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ART

H A B E N S C o n t e m p o r a r y

A r t

R e v i e w

CHO, HUI-CHIN MARCUS PARSONS MONA NIKO LOLA DANON DMITRY ARTYUKHIN WON YOUNG CHANG XIN NI MARIA BOLKOWSKA SNEZHANKA ZHELEVA

ART


ART H A B E N S C o n t e m p o r a r y

A r t

R e v i e w

Chen-Jung Kuo

Maria Bolkowska

Helen Acklam Snezhanka Zheleva

Dmitry Artyukhin

Xin Ni

Marcus Parsons

Taiwan

Poland

Bulgaria / United Kingdom

Poland

USA

USA

At some point every artist is being asked to write a statement. It is interesting to read about someone’s story of artistic inspiration. So here I am facing this difficult task to say something about my work. I am born in Bulgaria and have lived most of my life there. I have studied art in college and have always being told that to be an artist is difficult thing. At first I did not understand what that meant, until I had to face the reality of being unwanted artist.

The concept that I am applying in my works is about 2 main ideas:

The work from Chen-Jung is inspired by the conceptualisation of separation, through multiple identities, thoughts, time and space, perception, and the creative process. It records this investigation into issues regarding separation through image, sound, and video.

My my pallette depends from a lot of aspects like. What kind of collection of paintings I am making, what a mood I have, what kind of subject do I paint, even what kind of music do I listen during my work. But usually my pallette is very dynamic and This creation also strong because I questions once more think it is part of the connections my personality. between life, Every painting is humans, and society, very subjective and and aims to inspire personalized that is reflection and why you can see feedback from those part of painter soul who experience it. in his work.

My art practice explores sex, gender and politics through humor.I transform the ready-made objects, and also play with my Every painting is body to make objects, pure emotion performance videos reflected in and social intervention combination of pieces.My work is my different colors. reaction to my surEmotional in this roundings. I encounter My Self in the World; I case doesn’t reflect the process how you encounter the World in My Self.Fashion, dailycreate art work but rather transparency life metaphors, cultural parodies, political of transforming news, consumerism, internal emotions and my childhood expeinto colors on canvas. riences in Japan have influenced me.My work Another central idea provokes self-questionis about an attempt ing as well public-questo trigger positive tioning, for I have determined that sex, thinking and emotions on viewer’s politics, and humor are the common language side. among human beings.

Marcus is the creator of SQUEEZESHOT, a multidisciplinary online project. At its heart is the Squeezeshot Saga, a fiction that may be coming true for us all. The Saga imagines a profound and perhaps likely technological development that could turn everyone’s lives inside out. In developing that premise, the Saga integrates text (prose, some verse) with more than a hundred works of art, photography, video, and audio, all original. Marcus’s principal venues for SQUEEZESHOT include the website, two illustrated ebooks (part of the Saga), and a newsletter, all of them his creations, as well as occasional art and photography exhibitions in galleries and online.


In this issue

Marcus Parsons

Mona Niko

Dmitry Artyukhin Won Young Chang

Xin Ni Cho, Hui-Chin Won Young Chang

Mona Niko

Cho, Hui-China

United Kingdom

USA

United Kingdom

My work is the record of the moment gone. All of my work is a futile trial to hold the faded afterimages.My painting is the process to rebuild the specific scene which left an impression to my memory. The images of the scene are common but, they are one of a kind in my mind; ruins, natural disasters, dark forest, a cat looking at me, etc. In the process of painting I imagine, crushing, blurring and exploding the scene.

Most of her artwork is figurative and about the understanding of humanity and the intricacies of emotion associated with the human experience. Mona Niko has been prolific in creating and showcasing her art. She has organized 6 solo art exhibitions and has participated in 20 Group Exhibitions in the Middle East and in the the U.S. She has hosted exhibits in the Art Museum of Santa Ana, the Art Expo of New York and the Art Fair of Laguna Beach.

Raised in a multicultural environment, my Taiwanese ethnicity and its diverse religions, the deep culture surrounding Japanese anime and manga, and Chinese aesthetics have worked to shape the beguiling space which has been galvanised my growth and inspiration. I postulate that painting and sculpture are the similar references as an ambiguity in their concrete dimensional presence while I also present fluid concepts to spark phycological dialogue.

Lola Danon

Maria Bolkowska Snezhanka Zheleva

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Special thanks to: Charlotte Seeges, Martin Gantman, Krzysztof Kaczmar, Tracey Snelling, Nicolas Vionnet, Genevieve Favre Petroff, Christopher Marsh, Adam Popli, Marilyn Wylder, Marya Vyrra, Gemma Pepper, Maria Osuna, Hannah Hiaseen and Scarlett Bowman, Yelena York Tonoyan, Edgar Askelovic, Kelsey Sheaffer and Robert Gschwantner.


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An interview by and

, curator curator

Hello Marcus and welcome back to ART Habens. We already got the chance to introduce our readers to your artworks in a previous edition, and we are now particularly pleased to discover the development of your artistic production. How have your artistic interests and daily routine changed over these recent years? I still love my work and devote myself to it. As always, it explores our inner and outer worlds, new ones as well as familiar ones. Those worlds are of course vast, various, and everchanging. Exploring them alters how I see, think, and feel, and, in particular, how I create art from them. I discover and develop new artistic interests all the time: subjects, themes, genres, styles, methods, techniques. I also discover and develop new ways of pursuing prior interests. Inevitably, my art continues to evolve.

Marcus Parsons

I find all of that freshness, change, and insight, all the new horizons and provocations, exciting and challenging. As well as I’m able, my art reflects and expresses that. I think the best way, perhaps only way, for anyone to get a good sense of that dynamic and that evolution is to see it for themselves in my art. I invite anyone interested to take a look at the older and newer works (up to the present day) at my website, . Most of my works are presented there chronologically.

brightness reflects such a conflictual relationship between the digital realm and traditional painting process. How do you structure your digital pallette in order to achieve such brilliant results? Moreover, how would you describe your work, and where do you think it fits within the sphere of contemporary art? My process is mostly intuitive. Beginning at the blank page stage, my imagination and my tools intertwine and dance onward. I follow where they lead, a step— sometimes many steps—at a time.

You also asked if my daily routine has changed. It hasn’t changed much. I still make art for 50 to 60 hours a week, including, most days, 2 or 3 hours between midnight and dawn. And I still work with a big iPad, Macbook Pro, external monitor, and certain software (Procreate, Photoshop, Lightroom, and sometimes Illustrator). Those tools have become more capable in recent years, and I have become more experienced using them, so that’s some change.

As I have mentioned, I work entirely in the digital domain. I take advantage of that. Every mark I make—a photograph, patch of texture, color that I introduce, line or brush stroke, text that I incorporate, etc.—is an image that I can work with. I can change any of them in almost infinite ways: move, flip, stretch, compress, reshape, recolor, smudge, blur, or erase them. I can change their opacity, or tweak them at any level down to their single pixels.

Some of your recent works, such as Landscape, feature such a vibrant nuance of tones, whose

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quote, German photographer Thomas Ruff stated that '’…nowadays you don't have to paint to be an artist: you can photograph in a realistic way". Provocatively, he highlighted the short circuit between the act of looking and that of thinking critically about images. How do you consider the role of photography in our contemporary age, constantly saturated by ubiquitous images?

And much more. I feel that I can take an artwork wherever my imagination and instincts lead, and my abilities allow. Your question speaks of “digital pallette.” Good tools are an essential aspect of that. Monitors, for instance, are critically important, so I calibrate mine to be as accurate as possible. And my iPad screen is very accurate, as well, a delight to work with. It's wonderful how screens have continued to improve, including those that viewers use to look at my art. Fortunately for me, since I create my art in the digital domain, mostly for viewing on digital screens, many viewers' screens deliver excellent brightness, color accuracy, contrast, detail, texture, variable sense of scale, etc. I am glad to have such screens serve as the “walls" on which I hang my work.

On 7th Avenue and Girl with a Dream combine

photography and painting. Those are of course two very different kinds of capture. Each has certain strengths, prompting quite different perceptions in viewers, and, for the artist, calling for (and allowing) very different ways of depicting and framing reality. Some subjects that I choose to portray, either in their outward reality or in how they appear to my mind’s eye and imagination, call for one or the other. Often, though, I combine them, as in those two works. In this age of (as you say) ubiquitous images, I think that can allow viewers to experience a work in a way that is fresher, more intriguing, and more meaningful.

As important as the screens that I work on is the software I use for drawing, painting, and postproducing. I try to imbue each artwork with qualities that suit it. Thanks to the software, those qualities can range from striking vibrancy, richness, and boldness, to considerable subtlety, detail, touches of evanescence, and even—when the spirit moves and fortune smiles—some magic. I love sitting at my work, striving for those qualities, and, when all goes well, seeing the work come alive with them.

To your question about the rapidly developing role of photography these days, obviously it is occupying an immense and growing place in the lives of a vast number of people around the world. It’s astonishing. It has become a major means of communicating socially and institutionally, and of self-reflection.

You also asked how I think my work fits within the sphere of contemporary art. From aesthetic, conceptual, and historical standpoints, I don’t really know. I’m too immersed in it to have that kind of distance from it. I just try to make it honest and communicative; in some accord, I hope, with a goal like that of Emily Dickinson in her poetry: “Tell all the

What engages me most about it these days—aside from letting me exchange pix with my loved ones at any time—is creating photographic art. I like the challenge of making photographs that will give viewers pause, and deliver content and a visual experience that is of some value to them.

truth but tell it slant—…/The Truth’s superb surprise…."

On a more mundane level, I should add that there doesn’t seem to be much market in the contemporary art sphere for digital art like mine. But that is changing as more and more peoiple use digital screens for making and viewing art.

You carry your camera in your pocket all the time. How do life's everyday experiences fuel your creative process? As I go about my life, I am almost always watching for images to capture. That sense of quest isn't usually in the front of my mind, but I am always aware of it. Possibilities are everywhere. Having

We have appreciated the way On 7th Avenue and Girl with a Dream unveil the Ariadne's thread that links painting to photography. In a controversial

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The Mountain (Where I Met My Angels)


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my camera with me (attached to my belt these days) allows me to act on them whenever I want to. It’s pretty simple: My mind’s eye notices something and triggers my imagination. If what I

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see catches fire a bit for me, I reach for my camera. Bing bang. Your work combines personal aesthetics with such a unique conceptual approach, often

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blurring the boundaries that are set up between Fine and Applied Art. The visual language that marks out your artworks seems to be used in a strategic way to counterbalance subjectivity, and offers an array of meanings. How important is it

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for you to trigger the viewer's imagination in a way that inspires his or her personal associations? In particular, how openly would you like your works to be understood?

