The least that can be said about the art of Hans Dieter Zingraff is that it is untraditional. “For many,” Mohsen Shaalan, head of the Plastic Arts sector at the Culture Ministry said, “Zingraff’s works appear strange or vague—and exceptionally beautiful. This is because they break with all tradition.”
Shaalan was speaking at the opening of an exhibition of Zingraff’s works, which was held earlier this month at the German embassy in Cairo. Germany’s ambassador to Cairo Bernd Erbel, who opened the exhibition, said, “I hope the Egyptian public can get to know about Mr Zingraff who is well known in Germany and in many parts of the world for his amazing art”.
Mr Erbel proudly declared that this was the fourth exhibition to be held at the German Embassy since the last year. “The embassy is fast becoming a gathering place for thought, culture and art,” he said, “providing thus a wonderful opportunity for an active cultural dialogue between Egypt and Germany.”
Heritage in modern form
Attending the exhibition were a host of people, including German expatriates in Cairo. The works on display were all inspired by Egyptian civilisation. “Zingraff has been hugely successful at combining heritage and modernity,” Dr Shaalan said.
One of the works which earned particular praise was in the form of a box that contained a photographic formation of the pyramids and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
“My happiness in being back in Egypt and showing my most recent works is indescribable,” Mr Zingraff said. “I always miss Egypt, during each visit I get new impressions which I try to materialise in my art.”