Interview / BE.DO.HAVE. project


I had the impression about artists that their lives are controlled by some kind of chaos, they all like uncertainty and being boundless. If I think of poets, maybe even suffering. These silly stereotypes are instantly destroyed when I think about Tündi. She is a contemporary fine artist and designer, originally from Felgyő, who graduated from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design and remained faithful to the family values, seeks inspiration for creation by turning inside the personality, believes in self-identity and acts accordingly in her everyday life and work as well. I find it overwhelmingly adorable that she was not broken by Budapest. She is balanced, instinctive and natural. Without any mannerisms.


What is your name?

Tünde Újszászi.

What comes to your mind when you hear the term “GET BY”?

Good things keep happening in life, I just follow them along and let myself take part in them. This is how I get by, day by day. Indeed, I am truly happy and carefree when I feel that my loved ones are also all right.

What is your profession and calling?

Creation defines my days. During the last few years, based on material basic structures I made large-size installations from paper and – lately – from wood. Time also plays an important role in my works, since I often work for half a year, or even a year with an installation. Therefore the creation process is often monotonous and stressful. However this is a secure and necessary framework for me, which enables my fulfilment. On such occasions I am alone, with only me and my thoughts, my thoughts and the work of art. With some music occasionally. Complete immersion has a meditative effect; it is a true flow experience.

Which achievement are you the most proud of?

I am proud of my parents, my brother and the family I grew up in. I had a very harmonic childhood, full of love. I admire my parents; I still learn diligence, persistence and tenacity from them, even today. They have always supported me. They never told me which path to take. They only encouraged me to take part with full energy in what we like and find our calling in, and never to give up. I am very grateful to them!

I am also proud of my husband Ákos, who also turned out to be my artistic partner. We learn a lot from each other and improve together. We generate creative energy when we work together. Also, he was the one who introduced me to Vipassana meditation. By using this technique, I could experience the silence of the mind and by practising it; I enjoy its beneficial effects every day. I recommend it to everyone.

How long have you practised your profession?

Since 2010 when I graduated from the textile designer program of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design.

How did you begin? What launched your career?

Let me tell you in a chronological order. The different forms of expression in art have had an impact on me since I was a child. First I was interested in literature and drama; I wanted to be an actress.  I was also attracted to music, I learnt to play the saxophone and played in a band. My earliest memories concern drawing and painting, whenever I could, I kept drawing and making art, I completely immersed in these. In the end, after I finished elementary school I did not go to the admission examination of the secondary school’s drama specialisation. Instead, I started going to the textile course of the Tömörkény István Secondary Vocational School in Szeged. After finishing secondary school I had the passing idea of trying to attend the textile programme of the (then) University of Applied Arts, where I was admitted on the first try. During all my years at the university I felt a little bit like an outsider, because I solved most of the tasks as fine artist.

What motivates you?

It is the artistic creation process itself that motivates me, and testing whether I can overcome my own limitations in order to realise my goals.

What has been the hardest for you?

The hardest for me is letting go … and accepting. Accepting fundamental rules, such as transience. Meditation also helps with this.

What makes you feel content?

I am content with my life. I can do what I like inside of me and what enables me to authentically express my feelings.

Who do you admire? (if there is someone)

It is wonderful how all aspects of life have inspiration hidden in them, with the opportunity for giving birth to an authentic thought, and therefore it is worth being open to ideas. New inspiration is just around the corner, every day. I also like to notice the works of powerful artists and works that make our world better and more just. Let me list some of the artists that have an impact on me. Photographer Ákos Rajnai, Béla Pintér and his troupe, film and theatrical director Kornél Mundruczó, the Ultima Vez contemporary dance company, sociologist Elemér Hankiss, philosopher Béla Hamvas, sculptor Antony Gormley, composer Béla Bartók, DJ and composer Nicoas Jaar, painter Paul Cézanne, Nóra L. Ritók and the Igazgyöngy (Real Pearl) Foundation, S. N. Goenka, teacher of the Vipassana meditation …. and many more.

What do you do when you lose heart?

Unfortunately, we often lose motivation. I usually lose it because of my lack of self-confidence. That is when my husband helps me and supports me in everything. And there is also an idea I follow since my childhood, which always gives me strength. It is the following: I am just as valuable as anyone else and this gives me huge strength.

As an artist, having learnt how to work properly helps me. I know that when I start something, I will take my best efforts, honourably.

What are your next plans?

Our joint exhibition with Ákos opens in March 2016 in the Mono Gallery. I am currently preparing for this, painting my big black pictures about “nothing”.  : )

What would be your message to anyone who do not know what to do next?

Do not consider searching a failure: if it takes two weeks, two weeks then. If it takes half a year, then half a year it is. Do not be afraid of experimenting! Be patient and trust yourself! If you find something you can sympathise with, start it as soon as possible! Do not postpone things!

You do not have to care about the purpose of things or who will be interested in it, because if you do, it will fail. Just do it, and then see what happens.


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