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Spiritually and, as a result, philosophically, I am inclined to encourage people to view my art from deep within their subjectivity, but also, at the same time, to stretch beyond their subjectivity. If that doesn’t happen, however, that’s OK with me.

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I have long been drawn to the idea that we don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are. Naturally, we all experience and understand things in our own ways, more or less different from other people's. I like to prompt meaningful experiences

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in all kinds of viewers, but I appreciate all responses to my art, even the most indifferent or negative, which I find perfectly legitimate and delightfully humbling.

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In our previous interview we focussed on the relationship between Art and Technology. In your current artist's statement you have mentioned references to the concept of Pantheism. How does your spiritual view of reality influence your

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Marcus Parsons

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Storm at Sea creative process?

conscious. I observe those qualities—that aliveness—in all people, objects, and phenomena, internal and external, material and immaterial. At times, I even see them as a single, universal, divine, and angelic light (for want of a better

Not that it is always apparent to me, but I find all things to be fundamentally miraculous, divine, and dynamic in ways that can be called sentient or

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Sitting

word); a light that both permeates and

anything, and in some respects more real than real. It relates some to the idea that I have mentioned, that we see things not as they are but as we are. Things come alive to us when we turn our perceptions and attention to them. In those

constitutes everything that we perceive, believe, know, or imagine. To me, that underlying reality is as real as

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That kind of vision and understanding is a variant of Pantheism, Panpsychism, and much visionary mysticism. I find it described and expressed in writings of Spinoza, Emerson, and many others, and in the work of many creatives. Seeing things that way of course influences how I depict things as an artist, and what I evoke when I portray them. How and to what extent my art delivers a sense of those influences, however, is up to the viewer. As you have remarked once, even though you envision each photograph when you take it with your camera, you are often surprised and excited when you look at it later on your monitors. New York City based artist Lydia Dona once stated that in order to make art today one has to reevaluate the conceptual language behind the mechanism of art-making itself. How does your workflow influence the way you conceive your photos in order to stretch the visual quality of the images that you capture? And how does your daily life direct your artistic research? When I see something I want to photograph, I begin to see its possibilities. Like any artful photographer, I set up my camera (i.e., exposure, shutter speed, focus, ISO, etc.) and frame the shot in a way that I think will begin to fulfill those possibilities. I also anticipate what I might do with the shot later, in post-production. When I see the image in post-production, it inspires me to do as much or little work on it as seems best for it. Sometimes, I accomplish that work in a minute or two. Other times, it takes me hours, even days. As I have mentioned, I am mindful not only of how I see the photograph, but also of how other people may regard it. As far as that goes, I am not seeking people’s approval or praise, or their business. I just want them to have as worthwhile an experience of my art as possible.

Promised Land

To your question about how my daily life directs my artistic research: I live and breathe my regard for the world, as we all do. In doing that, I also live and breathe my artistic practice. In my art, I depict and portray things that I encounter. They tend to

moments, they are at once our reflection, our creation, and our selves as well as their own selves—cause and effect one and the same.

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be things that I find meaningful and thoughtprovoking, and that have the potential to be the same for other people.

very few years, and are growing fast in their reach, power, and influence, much of it via social media. Whether or not that improves upon the past is arguable, but it is certainly spreading and defining more and more art these days. Traditional art will always have a place, I expect, but probably one increasingly associated with the past. As usual in human history, useful and appealing new media and technology are ascendant.

We have particularly appreciated the way Fire Within and Storm at Sea combine reminders of reality with compelling abstract qualities. Austrian historian Ernst Gombrich once remarked the importance of providing a space for the audience to project onto, so that they can actively participate in the creation of the illusion. How do you consider the role of abstraction in order to provide the realistic subjects of your works with such compelling visual qualities?

My part in that ascent is small, certainly in terms of my influence, fame, and presence in the art world. Aspects of my work may break new ground aesthetically and in terms of process, but I don’t know that. And as with most artists, due to the slight extent to which my work gets around for people to see, it is largely like the metaphorical tree that falls in the forest with nobody there to notice.

I believe that what we call reality is a re-presentation to ourselves by way of ourselves, via our perceptions, thoughts, feelings, instincts, needs, desires, etc. As such, reality can be said to be illusion that we observers of it create. As such, it is also abstraction. No matter how pristine, accurate, and truthful we believe a representation to be, it is a likeness that, in our perception, abstracts.

I’m fine with that. My priority as an artist, verging on compulsion, is to create my art. Aside from occasionally producing and sending my newsletter to subscribers, keeping my website updated for visitors, doing an occasional juried show or open studio event, and now and then getting some of my work published (Thank you thank you ART Habens!), that takes all of my time.

I work with that conception of reality. That often leads me to use colors, textures, lines, lighting, subject matter, and other content and qualities that are in various ways other than “realistic.” I like to play with our realities, portraying and embodying them in ways that can be called surrealistic, unrealistic, or post-, meta-, or many-other-prefixesrealistic. That can enlarge the space for audience projection/creation that Gombrich and you speak of.

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts with us again, Marcus. How do you see your evolution as an artist over time? Are there any things that you do fundamentally different from when you started years ago?

Direct relationship with the audience in a physical way is definitely most important, in order to convey the spirit of a work of Art. However, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to the online realm increases, how in your opinion would that change its relationship with a globalised audience? In particular, how do you consider the role of the emerging online technosphere — and such platforms as Instagram — in creating new links between artists and a worldwide audience?

With ongoing experience of life and art, increasing skills, and more powerful tools, my approach has become more assured and, I hope, more expressive and communicative. I hope that you and your readers think so. Thanks again for this opportunity to present my work and how I go about creating it.

Most photographs these days are created using smartphones, and most reproduced images are viewed on our personal screens. As many people have observed, those phenomena have arisen over

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An interview by and

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Marcus Parsons

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Lives and works in Orange County, CA, USA

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Mona Niko

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Xin Ni

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An interview by and

, curator curator

Hello Mona and welcome back to ART Habens we already got the chance to introduce our readers to your artworks in a previous edition and we are now particularly pleased to discover the development of your artistic production. The new body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens and that our reader can view at http://www.monaniko.com has captured our attention for the way you are developing a more and more distinct visual identity. How does your practice has evolved over these two years and in what direction are you currently addressing your artistic research? Practice and working hard helps to create my new work, and I think the more I practice and focus, the more I can discover my new subjects and style of work. The new body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens has at once captured our attention for the way you sapiently mixed references to figurative realm with such unique and captivating surreal and dreamlike atmosphere. More specifically, we have been fascinated with the way Comfort and Dance provide the viewers with such compelling multilayered visual experience: would you tell us how did you conceive these captivanting works of art?

Mona Niko

make my work look complete and when the viewer looks at my work, I want them to start to wonder and find the story and details of the work themselves. Many of your works, as the interesting Classy Girl, Broken Heart and Expectation, seem to come from the need to create very feminine art. As one the most recognized pioneer of feminist art, Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi, your characters not fall prey to

Absolutely, each one of my works has their own theme and story and each of the details and layers helps to complete my story line and

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the emotional prettification of a beloved subject. In this sense, your artistic production is a genuine tribute to the issue of women's identity in our globalised still patriarchal and male oriented societies. How do you consider

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the role of women artists in our age? Do you think that your being a woman provides your artistic research with some special value? work of a female artist in today’s world has become much more difficult and challenging

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because an artist has to be very careful about a message they sending and what she wants to say and where she wants to be. when I have a feminine subject in mind I put myself in that place and space and I believe as a

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woman I feel more of female elegance and beauty than men and I can focus on those feminine values. It's important to remark the allegorical quality of your artworks: more specifically,

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references to the realm of imagination, as in Lucky Bird: how would you consider the role of symbols and metaphors playing within your artistic research?

metaphor to use on my work beforehand! I only know the overall topic first and foremost and based on the feeling and energy that I get from it I decide what to use or to do with it.

I normally don't decide what symbol or

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Mona Niko

Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco once stated, "artists's role differs depending on which part of the world they’re in": as a Persian artist living in California, do you think that your artistic research respond to a particularcultural moment?

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Most of my work is woman-centered and modern, blending in with my own culture and tradition. I'm trying to keep the roots of my country’s tradition and culture alive in my woks.

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We have particularly appreciated the way your works reflect how the art of the past, and its styles and shapes and infiltrate contemporary art. How do you consider the relationship between Tradition and Contemporariness playing within your artistic research? It is not easy to mix the two! The layout of the work takes a lot of my time because I don't want tradition take over from contemporary or vice versa.I want everyone to have their own interpretation of the work and I don't want either ( tradition or contemporary) be a center os attention and theme of my work but be visible at the same time. Over your career you have expanded your practice to textiles, including home and office decor and high fabric clothing. We’d love to ask you about the qualities of the materials that you include — or that you plan to include — in your artworks: contemporary practice has forged a new concept of art making involving such a wide and once unthinkable variety of materials and objects. In particular, photographer and sculptor Zoe Leonard once stated, "the objects that we leave behind hold the marks and the sign of our use: like archeological findings, they reveal so much about us": are you interested in the use found objects, too? I started a new line working with interior designers to design their homes with cushions, arts, and other things. I just started this section and still researching for idea and opportunities. I am a big believer in the message we leave behind for the future and keeping a green globe should be our very focus. With their unique visual identity, your artworks challenges the viewers' perceptual parameters: we daresay that your artistic practice seems to aim to look inside of what appear to be seen,

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rather than its surface, providing the

onto, so that they can actively participate in

spectatorship with freedom to realize their

the creation of the illusion: how important is

own perception. Austrian Art historian Ernst

for you to trigger the viewers' imagination in

Gombrich once remarked the importance of

order to address them to elaborate personal

providing a space for the viewers to project

interpretations? In particular, how open

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Mona Niko

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would you like your works to be understood?

one symbol or subject but there is more to it. I

I love everybody’s perception and understanding of my work. I love to engage the audience and want them to look at my work for minutes and realize that it is not just

want my Audience to ignore the main subject and have a deeper look at all metaphore and symbols

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used at work and have their own unique interpretation.

