Sofia, the city of Paper!

The International Exhibition dedicated to Paper that each year takes place in Sofia for the whole month of May is the perfect occasion to personally enjoy the thousand nuances that such a simple material can have if seen through the eyes of creativity, imagination and a tad of irreverence - typical in the world of Art, a world that has an innate ability to transform things, giving them a totally unexpected flavor.

Perini Journal

Sofia’s Paper Art Fest is a cultural event held in the splendid cadre of the Bulgarian capital - among the candidates for the European Capital of Culture 2013 - organized by the Amateras Foundation of which Mr. Todor Todorov is president together with his wife Daniela Todorova, two artists in love with paper. They told us the reason behind this event.


IN 2008 DANIELA AND HER HUSBAND DECIDED TO ORGANIZE AN EVENT THAT COULD BRING INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED ARTISTS TO EHHIBIT THEIR WORKS IN BULGARIA. “Why paper? Simple.” First, because it is a type of art very little known in Bulgaria; second, because artists could send their works in from very part of the world more simply and “lightly” with no complications! Third, “We thought about a “trendy” solution, choosing a form of art that was not only “ecological” but that could also take on a strong humanitarian and democratic meaning, capable of transmitting this type of message, too!”

With this spirit in mind, they decided to set up the Amateras Annual Paper Art Exhibition (first edition in 2009) – International Competition for small-size works that displayed works in paper not larger than about 20 cm. The year after, on the wave of the success of the first appointment, they began working on an even bigger event, giving life - through its first edition in 2011 - to the Sofia Paper Art Fest with the increasingly ambitious aim of finding new ideas in the world of Contemporary Art also connected to the health of theplanet and to humanitarian values, illustrating the many opportunities of this “eco-creativity” and identifying new “eco-aesthetics”. And so the annual exhibition of small-size works was organized and every two years it is enriched by the Biennial event dedicated to larger-size works.

The Biennial is doubtless the main event of this initiative because the works on show are often of very high quality. In 2011 the PJL visited the Sofia Paper Art Fest and it was a rich and interesting experience that we’d like to tell our readers about, illustrating the different applications that paper has in the world of art both as an eco-friendly material and as a source of inspiration for all of us!


ON AVERAGE, ABOUT 300 ARTISTS COMING FROM 29 COUNTRIES AND 6 CONTINENTS PARTICIPATE AT THE PAPER ART FEST. An event that has continuous growth, considering that the first edition counted 49 artists from 17 countries. The work performed by the team Todor Todorov - Creative Director - and hiswife Daniela - Curator – is, initially, the quest for and selection of the artists and of the works, and subsequently, together with an organization team from the United States, Finland and of course,Bulgaria, they give rise to an Exhibition having international valence.

Strolling through the “halls” located in the different cities, we can admire different creative techniques, discover new potentials for paper as“artistic” raw material and take part in the different workshops and conferences having a very futuristic nature.


EVERY EDITION OF THE EXHIBITION EVOLVES AND EVELOPS THE CITY THAT THUS BECOMES INCREASINGLY ENGROSSED IN THESE PEACEFUL INVASIONS IN THE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS. And not only. The concept, too, is extended and takes on unexpected forms connected to other cultural ambiences transversal to the world of visual arts. For the creators, one of the foundational features of the event is that it be “multilayer”, i.e., characterized by a thousand nuances where tradition and innovation, the classical and the experimental, the provocatory and the highly professional merge in a winning formula.

An open and multimedia are what make this platform really international, capable of denouncing important themes, always different, without discrimination based on religion, political beliefs, status, race and age. This Event in recognized as unique in its kind and the past editions were considered a fundamental part for the candidacy of Sofia as the European Capital of Culture1. Human rights, ecology, the social and the spiritual: everything hovers around this event that tells about contemporary society and its problems.


IN 2011, THE WORKS WERE EXHIBITED IN MUSEUMS, GALLERIES AND OPEN SPACES; in 2012 the Paper Art Fest - introduced with the title of Paper Inventions - was enriched bythe theaters where it illustrated the creative journeys of many young artists involved in the “art of paper”. The intention remains to involve the city and maintain a high level of interest and curiosity by the public during the month in which the event takes place, re-proposingalso activities that may no longer be fashionable and certainly not defined as “mass” activities (like the theater), but that have instead a very high cultural level and a foundational importance for the survival of the human mind and for the transmission of the values and concepts that represent us.

Another novelty of the previous edition was THE NIGHT OF GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS, an event defined by the organizers themselves as “popular” and intriguing, comprised of performances, concerts and shows never seen before.


THIS YEAR, FROM MAY 2 TO JUNE 2, THE 5TH EDITION OF THE SOFIA PAPER ART FEST, ABD - OF COURSE - THE SECOND BIENNIAL WILL TAKE PLACE. The concept will be Unity & Art: a beautiful concept with a thousand meanings. The Biennial will be the main focus, strongly awaited after the success and spectacular nature of the works exhibited in the first 2011 edition. The exhibition will be organized and divided by nations or geographical locations so as to present the different trends that characterize the different corners of the world.

The main objective of the 2013 Biennial will be to present the enormous diversity of the authors thanks to an imaginary journey through around the world, underscoring the possibility of uniting them through art. Unity and Art. A message of total balance and global vision of human relations where the differences in race, religion, etc. disappear, making all of us better persons. Another novelty of the next edition is the exhibition dedicated to the Art Books that will be set up at Sofia’s Natural History Museum. The purpose of this exhibition is to highlight how this particular branch of the art of paper, too, develops into often unique, spectacular and very fascinating solutions.

So come and visit Sofia and take a full immersion in this “Creative Environment” wher art merges with culture, with the social and humanitarian aspects through an exceptional speaker: paper. •


For further information and the complete program of the next edition, visit: www.amateras.eu

  • Sofia Paper Art Fest 2011
  • Sofia Paper Art Fest 2011
  • Sofia Paper Art Fest 2011
  • Sofia Paper Art Fest 2011
  • Sofia Paper Art Fest 2011
  • Sofia Paper Art Fest 2011
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