Sample of cultured, microbial cellulose -SCOBY. 

Site specific installation: Hotel Belgrade

Dimension: variable

Year: 2021

Curated by: An Paenhuysen

The beverage Kombucha was consumed mostly during the second half of the 20th century. The drink was homemade and mostly every household had a few bottles of this beverage with the starter culture – SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). The material and the drink is made by fermenting black tea, which contains higher acidic content. The beverage and the cellulose is health beneficial, which I am implementing as a site specific piece into the chosen room 13. at Hotel Belgrade. The effort for building a special architectural piece during the first half of the 20th century strains a lot of effort which inspired me to present a fragile cultured material stretch into the walls of the historical and unfortunately abandoned building. Keeping the old characteristics of the space (including the hygiene – ants, cobwebs) I am implementing a biological matter in open faze, which during the set up will change its visual/physical and biological appearance, such as the building during the time. The metaphorical approach of the work includes the biological, cultural heritage of the whole space.


The project called BIOFABRIKA (BIOFACTORY) includes the expansion of ideas and the application of alternative production in the field of visual art by the young artist Adrienn Újházi. She is the first person in Serbia to present her work on the basis of the cultivation of biological and plant material called SCOBY, an abbreviation for the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.

The project would be implemented through four activities. After the preparatory phase of the project, a phase of workshops and open talks would take place, when the SCOBY would be grown over four months, and through open talks the interested audience could get acquainted with the new bio material and the synergy of bio-design and fine arts, which represents a sustainable way of creative creation in the future.

The next activity would be realized at three locations. On the banks of the Danube, a curator from Turkey would present her eco-work as an action, an intervention in space. A full-day workshop / exhibition / panel discussion would be held at the Svilara cultural station, where the SCOBY material’s cultivation and creation would be presented to the public through the workshop, then previously created prototypes of materials would be shown through the exhibition, and at the end the tertiary application of bio art, as well as the placement of this type of material and creativity on the market in Europe and beyond. All project activities would be documented using video and photo recording, so the last project activity involves showing a documentary of all project processes.

The interdisciplinary program of the BIOFABRIKA project includes the Bogdan Šuput High School of Design in Novi Sad, as well as active local and foreign experts such as artists, curators, agents, designers, architects, ecologists and microbiologists. Environmental problems and the importance of pure Danube biodiversity will be presented by guest lecturers and project participants, from the view of the field of their expertise, through educational content, which builds on the mentioned material SCOBY, promoting its environmental and sustainable benefits. The program of this project is intended for anyone who is interested in discovering the world of materials – BIOFABRIKA, and they can take part in the project.

The project was supported by: The European Capital of Culture – Novi Sad 2022