Mukomelov Studio / Alexander Kozynets / Andrey Bondarenko / Decorkuznetsov / Grycja Erde / Igor Pinigin / Kateryna Sokolova / Nataliya Aulova / Oksana Shmygol / Oleksandr Shestakovych / Roman Shpelyk / Roman Zubaryev / Tereza Barabash

“…and I woke in Europe” is the first presentation of Ukrainian design in Europe (and in the world).

Most of the presented works were created in the last 5 years, i.e. more than 10 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and 20 years after Ukraine gained independence. The West took notice of its eastern neighbours only after the world got involved in “the Orange Revolution.” So when the West finally decided to invite Ukraine to Europe, it turned out that it was already there. The Ukrainians woke up one day and understood that they are on the same train and whatever they do, they do it on the European level. Ukrainian design is the same. It is mature and conscious of its tradition and European membership.

New wave, the so called post-transformation generation, took their lesson on European art, which had been shaping the experience of the remaining part of the continent for ages, in less than two decades. Young Ukrainian designers have chosen a course far from the easiest one. In their projects, there is something fresh, new, devoid of ideological limitations. This is a harmonious choir of typically post-modernist Ukrainian defiance, provocation, understatement, carnivalesque and eccentricity. The young play with function, they mix hierarchies and provoke questions. They respect tradition and good craftsmanship, and they believe in professionalism, but, still, they find passion in hard work.

Ukraine. Ideal geography: to be an inseparable part of Europe, set in the global context, and, at the same time, to retain the fantastic uniqueness. The “… and I woke in Europe” project is not only an exhibition of several selected examples of contemporary design. The accompanying catalogue, presenting individual designers and their cities, is a record of places and traces which accumulate emotions of the young and free generation. It is an emotional record of a road which runs across Europe. A road without borders, gates and visas.

The title of the exhibition is a sentence without the beginning. We value only here and now. We leave the past to historians. The first part of the sentence is past, whereas the rest is up to you. We are interested in this moment of awakening. We show art devoid of historical weight and free from martyrology. Instead, we offer the creative potential and maturity of the young generation. The “… and I woke in Europe” project does not define the character of Ukrainian design, but it is an attempt to show work in progress, change. We witness changes on the mental map of Europe. The project is of open character since, in the words of Ukrainian poet Andrij Lubka, change is what can be already experienced, but not yet described.

Curator: Ksenia Kaniewska

Exhibition patrons:


Festival Centre
Targowa 35
+48 42 6842095
opening hours:
20.10 Thu: 18.00-20.30
21-30.10 Fri-Sun: 11.00-20.00