Exhibitions in the Middle East and in the the

You are an established artist and over the years you have organized 6 solo art exhibitions and has participated in 20 Group

Museum of Santa Ana, the Art Expo of New

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U.S. you have hosted exhibits in the Art York and the Art Fair of Laguna Beach. French artist Edgar Degas, once said that

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online platforms — as Instagram — increases, how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience?

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see": how did the relationship with your audience evolved over the years? By the way, as the move of Art from traditional

By recognizing my work more people know me and react to me, many want to express

gallery spaces, to street and especially to

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their feeling about my work and get to know my work closely, or come and join my art classes. The whole world of social media is much wider and more global than one artist’s gallery and

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influence more and more people and I love to engage with a wider range of audience globally. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts again, Mona. How do you see your evolution as an artist over time? Are there any

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things that you do fundamentally different from when you started years ago?

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design with more seriousness and thinking.

Right now I'm going to continue researching and expanding my work in different lines such as clothing, designs on the cars and interior

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Dmitry Artyukhin

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An interview by and

, curator curator

Hello Dmitry and welcome back to ART Habens we already got the chance to introduce our readers to your artworks in a previous edition and we are now particularly pleased to discover the development of your artistic production. The new body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens and that our reader can view at https://www.dmitryart.com has captured our attention for the way you are developing a more and more distinct visual identity. How does your practice has evolved over these years and in what direction are you currently addressing your artistic research? First of all, thank you so much for selecting my art-works for biennale edition, this is huge privilege to be the part of this 10 years anniversary publication! Over the past several years I have been working on developing approach of expressing emotions thru sensitive transformation of intangible things into tangible objects. This involves a lot of experiments with objects and colors, techniques. Every time when I start new art-work I am looking for something new, unusual and sometimes even provoking to challenge the way of how we express emotions on canvas. I’m not limiting myself with any particular technique, because when your emotions are transforming into colors you should not be limited with any barriers and obstacles to make this flow easy going. The variety of tools should be available to support this flow and do not overcomplicate the process itself.

Dmitry Artyukhin

elements, dynamic lighting and some others. I’m developing other ideas that helps me to organize this process in a way to bring views new experience and emotions. What has at once captured our attention of your new body of works entitled ''Meditation'', is the way you sapiently combined rigorous sense of geometry with such vivacious pallette, to trigger positive emotions in the viewers: how do you structure the combination of nuances in order to reach the viewer's subconscious level?

If you look at evolution of my art-works over the past years you will find very different approaches but the key concept of transferring emotions into colors stays the same. However, you will find such extra components that I have started to use like: 3D objects, figurative

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objects that I am using in my paintings are quite special as they have their own structure and then it puts image into image and when you start looking at painting from 1-2 meters and then you focus is shifting to a small object with own texture you add some motion in the process of viewing this painting. You view is working as a trigger by switching between external and internal elements of work. This technique plus lighting make this type of paintings very dynamic, quite impressive but at the same time not disturbing or destructing you. So, I love this approach very much and right now I’m heavily involving these elements in my new series of artworks.

To answer this question, I need to start with giving some background of why I started to use objects in creating art-works. As I said before, one of the key principles of the process of creation art-works is finding the ideal harmony between internal emotions, feelings and external interpretation of those. This process is organized in a way when you involve all your energy and passion to create something special. And the most interesting part of the process is when I start new art-work I don’t know what the result should look like. This is pure flow, like ocean wave that takes small pieces and suddenly create fanciful object on the surface. That was the way how I included 3D objects into my artworks. So basically, it was not initial intention but rather spontaneous approach that was driven by internal energy. I made a few attempts to get what I was looking for, by playing with colors, techniques of covering 3D objects with combination of small textures. At the end of the day I got painting and installation that really triggered my attention in a way when I really wanted to spend hours looking at art-work. With new ‘experimental’ paintings (i.e. when I apply new techniques or approaches) I use very simple approach by putting it on the wall in my small home art-studio and if it attracts my view again and again I feel that it does bring something very special to viewers.

As you have remarked once, your artworks are pure transformation of internal emotions and feelings into combinations of colors and textures. How does your inner world and your everyday life's experience fuel your creative process? In particular, how do you consider the relationship between experience and imagination playing within your artistic practice? This is very interesting but quite complicated question to be honest. You are right, the way how I make my paintings heavily depends on level of energy, emotions and feelings. As a result, the process of creating art-works is purely driven by that. Sometimes I make 2-3 paintings during the night and several days a week I am full of emotions that drive artistic performance. However, after the peak of performance I am completely exhausted because I simple have no energy to make anything. Again, it’s important to say that I’m very dedicated to the process of creating art-works, to me this is not the way of earning money, but the way of sharing my emotions with people and when I have nothing inside me I am not able to create anything. And I must refill myself with something new, something very sensitive to me that helps to recover after making a series of new painting. This process of refilling may take few days but may take up to several weeks. It’s really

This specific art-work is the part of series ‘Meditation’ with simple but very powerful goal to focus your view on a specific place of the artwork. I really try to help you to immerse yourself into internal world, open your internal gates and concentrate around positive emotions. There are actually a few benefits of using 3D objects. First of all, 3D structure adds deepness and perspective into works, you can add more layers in your paintings by creating special combination of bright and deep segments. Second, it makes art-work kind of alive objects when under different lighting you start seeing and feeling different aspects of that. Finally, 3D

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Theatre of miniatures #2 (2019) 30x30x3 impossible to control it and I can’t even explain how that happens, but at some point, I start feeling again that I get a new source of energy that drives me to create new art-works. To me recovering means staying alone with nature with

sounds with my thoughts but also to make some good things for other people. That’s actually one of the key drivers of reenergizing, i.e. I get positive energy thru helping other people. For example, helping local shelters or donating

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something or simply helping other people in everyday life. It sounds like a mystery, but I literally feel the more positive energy you give to other people the more you get for you and this is perhaps one of key ways that I’m trying to use

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right now to recharge my batteries. And you know, this concept totally resonates with my concept of creating art when you share your positive energy with people around by helping them to recharge their batteries as well.

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viewers' perceptual parameters: we daresay that your recent artistic practice seems to aim to look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface, providing the spectatorship with freedom to realize their own perception.

With their unique visual identity, your artworks feature such a powerful combination between figurative reference with effective expressionistic qualities, to challenge the

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emotional state. I can’t finish art-work until I feel resonance between inner vibes and results on canvas. Sometimes result doesn’t satisfy me and I have to stop and come back to canvas next day. To me this is the most complicated situation as I physically feel that I am not able to transform my emotions into colors, I literally feel that, but I can’t continue because the flow that transforms my feelings into objects is not working in a way as I need. It’s hard to explain but it hurts me, and I have to force myself to postpone painting, take a break and come back to that next day. And another way around when I get what I need and what I feel. This is probably one of the best moments, it’s like a runner that reached finish line, who put all energy and passion in this run and finally comes to the point when result is real. Sometimes the process of creating painting is like flash, it is so bright and powerful that you can express it in few minutes. Sometimes it takes time and as you said this is rather self-discovery, exploring what you really feel, what you want to show, how you want this to be reflected in colors. This is rather meditation with colors in your hands. Every time when I come to my art studio I spend few moments to step back and look at canvas for a couple of moments and looks inside me to understand what type of emotion I am going to put on white canvas. It’s always very sensitive process of learning and discovering yourself, your world, your emotional state. Art in my view is ideal tool to look at yourself thru difference lenses, and that help to find new elements of yourself, your soul and your mind.

Austrian Art historian Ernst Gombrich once remarked the importance of providing a space for the viewers to project onto, so that they can actively participate in the creation of the illusion: how open would you like your works to be understood? Excellent question! The power of abstract in my view is in giving a lot of freedom to your viewers to see different things, giving them some space to find some special things that will resonate only with their world and emotions. Time to time we have guests coming to our house to look at paintings. Every time I give them enough time to stay with art-works alone. I have had a few occasions when people asked me to leave them alone with painting and allow them to spend several minutes by observing art-works. What I like about this experience is every time when it happens they spend quite a lot of time simply absorbing energy and emotions of my art-works. I had unique case when one person stayed half an hour just sitting in front of one of the paintings. When I asked him, what was his feeling he said that he was completely immersed into the painting by feeling complete freedom and calm reflecting some very positive moments of his life. To me this is the honor, the best indication of what I make when people feel this energy, they absorb this energy and it helps them to recover and get a new source of energy. So, when you get my art-work you get not painting, this is a source of energy, generator of vibes, gate to your personal reflection helping you to understand yourself but also clear your mind, remove obstacles and trigger positive emotion on your side.

It's important to remark that you have a scientific background: how do you consider the relationship between Art and Science? Do you think that there are any points of convergence regarding the creative process that may lead mathematicians to elaborate the thesis of their theorems, and the one that pushes artists to create their artworks?

Max Ernst once stated that every creative mind has an inexhaustible store of buried images in his subconscious: how does your artworks resonate your inner emotional state? In particular, do you think that art making could be considered a process of self-discovery, as well? In my case this is exactly the way how I create my paintings. Every art-work accumulates specific

This is actually great question! Over the past

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several months I have been developing the concept

like nerve fibers, brain activity etc. We as human

that I call ‘Color and Figurative Resonance’. While

being have many small oscillators. Each nerve

working on my PhD I was particularly specializing in

fiber, each particular cell of the body, brain etc.

studying Theory of Oscillation of complex objects

can be considered as a small oscillating object.

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These are combined in a complex system that is

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amplifying and damping. In my view our feelings,

oscillations, not those that we can particularly measure, but we can feel and express those thru different colors and objects.

emotions, thoughts are partly variation of such

I found that my ‘ideal state’, i.e. the state when I

constantly changing and interacting, interfering,

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don’t really want to add or change anything on canvas is when I feel full harmony between what I have inside me and what I have expressed outside. This is basically the definition of resonance between your internal process of ‘emotional oscillations’ and external results expressed in ‘Color and Figurative oscillations’ (colors, textures, forms etc.) that basically create this resonance.

particular resonance for different emotional stage. This is extremely interesting field that gives a lot of opportunities for studying it. My scientific background gives me basis for understanding some processes and in a combination with artistic approach I believe to find a new way of expressing emotions. One of the ideas is to accumulate these learnings and share with readers by publishing dedicated book and I am on the way to understand a lot of new things.

