Communication is an great opsticle in everyday life of deaf people. But the artistic expression of those people can be important boost to break prejudice and a base for communication with their enviroment. Almost six years ago in Zagreb, on the initiative of few deaf artists, the Croatian Association for Culture of Deaf and Hard of Hearing People "World of Silence" was founded, which goal is to promote the culture of deaf people.
President of the Association, Mrs. Vanda Šagovac has expressed regret that deaf people can not be actively involved in social life because of lack of sign language interpretors. It also bothers her lingering prejudices of society that deaf people unable to work, and the fact is that some of them complete colleges. The main problem is to employ the deaf people, with which Vanda Šagovac is also faced and which, despite deafness, has successfully completed the tourism management on private college VERN in Zagreb. Through association Vanda Šagovac wants for deaf artists to become recognizable by its quality and artistic personality, because deaf artists are worthy of mention in the Croatian national culture. So far, within the association many projects have been accomplished in international cultural cooperation. So for six years, association members have been participating in the international competition for the deaf artists in Italy, where they have won many awards and recognitions.
Organized by the Association, the 2nd International Exhibition of Deaf Artists was held in Split titled "Silence in the embrace of Adriatic wave." The objective of the exhibition was to promote the art of deaf people as well as encouraging the integration of persons with disabilities through the art. Also, the exhibition was to contribute to the strong promotion of Croatian tourism in the world.
Among the notable artists on the 2nd international exhibition in Split is the winner of the third prize, our member of association Mingsheng Pi who lives in Zagreb. He has held six solo and 27 group exhibitions, and has participated in six art workshops. Mingsheng Pi enjoys the landscapes which relax and inspire him. Therefore, in this own way he paints the motifs from nature. One of the versatile deaf artists is Lino Ujčić from Pazin. Besides dealing with painting, he has illustrated several picture books for children and the "10 most beautiful fairy tale" that is intended for deaf children. As a member of an Association for Theater, visual arts and culture of the deaf "Palm" he has performed in numerous theater productions at home and abroad. Love for painting, Koča Popović from Zagreb, has felt in his childhood. Later, as a solo artist, he held numerous exhibitions in Zagreb and abroad. His artistic expression uses a variety of techniques, and particular satisfaction makes his painting of the old tiles as interesting souvenirs. Besides painting he is engaged in sculpture and carving in wood. His artwork is often given in charity. He admits that the received letters of thanks do not mean much, because he wants to show better the deaf culture.
Professor Mirjana Nikolić has worked for years as an art teacher at the Center for Education "Slava Raškaj". Today, as a retiree, her work is ceramics. She has exhibited her works in numerous exhibitions in Croatia and abroad. Her art makes a great pleasure to her and creates a sense of creativity. She believes that deaf artists can become top artists, depending on the quality of their work and persistence. Her deaf students had exhibitions with hearing children and received many awards.
For the first time Jasminka Glibotić has participated in the international exhibition in Cuvio, Italy in 2011, where she won the fourth place. She started painting as a hobby, and was extensively engaged in the retirement.
President of the association "World of Silence" Vanda Šagovac says that it is important for the public to learn about deaf artists in the media. Deaf know enough about the life of hearing peopole, but the hearing people lack information about the deaf. Only the young generation get some knowledge about the deaf population troughout the course in sign language. She wants for hearing not to averse from deaf because the communication paths can be found.