The Cardboardia Open Workshop is a space of creative freedom. The participants work like real contemporary artists: playing, improvising, finding solutions to unusual problems, and, as a result, creating incredible art objects, each with its own unique history. Every guest of the Open Workshop gets a chance to try their hand at various types of contemporary art—they can take part in performances, stage immersive theatre shows, or create interactive events.
"For more than a decade now, members of the Cardboardia community have explored the most crucial aspects of society through art. We find ways to connect people and even bridge gaps between different cultures. We create safe and friendly spaces where, regardless of your age, education or skills, you can pursue contemporary art and be the artist, the explorer, and the audience all at once."
philosopher, performance artist, the Tyrant of Cardboardia
The Cardboardia Open Workshop makes art accessible to anyone
includes performances, workshops, fairground attractions and games, team building activities
from large-scale city events to private parties, from open-air to indoor spaces
Suitable for families
children and adults spend time together learning to work with cardboard and becoming better team players
In the Cardboardia Open Workshop, experienced designers and artists will help you embrace creativity. Creating your own cardboard masterpiece is a way to understand contemporary art and just have a good time.
"Cardboard has a warmth, it's pleasant to touch, it's a non-traumatic and stress-relieving material. You can build anything out of it. You can even fence with cardboard sticks and be safe: I've tried it with my kids, and I have four children. A typical picture these days: the children are having fun while their bored parents are just waiting. Creating cardboard art objects is a thrilling adventure for the whole family that frees you from your gadgets."
architect, Director of the Ilya Sibiryakov Gallery of Various Forms of Cardboardia
A cardboard sculpture is a joy in itself but it can also be a springboard to more fun. In an outdoor space a cardboard installation can be an attraction to anyone passing by. The Open Workshop turns into a street festival, especially with the Cardboardia games and performances by the Alchemists
The Cardboardia Open Workshop in South Korea
In early May 2019, the Cardboardia team has staged the most large-scale Open Workshop yet at a street art festival in South Korea. For three days the Cardboardia laboratory was part of the ANSAN STREET ARTS FESTIVAL associated with the Children's Day.
Sergey Korsakov, Ilya Sibiryakov, Katya Kozlova (Russia), Michael Veerman (Netherlands), and Ciara Dunne (Ireland) joined forces with local volunteers and participants to build, erect, and put together all sorts of architectural forms. Children and adults together learned how to work with cardboard, made sculptures of pet animals and were happy to take part in building large art objects.
"It's so great that absolutely different people get together to build such large things. During that three-day festival a guy with Down syndrome came every single day, and he could make things out of cardboard really well. I also saw a lot of elderly Koreans in wheelchairs, and some of them were building things with us. I believe projects like this help create safe environments for everybody."
The participants of the Open Workshop in Ansan made cardboard buildings, cardboard animals, some abstract sculptures and even a cardboard machine gun. The creation of a giant multi-component octopus came as a surprise to the artists themselves, and everybody who saw it was amazed by its size: some of his arms were about 160 feet long.
"It was crazy in the best possible way, a situation where everybody wants to express themselves and are able to do it. So many incredible things were happening all at once: a group of people are building a huge sculpture while Sergey is playing the Alchemical Music Box, children are dancing to the music, a Korean family have made some beautiful cardboard animals—not every professional artist can do such stuff... Our team seemed to imbue the crowd with our energy—and we didn't even speak the same language! We didn't need words to understand each other."
Katya Kozlova speaks only Russian and French, Michael speaks only Dutch and English, and neither of them knows a single word in Korean, but they still managed to build a 20 ft. tall, three-headed horse together. The designers used drawings to communicate with each other. A friendly hug was another form of dialogue.
On the last day of the festival the Cardboardia team showed everybody how you can use garbage to take several hundred people on an adventure. For the interactive performance TrashMan the artists collected all the cardboard that had been used for the festival; their character then walked across the plaza dressed in cardboard, and people could stick new items on his costume. Eventually the man was carrying so much cardboard he could no longer walk. The performance ended with a joyous free-for-all: strangers were having fun together as if they were close friends.
"The Cardboardia Open Workshop is not just about interactive games—it's also a commentary on what's going on in the world: driven by the desire to have things we can lose ourselves. Things are just that—things, and sometimes you only need a piece of cardboard to feel happy. Then, when you don't need it anymore, you can recycle it for someone else to create an installation or make a pizza box."
The Cardboardia Open Workshop in Ansan involved Korean volunteers. They built large cardboard objects during preparation, helped the Cardboardia team communicate with attendees, and were there to give some help throughout the festival. When locals are involved in the project it gives them a unique experience of getting familiar with professional artists, designers, and producers. Above all, it helps make the kind of festival locals want to see.
"After that project I certainly became more creative, and now I can make more beautiful things out of cardboard more quickly. More people wanted to take part in the Cardboardia Open Workshop than the organizers had expected but we got through it. I'm recommending this program to my friends and to the organizers of the Ansan Street Arts Festival. It's not just a beautiful performance that you watch—it's a true immersive experience of art! I hope the Cardboardia team will come back to Ansan next year."
The Cardboardia Open Workshop: create your own program
For every event the Cardboardia team develops a unique and varied program, from a two-hour open workshop to a whole day or even a two-week art laboratory.
4 to 10 people depending on the event's scale and level of complexity
Depending on the event's scale preparation may require from several hours to several days
We are glad to involve future attendees in the event's preparation and organization: it will help them feel they're not just guests but also the hosts of the party
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