Now, further exploration gave me even more food for thoughts, and that’s why you find new combinations of objects, colors in my art-works because right now I’m playing with those elements by exploring myself and my personal feelings and emotions. I noticed that some objects bring

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So, to answer your question, combination of Art and Science create unique combination of theory of objects and emotional components of us as human being. This specific area is motivating me to

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transparency of expressing emotions into colors and textures, removing any obstacles and roadblocks to make the process as much crisp and clear as possible. New York City based artist Lydia Dona once stated that in order to make art today one has to reevaluate the conceptual language behind the mechanism of art making itself: how does your daily routine has changed over these recent years?

continue studying it and finding new ways of transforming emotions and feelings in colors and objects. We daresay that your colorful palette works as a catalyser of the emotional state of the viewer and we really appreciate the way, though abstract, your artworks convey such a subtle narrative quality, that seems to walk the spectatorship to amplify the emotional aspect of their daily life. What does fascinate you of the chance of communicate such state of joyful emotional commitment with your audience?

We live now in a world of changes, very dynamic and sometimes very chaotic by nature. In theory of oscillation there is a term ‘self-organization’, when in randomness system you start seeing repetitive patterns, constant loops, fractals. Basically, whatever chaos you have around you it’s critical to find the way of self-organization, create some level of repetitive patterns that help you to create art. I’m the person who is actually trying to find these fractals in our chaotic life. In my view when we speak about emotions and feelings, we keep the same basic definitions like love, happiness, tenderness etc. These are our basis, repetitive states and you just need to find those in everyday life. It’s not easy although because everyday life brings new challenges, issues, routine but as I said you need to find the pattern, the fractals that attracts your positive state. In my case this is art that helps me to extract positive emotions and share with others. Believe me you will find a lot of small triggers if such positive feelings in colors, textures, objects on canvas. They play a role of small but very powerful sources of positive vibes that will help you to organize your life in a very different way. So to answer your question, my daily routine has become probably more complicated but it just brings more opportunities to create something new.

To me talking to people who attend my section at exhibitions is a key element of understanding how my concept work for them. I am always very excited to get a chance to chat with someone who is standing in front of my art-work or visiting my stand. It’s interesting to observe how people slow down their walk and start focusing on specific art-work by quietly talking about effects that it makes. I’m not bothering them with any questions until they want to talk because this is very sensitive moment and you should give them some time to think, reflect and meditate. What I do like is when they start sharing their opinion and you start realizing what your painting brings to them. During one of the past exhibitions that was organized in the hotel I was walking thru the corridor and met a hotel staff who approached me and said: ‘Your art is unique, I like effect that it makes with me, when I relax and recall the best moments of my life’. This type of emotional connection is probably the best indication of right direction that I’m following. I like when people get energized with my painting, when they get new motivation and impulse to do great things. Giving them a portion of my positive thinking means a lot to me and when I see real result of that I’m probably the happiest person! As you said my goal is not just share what I have but trigger more emotions on viewer’s side, give people a chance to amplify their emotions.

You are a prolific artist: you created more than 300 artworks many of them landed in private collections in Poland, Germany, Russia, Turkey and other countries. Moreover, over the years you artworks have been showcased in several occasion, including your recent participation to

As you have remarked once about the concept ‘Emotional Painting’ you are focusing on the

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London Art Biennale, on the King's Road, in Chelsea: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? By the way, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to online platforms as Instagram increases, how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience? Complexity of online tools and Internet space for artists is in impossibility to show real painting. You can make a professional photo and if we are speaking about interior work, i.e. a work that you just put on the wall the power of online tools is enough. Now, we are talking more about emotional context of paintings where not just technique and colors make a lot of sense but the feeling that’s being incorporated into art-works. At the end of the day the online viewer is not able to FEEL the same when they stand in front of the artworks and can FEEL real vibes, real oscillations of your painting. Recently I was the part of London art exhibition by presenting 18 works and spent 3 days talking a lot with visitors of the exhibition. One thing that I noticed was their dedication to specific painting when they stand in front of it by feeling something unique, not even asking question but just saying that they feel something very special generated by those art-works. So honestly to me this is very important experience that I would like to develop further thru personal solo or group exhibitions that are so critical for my art works. Relationship with my audience is so special as I am giving them the part of my emotion, feeling and that’s why creates so personal and intangible effect for people. Right now, I’m considering a series of such exhibitions where I can give visitors more special time for observing art-works, give them a chance to feel something special, comprehend it, reflect it and enjoy this very personal experience. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts again, Dmitry. How do you see your evolution as an artist over time? Are there any things that you do fundamentally different from

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when you started years ago? My artistic career is just about 6 years and I see huge progress comparing to what I made several years ago. Initial attempt to play with colors resulted in a very comprehensive approach to share positive emotions with people. The idea of ‘Emotional painting’ and ‘Color and Figurative Resonance’ have been crystallizing over time. If 5-6 years ago it was initial attempt to express emotions on canvas now days I know specific direction that I’m following. I’m very thankful to Art Habens Review magazine for recognizing my works a couple of years ago. Actually, your magazine was the first who put specific attention to my art-works! Over the past few years I was involved in several exhibitions, got a few prizes and the most important thing is that I have got real lovers of my art! People who are collecting my works and keep tracking new pieces coming. I have been getting a lot of positive feedback from people motivating me not to stop and keep moving even in a situation when recognitions are not happening every month. I have got quite personal feedback during several exhibitions highlighting very special energy sources incorporated into my paintings and asking to keep exploring new approaches. I think what I’m looking for right now is some level of expansion to World Wide audience. I would like to share my art approach with more people, get a chance to demonstrate some art-works in different countries to broad audience. I’m looking for sponsorship as exhibitions involve money and require funding but even if I don’t get that I am still very happy about result. I feel that what I make brings something very special to people, it helps people to become better, make people happy. This is probably the main goal that I try to achieve thru my creative approach. And finally, I will definitely keep looking for some new approaches and ways of expressing emotions that will hopefully transform and change life of at least some people to more positive state!

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video, 2013

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112 Paintings at Ă“bvia Residency (Portugal) 21x14.8cm (each) Photo by Carlos M Santos 2018 422 0

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Pang 120x120cm watercolor and oil on canvas Special Issue 2017

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An interview by and

, curator curator

Hello Won Young and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would like to invite our readers to visit https://wonyoungchang.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production and we would start this interview with a couple of introductory questions. You have a solid formal training and you graduated from the Royal College of Art, London, with an MA in Painting: how did those formative years influence your evolution and help you to create your unique attitude to experiment? Moreover, how does your cultural substratum due to your Korean roots and your current life in the United States direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?

Won Young Chang

Won Young Chang: Hi, I am Won Young Chang and I am really pleased to be featured in ART Habens.

art in residencies at Italy and Portugal; now live in United States. What I see, eat, feel and experience is inseparable to my work.

I have been traveling around the world since my childhood. Having lived, experienced and worked different places apparently affect my life and art. It changes a lot in my painting to be born and educated in South Korea; gain a Master degree in the UK; make

In fact, the way I live is almost the same everywhere in the world. I exercise, spend most of my day in my

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The Shade, Nothing(Deep Blue) and Home The Shade (left) 32x24cm watercolor on paper 2017 Nothing(Deep Blue) (right) 19.8x14.4cm Oil on wood panel 2017 Home (bottom) 30x30cm oil on canvas board 2018 Photo by Young Ho Jeong


Won Young Chang

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painting to speak and make a nonverbal connection with others for me. The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article has at once captured our attention for the way you sapiently condensed such a coherent combination between intuition and a rigorous aesthetics: when walking our readers through your usual workflow and process, we would like to ask you if you think that there is a central idea that connects all your works.

studio and sleep in the late night. This is what I have established as a manner of my ordinary days. However, although the routine does not change so much, the color, nuance or the frequent objects change upon my geological location. Regarding the time in London where I got my Master of Art degree, it was definitely productive and fruitful period of my life. The Royal College of Art’s program was very free except few conditions for graduation, so I was able to focus on my creative activity. The supportive and brilliant tutors gave me sharp critiques, helpful advice on the form of my paintings and many references including artists, articles and exhibitions, which made me confident towards my direction of making art. Because London is a culturally diverse city where a lot of talented people gather, I am thankful to meet amazing friends there.

Won Young Chang: What makes me start to create something is intuition and what finishes my work is aesthetics. They are inseparable like the two sides of a coin. All of my work begins with my personal memory and imagination. My painting which starts to hold the moment faded finishes when I get not only the impression of the moment, but also nice composition of the colors and textures. I habitually repeat this process.

I do not think my work is based on my Korean root; rather, I consider that my paintings are closer to the international language. In fact, I always have a difficulty to speak to others in every language, even my mother tongue, Korean. Therefore, I hope my

We have really appreciated the vibrancy of thoughtful nuances of your arworks, that show that vivacious tones are not indespensable

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in order to create tension and dynamics. How do you settle your color palette? And how much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include in a specific artwork in order to acheive such brilliant results? Won Young Chang: The first thing that I do when I start to paint is applying colors on the surface without any plan or sketch. Deciding tones, colors and hues are prior to anything. When I look through the whole paintings of mine, there are preferred colors which have sometimes changed throughout the time of my experience. In fact, the choice of colors is instinctive. Although I struggle and think over and over again about the composition, I instantly decide colors. This is because the memories, which is the starting point of my works, are stored merging with my emotion into the form of colored scenes. Another important aspect regarding the way of giving energy to my painting is brushstrokes. Whether small or big piece, I usually paint with only one brush. The brush worn out entirely crosses the surface from top to bottom, bottom to top. This reflects

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Home 30x30cm oil on canvas board Photo by Young Ho Jeong 2018 21 4 08

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a Part of 112 Paintings 21x14.8cm (each) Photo by Carlos M Santos, 2018 Special Issue

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the physicality of my body and psychological makeup of my mind. Your artistic research could be considered the record of the moment gone, and as you have remarked in your artist's statement, all of your work is a futile trial to hold the faded afterimages. How do you consider the role of memory playing within your work as an artist? Moreover, does everyday life's experience fuel your creative process? Won Young Chang: What I see, experience and feel is the fundamental foundation of my work. I can’t create something far from my experience. I am interested in the memory without any meaning, making it into paintings. It starts with the desire to rebuild the specific scenes which negatively, positively, or somehow, unconsciously had a subtle influence on my mind. The images of the scene are common but, they are one of a kind in my mind; ruins, natural disasters, dark forest, a cat looking at me, etc. My art practice is following and reconstructing these scenes to comprehend why the meaningless scenes gave me certain feeling and what the indescribable impact it was.

