János Sugár: excuse me

Blaha Lujza Square

22 September – 23 October 2023

Exhibiting artists:

János Sugár


Decorative and Public Lighting Budapest (BDK) Ltd.

This simplest, most everyday expression of apology is commonplace in Japan, but surveys show that in Germany, for example, it is used only a third as often as in Japan. No such survey has yet been conducted in Hungary, but it is reasonable to assume that apologising is not at all a routine practice in both private and public life, although it is likely that we would have about as much reason to apologise to our fellow human beings here as in Japan.
We would probably feel much more comfortable, both in private and in public life, if this gesture: an acknowledgement of our own mistakes, errors, ignorance, stupidity, selfishness, narrow-mindedness, intolerance; and a more frequent expression of regret at the misunderstanding, confusion, hurt, exposure that this has caused.
Between 2004 and 2008, the sign with Hungarian inscriptions on both sides was implemented twice in Budapest and four times in the countryside (Szombathely, Győr, Eger, Miskolc). From 2009 onwards, a foreign-language apology has been displayed on the other side of the signs, alongside the Hungarian one, and this has caused conflict in almost all cases. This year the Ukrainian-Hungarian apology sign will be placed on Blaha Lujza Square.

Photos: Ákos Keppel

Photos: Attila Szebellédi