Our association, whose activities are conducted on a not-for-profit basis, aims at achieving the promotion of Armenian arts of different disciplines and activities (e.g. exhibitions and concerts).
Our special focus will be laid on initiatives of artists who are looking for the roots of their Armenian identity and who transform their explorative search into the driving force of creativity. And so tradition becomes modern again: if tradition is not understood as museum, but helps to develop new and unique forms of expression.
From Disaster to the Arts
"My first stay in Armenia happened in 1991. It was about building a new paediatric hospital in by that time Leninakan, today’s Gyumri. The previous hospital had been completely destroyed by the disastrous earthquake of December 1988. I shall never forget walking through the ruins left of Armenia’s second largest city.
The new paediatric hospital was built from 8.4 million € of donations by Austrian citizens and opened in summer 1992, when we handed it over to the respective Armenian authorities. It was named “The Austrian Paediatric Hospital”. But the catastrophic bottlenecks in everyday supply in the young Armenian Republic jeopardized its operation again and again. But we never stopped to take care and so I went to Armenia several times. Doing so I also mingled with the local in-crowd of artists, a lovely scene looking for new ways, in contrast to the miserable conditions around.
The hotel I chose for my stays was a meeting place for them and I had many lively exchanges there. Today this hotel’s name is rightly “The Berlin Art Hotel”, which displays pieces of art of regional artists in all its rooms.
When we commemorated the 20th anniversary in Vienna of Gyumri’s disastrous earthquake by means of a charity concert with “The Armenian Spitis” group, I met Karen Asatrian. He offered me many insights to the world of Armenian music. Until then I knew melancholic folklore only, underlined with Duduk-tunes. Asatrian knows to open new perspectives to the tradition of Armenian folk music by means of today’s stylistic devices such as classic and jazz.
In the area of fine arts Hrachya Vardanyan deserves attention. Asatrian, who did his studies in Yerevan, lives in Austria (Klagenfurt) for many years already. Vardanyan is from Gyumri, where he completed his studies at the Art College in 2010. I follow his carerr as an artist since he was 18. Three expositions and one stay as an artist in residence in Austria are his milestones.
When Karen Asatrian and his “Armenian Spirits” performed at the Stadtmuseum Wiener Neustadt, Vardanyan’s paintings covered the walls. It was the birth of a new friendship between the musician and the painter.
The two artists have some common plan for the future. We, the members and activists of this association, know Armenia mostly from tours and visits and so we gained some access to the cultural wealth of this country. We are committed to support Armenia’s artists in whatever way.
Asatrian here, Vardanyan there. The arts don’t have borders. That’s a beginning. We are curious about the future."
Hans Döller, chairman