KAI FACT magazine
Dusseldorf is a city of “KUNST” (art), while Solingen is a city of “KLINGE” (blades). We visited both “K” cities.
FACT  No.13

Dusseldorf is a city of “KUNST” (art), while Solingen is a city of “KLINGE” (blades).
We visited both “K” cities.

As the center of the Ruhr industrial zone, Dusseldorf is home to over 500 Japanese companies. It is also an attractive city deeply rooted in art. In addition, Solingen, located about 30 km east from there, is one of the three major cutlery cities in the world.

Town where many artists and architects are born

The MedienHafen area includes the Rhine River, Rhine Tower, and the Neuer Zollhof building, designed by Frank O. Gehry. This place symbolizes modern Dusseldorf.

Dusseldorf is crazy about art

The “Dusseldorf Art Academy” is open to the general public during the “Rundgang” event, which people look forward to. As you can see, there’s a long line of attendees starting early in the morning. Everyone loves the art of their city.

Duesseldorf’s “KUNST”
The people love it!

There are a lot of artists from Dusseldorf, and many of them were lecturers or graduates of the “Dusseldorf Art Academy”. The academy has become Dusseldorf’s identity, and art (“KUNST” in German) pervades their everyday life. People will queue up from the early morning when they have a week-long graduation exhibition.

“K20” is the name for the 20th Century Museum of Modern Art. Fittingly, “K21” is the name for the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. Such stylish wording! Architects and artists decorate the entrances of each station on the Wehrhahn underground line. The exhibition at the “Dusseldorf Art Academy” attracts visitors from across the state during the weekend. To avoid the crowds, some locals enjoy the art early on weekday mornings. This is the group that will help raise up talented artists in Dusseldorf.Many families gather to look at Bauhaus’ conceptual pieces. It is one of many opportunities to experience art in the city from a young age.

A maze-like hideout for artists

We visited “WELTKUNSTZIMMER”, a concert hall that supports the art of Dusseldorf. It’s a popular place for Dusseldorf Art Academy students. This facility was established in 2012 by the German Hans-Peter Zimmer. He renovated a former bread factory, and it now contains a gallery, concert hall and theater stage. Without a guide, you could get lost in such a large building, The partially renovated style has a decadent atmosphere, which is likely to be the source of art. Wolfgang Schafer is the longtime manager. He is also an artist, director and has long helped jumpstart the art scene in Dusseldorf. “I believe in what I am doing, and I will make it into art.” Such a culture may be passed on to young artists through “WELTKUNST- ZIMMER”. This building also operates as a residence. Photographers Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber have lived here for more than 20 years. “Zimmer was very generous, He only said, ‘Don’t complain about loud noises from others.’ Other than that, it was freedom.”

  • Wolfgang Schafer / Having known Hans- Peter Zimmer since the 1980s, he took over “WELTKUNSTZIMMER” after Zimmer’s death. He also supports art activities rooted in the building’s history.

  • A brick chimney from the former bread factory remains. Many of Hans-Peter Zimmer’s works and material collections can also be found here.

  • Recently, some of the more popular works focus on the social landscape, as well as Japanese communists and anarchists.

  • Katja Stuke (right) Oliver Sieber (left) / Aside from their own photography projects, they also work as curators. Having stayed in Osaka before, they now focus on showing German and Japanese culture through photos.

Let’s relax and wet our whistles with beer

When you want to take a break from art, beer is essential. In Dusseldorf. Brauhaus’ original alto beer is highly recommended. In fact, it’s the only kind of beer they offer. When you do enjoy alto beer, it’s smart to drink it from a small glass. And every time you drink a cup, the staff puts a check mark on the table coaster for the bill. A variety of sausages will go well with drink.

The different types of sausages include those with a rough texture, herb-mixed varieties, and so on. This is more or less the same experience we have with the sausage from Japan. However, Mettwurst is a unique sausage you can try in Dusseldorf. What a surprise – raw sausage is coated on bread! This soul food has a good reputation

  • “Schvarz Coffee Roaster” stands out as a go-to coffee stop, but it’s also cafe during the weekend. Although the shop is located at a former factory site, it has a rough, yet stylish taste.

    Schvarz Kaffee
    Ronsdorfer Str.74 (Alte Farbwerke,Halle31), 40233
    Dusseldorf, Germany

  • There aren’t many in Dusseldorf yet, but you can find specialty coffee shops around.

    Benrather Str.6b, 40213 Dusseldorf, Germany

Bolker street is known as “the longest bar counter in the world.” Even when it’s cold, drinking outside is normal for the people of Dusseldorf.

Music, girlfriend and illustrations

Brians’ girlfriend is jewelry designer Maren Düsel, who is sitting next to him on the couch.

Have you seen the detailed illustrations of the front and back covers of this issue? These drawings of Dusseldorf and Solingen were created by illustrator Brian Storm. He loves music and says, “My theme is connecting sound and drawings.” We asked him why he was working in Dusseldorf instead of a big city like Berlin. “There are a lot of opportunities here for creative people because the scene is very tight-knit. It almost feels like a small, creative family, and it’s easy to get to know people and get involved in new projects.”

Solingen contains a history of blades

Burg Castle was part of the Duchy of Burg territory, which reigned over Dusseldorf in the 12th century.Craftsmen created cutlery at the “Balkhausen Cottage” until the 1950s. The river was used to power the water wheel, which moved the polishing stone.

There are so many different kinds of
blades in the world!

About 30 minutes by car or train from Dusseldorf, you’ll find the city of blades, Solingen. KAI Europe has an office here. It’s fun to discover the cutlery motif everywhere in the city. Even now, there are old workshops you can visit along the Wupper River to admire traditional manufacturing from that time. At the cutlery museum, you can study the ancient history and the blades from around the world that were full of originality.


History of SOLINGEN

Since the beginning of the 14th century, it’s been believed that blacksmiths were making knives by moving the grinding stone, which was powered by hydraulically from the Wupper River flowing into Solingen. When the Industrial Revolution occurred in the middle of the 18th century, the cutting tool industry grew dramatically because of steam engines. And since Solingen was close to the Ruhr industrial zone, it has achieved continuous development since the 19th century, utilizing the Ruhr coalfield and easy access to the Rhine River.


Solingen | Article List

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