Mednarodni bienale ilustracije Bratislava, 2013

The Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava (BIB) 2013


It was established by children book enthusiasts, artists, art theoretic and people who deals with the literature for the children. Till now it has been the largest non-commercial event of this kind in the world. The organizers of Bratislava Biennial had number of advantages from the very beginning: the aim was not only to create an opportunity to present the best works from the countries having long tradition of book culture in the area of illustrations for children, but at the same time it has been giving the illustrators from different countries an opportunity to present their works also to professionals and publishers. For the Biennial it is however the most important to call the attention, first of all, of a young visitor.

BIB is the most important event organized by BIBIANA, the International House of Art for Children. It is an international competition exhibition of children book illustration originals. The Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava takes place under the auspices of UNESCO and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic and BIBIANA is its main organizer. It is realized every odd year in autumn (September – October) in the capital of Slovakia, in Bratislava. It is the most significant visual art and illustration for children event from the global point of view. The very best from the world of illustrations meets every second year in Bratislava.

The originals of illustrations are evaluated by an International Jury composed of visual arts theorists, illustrators, publishers and librarians. In 2013 was in the International jury 10 experts who deals with the illustrations for children theoretically and practically: Austra Avotina (Latvia), Murti Bunanta (Indonesia), Yusuf Gajah (Malaysia), Agnes Gyr (Rwanda), Yukiko Hiromatsu (Japan), Eun-young Cho (South Korea), Svjetlan Junakovič (Croatia), Arja Kanerva (Finland), Igor Piačka (Slovakia), Mingzou Zhang (China). When selecting the members of the International Jury the BIB Executive Committee take heed to that in the Jury will be represented different countries, continents and cultures. It is because the understanding of the illustration, aesthetic point of view and the way of looking to the illustration for children and young people is different in every culture. This diversity of perception of the illustration makes the work of Jury very difficult, especially when we consider that during the four days Jury evaluates the work from 362 illustrators from 49 courtiers, 2344 illustrations from 446 books.  The Jury awards 11 prestigious awards: BIB Grand Prix, 5 BIB Golden Apples and 5 BIB Plaques. Besides these, the Jury may award a Honorary Mention for an important publishing accomplishment. The artist being awarded the highest award – the Grand Prix BIB – is entitled to have an individual exhibition at the following BIB year and he/she becomes also a member of the International Jury at the following BIB.

When selecting the winner of the Grand Prix award the international jury seeks to give preference to unique and extraordinary artwork, one that in certain way stands out in the competition. Simultaneously, there is a need to bear in mind that individual members of the jury represent an immense variety of visual views and understanding of illustration, of ways of seeing things, aesthetics and preferences for values, making the job of the jurors both challenging and interesting. For that reason we can witness differing positions from the jury and compare the winning artists. Where illustration will be heading in the years to come is up to the artists alone.

At the last BIB 2013, the Grand Prix went to two Swiss illustrators, Evelyne Laube and Nina Wehrle for illustrations to the book The Great Flood. The artists used a simple black and white combination to illustrate the traditional Biblical story. They produced sophisticated, detailed drawings with topically powerful scenes which completely absorb the attention of the viewer.

The Golden Apple awards indicated the popularity of visually more austere art using minimum means of expression. One of the Golden Apples went to Chinese artist Rong Yu. Her illustrations to the book The Bird in the Cloud captured the attention of the jury with the art of combining traditional paper cutouts and line technique to create amusing stories. The Golden Apple was also awarded to Japanese illustrator Nobuhiko Haijima for illustrations to the book Can You Hear That Sound? This book makes use of the minimalist approach with silent words and employs minimum elements to challenge the reader’s imagination. The book is a series of minimalist paintings with motifs of trees, forest animals and plants, making use of precisely realistic silhouette contours and pure lines. One more Golden Apple made its way to Japan. Chiki Kikuchi illustrated the book The White Cat, the Black Cat with the traditional technique of Indian ink on rice paper. The lines inter-play to create a very rich, unique expression and evoke pure emotions. The style of these illustrations is based on dynamic brush strokes and their contrast with softer details. Yet another Golden Apple went to Asia, namely to In-Kyung Noh from South Korea for illustrations to the book Mr. Tutti and a Hundred Water Drops. These illustrations use a simple art expression to perfectly grasp the story. The final Golden Apple was awarded to Mexican artist Irma Bastida Herrera. Her illustrations to the book Reading, Compliments and Praise the Book’s ReadingPleasure are of a small format but they are great in concept. Their attraction dwells in a mix of expressive caricature drawings and brave collages of various materials.

