for me as an artist. It was a lot of fun to finally be able to add an ‘International Exhibition’ section on my resume! I’m so grateful to be part of a department that creates opportunities like this for students,” shares MFA student Erin Sedra.
The theme was open to interpretation by the artists, but focused on the impact of the world-wide pandemic, “My poster . . . acknowledged the loss of physical touch and remembering how things used to be before this deadly virus. The theme is extremely important today due to finding new means of collaboration, even in an age where face to face interactions are so limited,” explains Daniella Gonzalez.
Artist-in-Residence Balazs Faa was recognized with the Excellence in Design Award for his entry in the exhibition. For Balazs, this honor had it’s own sense of feeling “collective,”
When I moved to Springfield from Hungary, everything was new and different. The symbol of this was the converter I had to use to connect my European standard notebook charger to the American standard power supply. But soon as I saw my new students, their portfolios, how the classes are organized, I started to feel at home. It was the same. Not because there is only one way to teach graphic design, but because there are some habits kept by all of us. How we see things. What we are proud of, and what we do when we struggle. Graphic design has its own ways. Maybe every profession has. It’s like a tribe. When you get a prize, it confirms that you are one of them. A small token of being home in this world.
To see more from the Triennale, check out the online catalog and virtual exhibition space.
Taylor Ladd is a graduate assistant for the Department of Art + Design. She is working towards her master’s degree in writing at Missouri State University with professional interests in writing about art, culture, and food.