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Soft, 120x120cm. watercolor and oil on canvas, 2017

Therefore, my work is all about my

identity, your artworks feature such an oniric atmosphere and deeply struck us for the way they incite the viewer to make new personal associations.

memory, experience and life. Marked out with such unique visual

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A Bight Night, 120x120cm, watercolor and oil on canvas, 2017

Austrian Art historian Ernst Gombrich once remarked the importance of providing a space for the viewers to project onto, so that they can actively

participate in the creation of the illusion: how important is for you to trigger the viewers' imagination in order to address them to elaborate

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Installation View Show 2018 Royal College of Art, London, UK Photo by Young Ho Jeong 2018


Memory of Nothing 350x180cm oil and acrylic on unprimed canvas Photo by Young Ho Jeong 2018


Won Young Chang

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The Promenade

Cold Fire

29.6x21cm, watercolor and acrylic on paper, 2019

25x20cm, watercolor on paper, 2019

personal interpretations? In particular, how open would you like your works to be understood?

answers. I love to lead the viewers to the world of imagination through my paintings. I feel that my painting is a small clue to the imaginative world of the viewers’ own, and this whole process is a guessing game between me and the viewers. I am a big fan of detective novels such as Murder on the Orient Express (Agatha Christie).

Won Young Chang: I always welcome personal interpretation, the new active viewpoint or even misunderstanding from the viewers. There have been few clues for the viewers to recognize within my work and the titles are ambiguous as well. My paintings are almost like riddles. I want the viewers to get the own

We really appreciate the way your artistic production invites the viewers to explore the point of convergence

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Burning

The One

21x14.8cm, watercolor and acrylic on paper, 2018

19.5x14.6cm, watercolor and acrylic on paper, 2019

between the figurative and the abstract, to challenge the viewers to explore realms of the imagination, how do you consider the relationship between the real and the imagined playing within your artistic research?

Figurative form of art is not real. It may be able to represent a real object, but is not real at all. The figurative painting has been ruled by the abstract symbols. Also, the abstract painting holds the clue of the real.

Won Young Chang: People love to categorize things. However, I think the notions of abstract and figurative relies on each other and relative to each other.

Two opposite notions affect the other; like imagination gets broader depending on the real world, and the point of view from the real world changes upon the

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Pang 140x100cm Watercolor and oil on canvas 2017


White Cloud 21x14.8cm acrylic and watercolor on paper 2017


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unprimed and unstretched canvas hanging on the tree, double faced painting, painting on the floor, etc. These are the experiments to make the viewers experience the correspondence between the space and my work.

imaginative world. I am interested in this subtle borderline between two opposite, different, relative and connected notions of the figurative and abstract. I experiment this borderline through my paintings. We sometimes tend to ignore the fact that a painting - and a work of art in general - is a three-dimensional, physical, artefact: how do you how do you consider the relation between the abstract nature of the concepts that you explore in your artistic research and the physical aspect of your daily practice as an artist?

You are an established artist: you were one of the finalists of The Ingram Collection’s Young Talent Contemporary Purchase Prize in 2018 and over the years you have internationally shown your artworks in several occasions, including Oxo Tower Wharf, London and Summer Exhibition at Royal Academy, in London: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? Moreover, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to the online realm increases, how will be in your opinion the role of emerging online technosphere — and platforms as Instagram — in creating new links between artists and worldwide audience?

Won Young Chang: I always remind that the artwork is a three dimensional object when I make my work and after the work. Though I am a painter who works on ‘the surface’, I experience the thickness of paints, unevenness of canvas weave, particles of paper and the shadow from the painting on the wall. Paintings exist in the space. So, I try to show my work in this regard. My work expands from painting to making relation between the painting and the space around it. I am interested in how my work makes relation around the space and how can it show the materiality of the object. To do so, I often remove the traditional and illusionary approaches of painting :

Won Young Chang: First of all, I don’t see myself as an established artist. I am one of the emerging artists. I love the act of painting itself. However, I also need the viewers to communicate with. My work is finished with the viewers

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gazing and interpretation. What they understand is what I paint. My moment gone reviving the viewers mind and that is my ultimate goal. Personally, I think online platforms, especially Instagram, are brilliant. How many people go to museums and galleries regularly? Museums and galleries are far away and people have no time (and/or passion and/or money) to go there. Online is convenient. It is convenient to expose art to the unspecified public. Particularly Instagram which is the dominant online visual platform these days is a convenient tool to approach various artists, galleries, exhibitions and events. For the artists, it is super easy to promote their works and shows as well. However, I do not think these kinds of platforms are the final and utmost form of showcasing the art. I may be an oldfashioned artist/viewer, but, at least to me, there should be a physical encounter between artwork and the viewer. Most of the artworks are physical objects and they need the actual spaces to be present. Physical objects occupy the space and the viewers intrude into the space of existing object. This co-existing moment is the moment of communicating among the artist, artwork and viewer.

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Swirl, front / back painting, 200x180cm, acrylic and oil on unprimed canvas, 2017 21 4 18

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Swirl, front / back painting 200x180cm acrylic and oil on unprimed canvas 2017 Special Issue

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Which one would be emotionally touching; the real painting of Mark Rothko or image file of it? There is still an aura of art even after The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Walter Benjamin) at least in painting. We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Won Young. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future? Won Young Chang: I am currently struggling to find out my next project. I have just moved to New York this year and am experiencing a new life in United States. Changes in my life will enormously affect my work in every direction of my work. Definitely America is the largest country I have ever lived. I can’t say that I have started the certain project yet, but there will be a lot of inspiration around here as I found in London’s parks, Italy’s stars, Portugal’s abandoned houses. It is time to make a new work. I hope the readers of Art Habens to follow my new journey.

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video, 2013

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Xin Ni

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An interview by and

, curator curator

Hello Xin and welcome to ART Habens: we would start this interview with a couple of introductory questions. You have a solid formal training and after having earned your Bachelor of Arts in Information Design, from the Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University, you moved from Beijing to the United States to nurture your education with a Master of Fine Arts, that you received from the Mount Royal School of Art, Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore: how did those formative years influence your evolution as an artist and help you to develop your attitude to experiment with different media? Moreover, how does your multicultural substratum due to your childhood experiences in Japan direct the trajectory of your current artistic research? Xin Ni

The most direct result from six years of strict skill training is that I am used to quietly and patiently working alone. I am lucky to have survived creatively since loosing creativity from mechanical training is a problem in Chinese art education. I am always willing to TRY. Numerous ideas in my past 12 years in art school were inspired by new media.

effects that are space consuming and especially bright in color. For example, because the street space in Tokyo is limited, each store has a special way to show itself, which is particularly touching. They are like cherry blossoms. They know they don’t last forever so they must live life to the fullest before they die. On the other side, The traditional beauty of Wabi-

The aesthetic of Japanese culture has a big impact on me. I love the kind of visual

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what did attract you of the issue of Islamophobia?

sabi is humble. It makes me feel that I am dust in the universe. No one cares about me, so I am fearless.

As a foreigner living in the United States of America, I am sensitive to foreign languages existing in a country of immigrants that is benefitting from its cultural inclusiveness.

Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would like to invite our readers to visit https://nixxxin.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production. What has at once captured our attention of your unconventional style it's the way it allows you to condense in a single work of art such a coherent combination between intuition and aesthetics: when walking our readers through your usual workflow and process, we would like to ask you if you think that there is a central idea that connects all your works.

Since ISIS became a considerable force in global politics, as well as in the conflicts between refugees and natives, many are confessing “Islamophobia.” Arabic script on ISIS’s flag, screenshots from Middle Eastern war news; this is leading people to be afraid of Arabic script. I don’t want Arabic to become a synonym for terrorism. Before this project, I sometimes feared when I saw Arabic, but I was alert to my fear.

It is hard to summarize a central idea since I continue to grow. At the present, my works explore the relationship between Me and the World, and between Me and My Self. My work is my reaction to my surroundings. I encounter My Self in the World; I encounter the World in My Self. My work also provokes self-questioning and public-questioning, for I have determined that sex, politics, and humor are the common language among human beings.

One time in MoMA I collected all the guide pamphlets and realized there were no Arabic ones. Why does MoMA provide pamphlets of these particular languages? Arabic is also one of the world's major languages. I decided to make my own. I first found the English digital version from MoMA’s website. It used a font that MoMA made itself, so I found a similar Arabic font. Then I paid an English-Arabic translator to translate. I consulted a graphic designer for the closest paper. In short, I tried to make it exactly the same as the official, except reversed the reading direction to function as Arabic script. I did not add any personal information.