The traditional awards also include the Children’s Jury Award which went to South Korean artist Gi-hun Lee for illustrations to the book The Tin Bear. The illustrations exhibit powerful imagination and a sophisticated visual setup that is clear and understandable.

The 24th Biennial of Illustrations is over and our big jubilee, the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of BIB and the 25th year of the international competition and exhibition of illustrations for children and youth is ahead of us. We shall see where it takes us all next.


GRAND PRIX BIB 2013 / EVELYNE LAUBE, NINA WEHRLE / Biblia, Genesis 6-9: Veliki potop. SJW, Schweizerisches Jugendschrifterwerk, Zürich,Švica, 2011

ZLATO JABOLKO BIB 2013 / Rong Yu / Gu Li: Ptič v oblakih. Jieli Publishing, Peking, Kitajska, 2012

ZLATO JABOLKO BIB 2013 / Nobuhiko Haijima / N. Haijima: Slišiš ta zvok? Fukuinkan Shoten Publishers, Tokio, Japonska, 2012

ZLATO JABOLKO BIB 2013 / Chiki Kikuchi / Ch. Kikuchi: Bela mačka, črna mačka. Gakken Education Publishing, Tokio, Japonska, 2012

ZLATO JABOLKO BIB 2013 / In-kyung Noh / In-kyung Noh: Gospod Tutti in sto vodnih kapljic. Munhakdongne Publishing Corp, Soul, Južna Koreja, 2012

ZLATO JABOLKO BIB 2013 / Irma Bastida Herrera / J. R. Argüelles: Branje, komplimenti in zahvala z veselja do branja. Gobierno del Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Mehika, 2012

PLAKETA BIB / Renate Habinger / H. Gaisbauer: Spi že, mala kamela. Wiener dom Verlag, Avstrija, 2012  / M. Stavarič: Tukaj so tigri.  Residenz Verlag, Avstrija

PLAKETA BIB / Daniela Olejníková / R. Brautigan: V meloninem sladkorju. Artforum, Bratislava, Slovaška, 2011  / J. Bodnárová: Trinajst

PLAKETA BIB / Ángela Cabrera Molina / M. del Mazo: Hamelin. La Fragatina, La Seu d’Urgell, Španija, 2012

PLAKETA BIB / Iraia Okina / Španija / J. Ormazadal: Mese se je zbudil. Ed. Elkar, Bilbao, Španija, 2012

PLAKETA BIB  / Stella Dreis / Bratje Grimm: Pravljice bratov Grimm. Theinemann Verlag, Stuttgard, Nemčija, 2012


ČASTNO PRIZNANJE UREDNIŠTVU / MARIA CHRISTANIA / Maria Christania: Žirafa Jerry in veliki maslen kolač, Indonezija

ČASTNO PRIZNANJE UREDNIŠTVU / QUILOMBO / Kozmogonije. Čilski miti o stvaritvi sveta, Čile

ČASTNO PRIZNANJE UREDNIŠTVU / AMANUENSE / Wen Hsu-Chen: Fantomska zgodba, Guatemala / Guatemala

NAGRADA ŽUPANA GLAVNEGA MESTA BRATISLAVE / PETER UCHNÁR / B. Němcová: Sol nad zlato. BUVIK, Bratislava, Slovaška, 2011

NAGRADA OTROŠKE ŽIRIJE  / Gi-hun Lee / Gi-hun Lee: Plehnati medved. Ligem, Južna Koreja, 2012


Veleposlaništvom Slovaške republike in Veleposlaništvom Švice v Ljubljani


Mednarodni bienale Ilistracije Bratislava, 2013


  • Veleposlaništvo Slovaške republike v Ljubljani
  • Veleposlaništvo Švice v Ljubljani
  • Društvo likovnih umetnikov  Ljubljana


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