For this special edition of ART Habens we have selected MoMA Arabic Pamphlet, an interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. Would you tell us something about the genesis of MoMA Arabic Pamphlet? In particular, how did you develop this project and

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Xin Ni

The current nine language versions of MoMA pamphlet are displayed as a rainbow. Perhaps because of the convenience of reading, they did not design yellow, so I used yellow to fill the gap of a rainbow. Just as the English ones are purple, yellow and purple are complementary colors, so there’s metaphor. The new Arabic pamphlets of 100 copies were secretly put into MoMA’s circulation on December 9, 2016. After that I was encouraged by Tania Bruguera and wrote MoMA a letter. Two months later, MoMA made an effort to showcase work by artists from countries on Trump’s banned immigration list. MoMA “affirmed the ideals of welcome and freedom are as vital to this museum, as they are to the United States”. However, this act by the institution is a temporary protest. These artworks are the tools for MoMA’s voice. One day, Ibrahim El-Salahi’s mosque will be taken down. It will disappear from audiences’ views again. Is there any long-term plan for MoMA’s stance? I don’t know exactly how many Arabic speakers visit MoMA every day, as I don’t know how MoMA decided to make pamphlets for current nine languages it offers. I put an Arabic pamphlet in, at least to let people know that a different culture is here, peacefully. We appreciate the way you works invite the questions a variety of issues the affect our contemporary age. A work of art can be considered a combination between understanding reality and

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hinting at the unknown: how does everyday life's experience and your surroundings fuel your creative process? And how do you think your works respond to it in finding

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Xin Ni

ART Habens

hidden, crystallised moments in the everyday?

theory, the accident and change of reality

I learn more from feeling than reading. While some artists practices are base on

feel. Art is from life and below life.

fascinate me. I observe. I touch. I smell. I Whatever you do in your professional

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Xin Ni

zone, you always land back on everyday life. I pick sparkles from daily life and extract their metaphor. The most important things always hide in the simplest things.

ever has a lasting footprint in this world before or after I die, that’s my fortune. Marked out with a powerful narrative drive, your work focuses on local material that can be utilized to display a meaningful idea where people can relate to and build stories upon: in this sense, your artistic practice seems to invite the viewers to question the idea of perception look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface, urging the spectatorship to see beyond the surface of the work of art. How important is for you to invite the viewers to elaborate personal meaning? And in particular, how open would you like your artworks to be understood?

Rich of evocative contents, your work is a reaction to your surroundings, inviting the viewers to question the idea of individuality in our ever-changing society. Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco once remarked that "artists's role differs depending on which part of the world they’re in. It depends on the political system they are living under": do you think that you artistic research could be considered political, in a certain sense? And how do you consider the role of artists in our globalized and media driven contemporary age?

I’m 100% happy to see people elaborating with their expirence. I want my artwork to be a mirror. “There are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people's eyes”. A good artwork should have a potential to be discussed on multiple levels and perspectives. Even misunderstanding can be beautiful because I love the poetic potential . Once I finish an artwork it’s like a child I gave birth to. It should have its own freedom.

I love Chinese artist Xu Bing’s saying “Where you live, decides what problem you confront. Art happens where problem exists”. I believe everything could be political, especially in today’s tumultuous confrontation of values and ideologies. Media can be a powerful tool of “artivist”. Your voice is easier to be heard then ever before. Other than that I don’t think artists are more special today. Most artworks are shown in galleries and museums, but the majority of people still don’t go and look at these things. There are still many communities ignored by media. People struggling for a basic living might have never had a chance to learn from art. I am just one of 7.53 billion who decided to make art all her life. If my art

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We have particularly appreciated the way you transform the ready- made objects, recontextualizing them. Photographer and sculptor Zoe Leonard once stated, "the objects that we leave behind hold the marks and the sign of our use: like archeological findings, they reveal so much about us". We’d love to ask you about the qualities of the objects that

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Xin Ni

you include in your artworks: as an artist working with diverse media, how do you select them and what do you address to combine found materials? I pick them from my everyday life. I’m a collector. I treasure every ready-made object like each has its own story. I also indulge in being a part of consumerism. I prefer buying things than making them. I love the fact that before assembling them into an artwork, they have been touched by many hands and traveled many places. Commodity carries social meaning itself. By the way, isn’t a tube of paint a ready-made object? You also create interesting performance videos as well as captivating social intervention pieces. Many contemporary artists use to express the ideas that they explore through representations of the body and by using their own bodies in their works. German visual artist Gerhard Richter once noticed that "it is always only a matter of seeing: the physical act is unavoidable": how do you consider the relationship between the abstract nature of the themes that you investigate and the physical act of creating your artworks? Honestly I don’t quite understand the question. An idea pops into my head, then I do it. It’s simple. Sometimes I think a lot before I do anything, sometimes I think after I do something. Investigation and impulse are of equal importance.

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Over the years your artworks have been showcased in a number of solo and group exhibitions, including your solo A Parable, at School 33 Art Center, in

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Xin Ni

ART Habens

I don’t think about audience when I create. I welcome anyone to review my artworks. It becomes a bridge of communication. As many of my artworks

Baltimore: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? And what do you hope your audience take away from your artworks?

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Xin Ni

are about exploring myself and the relation between me and the world, I hope my audience investigate their inner world deeper and think more about their position in this world. I want my honesty

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to cause others to be honest. I think the final goal of art is teaching everyone to love themselves and love the world. It’s a slow process but it is more powerful than any words.

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Xin Ni

ART Habens

sharing your thoughts, Xin. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future? I have been making a coat series based on the allegations against a former government official Lu Wei on Chinese national news report. He was the head of the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China and the head of Cyberspace Administration of China. The anchorwoman rhythmically and sonorously described his charge by using many accusatory phrases such as, “shameless”, “arbitrary and tyrannical”, “with inflated ambition and evil conduct”. “The servant of the people” suddenly became “the enemy of the people”. I was shocked and angered by the Xi government, sinking to new lows by poisoning the well of national media. It is so ironic that the head of propaganda became the prey of the system he devoted his career to. The series is inspired by “Big-character Poster” during Cultural Revolution and “Tokkō‐fuku”, the uniform of Japanese biker gangs “Bōsōzoku”. These coats are currently exhibited in the show Compact Assembly at Walter Otero Contemporary Art in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for

I will move to New York City soon. I don’t have specific ideas so far because I’m sure its vigor and diversity will inspire me. I want to use the street as my stage. Cheers!

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Our four-legged friends II 17x17 cm 2018.

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Cho, Hui-Chin

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video, 2013

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Cho, Hui-Chin

The Enclosure, Acrylic, oil on canvas,116.8x91.1 cm2018

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, curator curator

Hello and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your works we would like to invite our readers to visit www.chin.art in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production, and we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background: you have a solid formal training and after having earned your BA on Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, you joined the MA in Painting, that you are currently pursuing at the Royal College of Art: how do this experience influence your evolution as an artist? In particular, how does your cultural substratum due to your Taiwanese background direct the trajectory of your current artistic research? The aura of the cultural substratum about my artist career starts in my infancy. I was raised with an ambiguous identity in a multicultural environment in Taiwan, which is surrounded by a fusion of Japanese culture and Chinese aesthetics. I started painting when I was around 4 or 5 years old. When I was 15 or 16, I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder. Although I can deal with the state of panic now; during that period of time, I remember that I couldn’t face a crowd. This was such an obstacle for my adolescent self, although it was not a big deal. It is even said to be ‘normal’ for artists. During that period of time, the only thing which alleviated my outrageously changing mentality was my drawing of my own distorted self-portraits, which made me feel satisfied. At the same time, I realised that I was going to do something related to art in the future because I knew art would be my solace and hope.

Western educated Fine Art aesthetics. In 2018 I finished my undergraduate degree at Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Then after my graduation of BA Fine Art at Slade, I decided to take a gap year, doing the intense residencies, having entirely scheduled exhibitions also challenging my limits in my artworks and recovering my health situation. The intensive schedule during this gap year for me is just starting to warm up as I am going back to London in September 2019 for doing my MA at the Royal College of Art until 2021, then I will be based in London and carry on my artist career.

In 2013, I moved to the UK at the age of 18, merging my Taiwanese-born background and my

The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens and that our

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Cho, Hui-Chin

The personified ancient artefact, 195x40.5 cm2018. readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article has at once captured our attention of your insightful exploration of the relationship between obsessions and humanity is the way you sapiently combined abstract style challenges the viewers' perceptual parameters. In particular, in Our four-legged friends II and The Enclosure, we can appreciate rigorous aesthetics that provides the viewers with a multilayered visual experience. When walking our readers through your usual set up and process, would you tell us something about your usual sources of inspiration?

diagnosed with a breast tumour in mid-2018, and such a feeling could actually be traced back to as early as the age of 15–16, when the thought of committing suicide kept coming to me. As a result, the concrete reason of choosing certain materials is a fascinating musing to me. The possibility of creating an artwork certainly intrigues me. Apart from choosing materials, issues of humanity, figurations, controversies and sensations often inspire me. Precisely speaking, I believe that controversial issues intensely dominate me, and I enjoy arranging the discrepancy between the appearance and the meaning hidden behind, which coincides with one of my ideas—sugar-coated humanity, the darkest side of humanity. Moreover, I attempt to approach an inner equilibrium among my psychological dialogues; however, such equilibrium could never happen to me as I suffer

My usual inspirations come with a curiosity toward death, I have been researching and exploring subjects related to the existence between life and death in my artworks. This is because I have been enlightened that I have been close to death for around 10 years. I was

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Cho, Hui-Chin

from inner catastrophes. These, in a way, could be a source of my inspiration. Besides these, in terms of figurations, diverse multi-cultures, especially my own vague identity, massively fascinate me. This causes an ambiguous definition of ‘the figure’. I realise such ambiguity galvanises my imagination and inspires me to explore my own figurative style and personal motifs as grotesque figures.

ART Habens

Somehow I had been enjoying using lots of pink in 2018. This was because, in my paintings, I was seeking the sense of being loved, intimacy and romance which couldn’t be achieved in the reality. The painting ’The Sugar-coated lust III’ could be an expression to reveal the skin as a sugarcoated pill of certain violence which was wrapped by the name of intimacy. You might think of the colours which are so pinky or lovely in a way when the figures are twisted, and you would feel a bit uncomfortable looking at them whilst people cannot deny their existences with curiosity looking for them.

We have appreciated the vibrancy of thoughtful nuances of your canvas, in particular we like the way The personified ancient artefact shows that vivacious tones are not strictly indispensable to create tension and dynamics. How did you come about settling on your color palette? And how much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include in an artwork and in particular, how do you develop a texture?

It is difficult to tell people a practical reason why I choose certain colours because colour would be associated with unconscious choices. The first brush very often is done by instincts, but right

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Cho, Hui-Chin

A solemn infant, 120.5x115.5 cm2017

now I am struggling not to fill all the blank area with colour in my most recent artworks as an approach to the idea of taking negative spaces as a concrete three-dimensional space.

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We have particularly appreciated the way your artistic research unveils the elusive still ubiquitous inner equilibrium between rational analysis and sentimental interpretations: in this

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Cho, Hui-Chin

ART Habens

Antecedents of being, Oil, acrylic, leather on wooden board, 97.8x97.8 cm diameter, 2017

sense, we daresay that you art practice also responds to German photographer Andreas Gursky when he underlined that Art should not be delivering a report on reality, but should be

looking at what's behind: in particular, you seem to urge your spectatorship to challenge their cultural categories: how important are for you the symbls in your work and how important is

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Cho, Hui-Chin

Fiction-esque, 33x33 cm2018.

for you to trigger the viewers' perceptual

elaborate personal associations? And open

parameters in order to address them to

would you like your works to be understood?

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It blends frames of work and play & Nature there mingles with humanity 21 4 10

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Cho, Hui-Chin

Limbo, Acrylic, oil on canvas,116.8x91.1 cm 2018 Special Issue

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Cho, Hui-Chin

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showing the inevitable relationship between obsessions and humanity with my grotesque iconography of babies.

The symbolisation of ‘Sweet nerves’ is the central concern in my practice; in other words, in my artworks I often express the idea of the darkest side of humanity by creating a human-like figure which could be adorable but grotesque. My aesthetics is that the relationship between the subject matter and negative space which is seen as concrete spaces instead of so-called ‘blank’ areas. And very often I am concerned about the meaning of materials themselves, especially the fetish for tactile materials such as leather, woods, or pure fabrics, symbolising creatures as life which were lived. Possibly I am influenced by my cultural background: I am a buddhist believing reincarnation. Currently I do enjoy the process of exploring such symbols and subject matters and I will keep doing the works related to my ideas mentioned above with the curiosity and the concern about life and death.

Materiality with animal by-products such as leather forming parts of the composition is a pivotal aspect of my work, and I very often tend to use the materials which could be associated with ‘life once lived’ as the responses to my idea of ‘the sugar-coated fact’ composing of the animal skin as the mask; with the sensitive curiosity, I have been researching and exploring the subject matter related to the existence between life and death. Consequently, the idea of ‘humanities’, ‘intimacies’ and ‘desires’ has happened, which is merged with my cultures and educational backgrounds.

Yes, I very often amalgamate multiple references as materiality is a crucial facet to my works. Sometimes choosing certain materials is periodically correlated with personal preferences, but I have been attempting to eliminate such personal instinct, rather than consider certain metaphors hidden in the materials which are chosen.

I would like to postulate that painting and sculpture are the similar references as an ambiguity in their concrete dimensional demeanour, but when it comes to ‘sculptures’, I have a predilection of ‘carving the wood’, or I shall say that I am still obsessed with the wood as my idea mentioned above ‘life’ as the metaphoric materials to me. I am eager to touch such materials like woods, fabrics, papers, PU leathers or real leathers since they were lives! They were animals or plants. But why do humanbeing have the rights to define the presences of other life? Why they have to be defined to be such existences whilst I reckon they were once real creatures? I doubt the balance of humanities and I am concerned to the willings of materials. This is what I have been delving into such particular materials in both 2-dimension and 3dimension presences.

For example, my works are like a chaotic consolidation in which leather or fur (which MUST be the vintage, antique or something expired) are the symbols of both ‘indulgence’ and the ‘existence' between life and death,

Your artworks are marked with such a captivating sense of geometry, to create such a coherent combination between intuition and peculiar aesthetics: do you conceive you works instinctively or do you methodically elaborate

As you have remarked in your artist's statement, material is an important aspect of your work, and animal by-products such as vintage and antique leather symbolise creatures that were sacrificed by humanity and represent an ambiguous existence between life and death. What are the properties that you are searching for in the materials that you include in your artworks?

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to understand my current state of mentalities so that I could think of the intuitive subject matter and equitable arrangements into the artworks in a logical way with my instinct as well as aesthetics. I shall say, the world in my artworks could be the zoomed-in version of my dramatic emotions with rational arrangements.

your pieces? In particular, how importance does spontaneity play in your work? I never ‘design’ the iconography of figures or my painting. I would say they are accomplished by my instincts in a way, in which views cannot say they are ‘ugly’ or ‘cute’ but ‘grotesque’. The process of accomplishing the human figures and bodies could be deeply influenced by both Japanese anime/manga culture and contemporary stokes whilst I don’t want my human figures to be too realistic or like an illustration. In my artworks, the icon could be easily told by a grotesque figure with two red cheeks. Besides these, I have been working on the balance of figures and spatial relationship. For instance, generally speaking, the impact of faces or bodies are stronger than any else images, and I have been trying to avoid this situation happened in my works.

Though marked out with engaging abstract feature, your paintings convey such a powerful narrative drive: we like the way it deconstructs the value of materiality to represent the dichotomies between a material’s initial form and the value/definition given to that material. How do you consider the relationship between abstraction and figurative in your practice? I very often consider my artworks without any particular style even though certain people reckon that my works are abstract, either not being influenced by collage only. There are various great artworks, at some points, it would be very difficult for me to be influenced by only one element. My artworks, which are influenced by multi-elements as an ambiguous form, could be a fusion just like my background.

Generally speaking, from my perspective, they can be separate. I feel like drawing and doing sketches are reasonably depended on the intuition; whilst painting or sculpture or other artificial presences are more closed to logic, which means I will force myself to balance my objective aesthetics and the subjective motifs.

Generally speaking I would say that I am obsessed with the subject matter about the darkest humanities and the fetish including the existence in between life and death, and I have been trying to convey such ideas into the cute motifs with grotesque figures which are ‘sugarcoated’. My idea of every single fact, unacceptable or cruel, being ‘sugar-coated’ is very often arranged in both my paintings, sculptures or the reason of choosing certain materials and references.

For example, sketches or drawings for me are sort of alleviating my outrageously-switched emotions such as drawing distorted portraits which I could feel satisfied. In recent few years when I was around third year at Slade, I found it quite important to establish the working mood every single day in the morning as a schedule whilst drawing or doing sketches could be a productive way to me. I realise that if I aim serious about being a professional artist, I must create new works, with or without inspiration. In the past I overly relied on the instincts due to effects of psychiatric medicines whilst I might be waiting for inspiration coming to me. Now I have forced myself to follow the scheduleI, but I tend

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Rich of symbolically charged elements, your paintings addresses the dilemma of using vintage, antique, luxury or animal by-product materials: how do you consider the role of metaphors and evokative shapes playing within

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Cho, Hui-Chin

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Ignorance and Suspicion Whisper 21 4 14

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Sailing the High Seas Special Issue

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Paris. We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic research, and especially the way your artworks break the emotional barrier with your spectatorship: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? And what do you hope your audience take away from your artworks?

your work, in order to explore the relationship of certain materials to life and death? I am very often inspired by the iconography and I have the predilection for baby figures such as the Putto in Italy. Since I am a Buddhist and I do believe reincarnation, interestingly I found ‘baby’ as an ambiguous creature in between life and death in a series of movements of being a human with the same soul. However, I would not reckon that my works are particularly religious even though I arrange various repetitive motifs as the symbolisation of the idea of reincarnation.

Title. Title is a pivotal clue for viewers if they are keen on listening to stories. As a creator/artist, I tend to not express my own personal experience through my works straight away, which is too shallow in my opinion. The titles of my works could be the original thoughts in my every single work. After the figures and spaces were being developed, being twisted and being distorted, viewers might only partially perceive original intention of the artist. If views are interested in my initial intention, the title could remind views and the artist - me of very first initial inspiration in the every single work, which could be a wonderful interaction between the audiences and the creator.

The iconography of babies/figures is quite pivotal in my works, although I intentionally depict them in fairly small scale. This is the dialogue I intent to present, which is the interaction of the perception that viewers could flow through my works to find the informations. I would say that culture in the east could tend to be ‘suppressed’ in my point of view whilst I have been trying to absolve such stereotypes from my own culture, and to build the fusion of my own cultures and the experience of being educated in west. Besides this, materiality with animal by-products such as leather forming parts of the composition is a pivotal aspect of my work, and I very often tend to use the materials which could be associated with ‘life once lived’ as the responses to my idea of ‘the sugar-coated fact’ composing of the animal skin as the mask; with the sensitive curiosity, I have been researching and exploring the subject matter related to the existence between life and death. Consequently, the idea of ‘humanities’, ‘intimacies’ and ‘desires’ has happened, which is merged with my cultures and educational backgrounds.

I often leave some metaphors which correlate with a few motifs in my works to the title whilst there will be a space of imagination for my viewer to conceive; this is the dialogue I intent to present, which is the interaction of perception that viewers could flow through my works to find the informations. This is the dialogue I intent to present, which is the interaction of the perception that viewers could flow through my works to find the informations. We have appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

You are an estalished artist: your works are in public and private collections, over the years you have exhibited internationally, including your recent solo 'An unlikely assortment of conformity', at the Galerie Joseph Turenne, in

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Cho, Hui-Chin

Ignorance and Suspicion Whisper

A tender slowness of pace is the tempo of the discourse'

At the moment, I am working on a serial sensationally adventurous project, reflecting the phenomenon of obsession with abstract value. There are translucent natural precious stones and massive sludges of various materials included in the project; and there will be two-dimensional works, three-dimensional works, videos and performances. In the future, apart from concentring on the painting and sculpture, which is pretty crucial, I would definitely be pushing myself out of my comfort zone and try the new

mediums. Artworks themselves are still the most compelling facet to my artist’s career. I reckon that being experimental toward mediums could help confront the limit of the perception as being an artist.

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An interview by and

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Cho, Hui-Chin

ART Habens

Traveler In A Strange Land 21 4 18

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from the installation Tempus Machina Somnium, Ambika

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Lola Danon

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video, 2013

P3 gallery, London, 2018 422 0

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Lola Danon

from theIssue installation " Other Realities", London, 2017 403 Special


An interview by and

, curator

artistic journeys are moving hand in hand. I come from a cosmopolitan family, which has always supported me and I have been encouraged to broaden my horizon, to experiment, not to be afraid of being judged. This of course has led to expressing myself, mixing materials and techniques and under the guidance of my teacher Fabrizio Dell’Arno I have made this research an art project. You are a versatile artist and your artistic research includes painting, sculpture, video animation, to question the themes of dream and lucid dream, and we would like to invite our readers to visit https://loladanon07.wixsite.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, we would like to ask you if you think that there is a central idea that connects all your works.

curator

Hello Lola and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. Are there any experiences that did particularly influence your evolution as an artist? In particular, how does you multifaceted cultural substratum direct the trajectory of your current artistic research? Thank you very much for inviting me for this interview! For a long time I have considered my artworks as part of a personal and intimate therapeutic journey. In my teenage years I suffered from depression, eating disorders and well… Making and creating was the only way I found to express myself, letting go all the suffering and emotions that were

Of course, I was influenced by my reading and from studies in Oriental cultures. In particular I am fascinated by the concept of the "void" typical of those philosophies. They conceive the void as a space full of infinite possibilities. It is an intriguing paradox!

blocked in my body. No more silence… No more fears… Just my inner-self in front of me. Finally expressing all my feelings, telling my story. That is when it all started, since then both my personal as well as the

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Lola Danon

Curiosity led me to investigate more on the topic, for example in quantum physics that has questioned many undisputed ideas. But not being a scientist I have chosen the “dream� as a vehicle for exploring the invisible world content in the void. Dreaming allows me to overcome the barriers that reality imposes, being here and elsewhere at the same time. For this special edition of ART Habens we have selected TEMPUS MACHINA SOMNIUM, an interesting experimental project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of your captivating work is the way it provides the viewers with such a multilayered visual experience. When walking our readers through the genesis of TEMPUS MACHINA SOMNIUM, would you tell us how did you develop the initial idea? TEMPUS MACHINA SOMNIUM is an attempt to bring the viewer closer to what I had said before. I chose not to use projections; I thought that allowing the viewer a physical contact with the

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Lola Danon

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details from the installation " Tempus Machina Somnium" Ambika P3 gallery, London 2018 21 4 06

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ART Habens

Lola Danon

detail from the installation " Tempus Machina Somnium" Ambika P3 gallery, London 2018 Special Issue

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Lola Danon

ART Habens

artwork could make the emotion more tangible. I was passionate about the idea of building a huge praxinoscope - a device invented in France in 1877. It is a tool that through movement (it is necessary to turn the machine around by pushing it by means of a lever) making the viewer play his/her part. The viewer then provides the rhythm and becomes part of the installation. Slowly, lap after lap, their mind crosses the dimension of reality, as a Sufi dancer or as a Tibetan monk turning a prayer wheel, entering the dreamlike dimension of the Void, their infinite possibilities. As you have remarked once, the purpose of TEMPUS MACHINA SOMNIUM is to help the user to get in tune with the parallel dimensions of the dream, entering into an altered state of consciousness. How do you consider the relationship between reality and the dreamlike dimension? In particular, do you think that there's a kind of channel of communication between our daily life and the hidden, crystallised moments that our subconscious speak to us?

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detail from the installation " Tempus Machina Somnium"Ambika P3 gallery, London 2018


ART Habens

Lola Danon

Everything is connected! I think this channel indeed exists, we find it in poetry, in music, in art, in every activity that tries to stimulate our atrophied senses. Lately I am delving deeper in to the theme of lucid dreaming. This is a particular technique that through various steps tries to make the subject aware of the various stages of sleep. From the hypnagogic phase, that particular moment in which images are confusing and we are falling asleep to the phase of the dream and the deep sleep. Being aware of the moment when you are dreaming helps us to guide the phases of the dream and confront our ghosts and the oblivion. Subconsciousness brings back to you some memories, or puts your emotions and feelings into images, into a story to try to make it clearer for you... When studying lucid dreaming you are thought to carry out reality checks to understand when you are dreaming and when you are awake. It is all about awakening our senses, paying attention to every single thing that surrounds you. I think that lucid dreaming can be this channel of communication that connects night and day thoughts, images and right now is a

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Lola Danon

ART Habens

detail from the installation "Tempus Machina Somnium" Ambika P3 gallery, London 2018 21 4 10

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ART Habens

Lola Danon

detail from the installation "Dreams", London 2018 Special Issue

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Lola Danon

ART Habens

source of inspiration for my artworks. Most of my ideas or answers to existential questions have been solved in my dreams. Rich of allegorical qualities, TEMPUS MACHINA SOMNIUM invites us to question the nature of our condition, urging us to break the “veil of Maya" in this sense, your artistic practice seems to invite the viewers to question the idea of perception look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface, urging the spectatorship to see beyond the surface of the work of art. How important is for you to invite the viewers to elaborate personal meaning? And in particular, how open would you like your artworks to be understood? Every person reacts differently depending on their own story, what they feel at that specific moment, their culture and beliefs... Even just the way we see colours changes from one person to the other. What you see or experience in my work is up to you, when you enter the room. There is no right way to go about viewing it. That is why I usually do not set rules, not even saying what my work represents, the viewers mind is free to

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detail from the installation "Dreams", London 2018


ART Habens

Lola Danon

see and create their own path to the invisible. My ambition is just to make work or a space where it will be easier to let yourself go and empty your mind ready to cross the threshold. Both the materials and the structure of TEMPUS MACHINA SOMNIUM are marked out with evocative qualities: in particular, your choice of wood for the base of the installation has a strongly symbolic value and reminds to mystical and alchemical imagery. We’d love to ask you about the qualities of the materials that you include in your artworks, with a particular focus on your current artistic production: as an artist working with diverse media, how do you select them and what do you address to combine found materials? I think the choice of materials is instinctive. Some works can be made only one way and not another but at the same time, I am aware that it is the symbolic power that pushes me towards the use or not - of a specific material. For example in TEMPUS MACHINA SOMNIUM both wood and mirrors were fundamental. Wood represents the tree and the tree is the very image of life. With its roots

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Lola Danon

ART Habens

detail from the installation "Dreams", London 2018 21 4 14

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ART Habens

Lola Danon

from the installation "Other Realities", London, 2017 Special Issue

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Lola Danon

ART Habens

reminding us of our connection with the earth, and with his crown, the desire and nostalgia of heaven, in its branches the structure of our family and social ties. This is the reason why in various cultures, it is called The Tree of Life! Using its wood for the base of the machine has this meaning, making the structure turn, the viewer will be able to feel their own steps anchored to the ground, seize the sap that comes from there and turn the thought upwards. The mirror has the meaning of transformation, although not a definitive one, it cannot fix the moment nor the image, but as a potential and infinite one. It represents the permanent change, the distortion and the illusion of reality. The mirror gives us back a different look on ourselves; the ten faces of the praxinoscope are ten possibilities, ten different dimensions. Inspired by psychoanalysis, your creative journey can be considered an intimate therapeutic journey. A work of art can be considered a combination between understanding reality and hinting at the unknown: how does everyday life's experience and your surroundings fuel your creative process?

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ART Habens

Lola Danon

I feel that everything is linked and this is part of my research, to make these invisible connections… I mean that I try to give a sense to most of the common gestures or objects we use during everyday life. I love small things « insignificant », I see within them the beauty of the entire world. There is an ancient Chinese belief saying that everything in the Universe has the same origin: humans, animals, plants or stones are all made of Qi "the breath" they just take different shapes… We sometimes tend to ignore the fact that a work of art is a threedimensional, physical, artifact: how do you consider the relation between the abstract nature of the ideas that you investigate and the physical aspect involved both in your daily practice as an artist and in your audience's experience? The artwork starts when the ideas and thoughts come to life. I love studying ancient texts, researching is a very exciting part of the work. Then suddenly, the desire to achieve, working with my hands, representing the

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Lola Danon

ART Habens

detail from the video installation "Dreams", work with bitumen, London, galley west, 2018 21 4 18

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from the installation "dreams", viewers walking through the dream installation, London 2018


Lola Danon

ART Habens

or after the TEMPUS MACHINA SOMNIUM installation they felt dizzy, altered, and confused about their experience.

inspiration received by an installation or images is a great feeling. On the contrary, the viewer seeing the final result without knowing the process

What really matters is that even if for a brief period of time, they were able to detach themselves from reality. Getting to know and listen to their "other part of the self.�

which led to its creation, and therefore goes on an opposite path: by the contact and the experience they will have with the piece they will then start their own personal research and investigation.

We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Lola. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

Your artworks draws the viewers through an augmented and immersive experience, where they could lose the sense of space and time: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? And what do you hope your audience takes away from your artworks? I am very pleased to see that the

Many thanks to ART Habens and to the readers! My next project starts very soon - in April - and will lead me along the paths of the Pacific Crest Trail. I will be hiking for six months from Mexico to Canada, now curious to find out what kind of inspiration I will get‌.

audience is having a special experience although it is very different for everyone. I am deeply moved when I feel that I have shared with others, some of the feelings that led me to create an artwork. When someone came out of the

An interview by

DREAMS installation room they told me

and

, curator curator

that their mind slowed down and felt like they were under hypnosis. Another person told me that it felt like a dream,

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Lives and works in Częstochowa and Krakow,Poland

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Maria Bolkowska

ART Habens

video, 2013

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Maria Bolkowska

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An interview by and

, curator curator

Hello Maria and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background: you have a solid formal trainng and you studied at the Jan Długosz University in Czestochowa: how did these formative years influence your evolution as an artist? Moreover, do you think that there is a central idea that connects all of your work as an artist? From my young age I was connected with art. My favorite technique was drawing but I was also interested in photography, paintings and sculpture. It started as an hobby and I was making it for fun for my friends and family. I was selling it for 1 penny (because in Poland it is custom that you can not give your work for free, because it bring bad luck so you have to take any symbolic money for it).

Maria Bolkowska

little bit force me to do it. I was 12 back then. I was not planinng to go to art school so I went to general high school but I did not forget about art and I tested my skills in anothesr contest and I won, again. Wich was very suprising for me. After graduation I had 1 year breack. In

Then I won my first art contest with distinction by accident. Because I was not even planing to participate in it but my mum took me on place and a

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ART Habens

Maria Bolkowska

London I was working as baby sitter because I wanted to learn english more and then start my studys in linguistic field. But in last days I change my mind and I took my documents and try to get to Art University. After 5 step exams I pass. It was shock for me because competition was very strong. Studys gave me great opportunety to try my artistic abillitys on deferent level. I practice drawing, anathomy, painting, photography, wall painting, graphics, sculpture, ceramic and many many more. After a while me (and my teachers) notice that I had predisposition in oil paintings especially humans and portraits. What is central idea of my work? It is hard to say to be honest. I would just say:” it is emotionthe feeling”. Inspiration In one hand could be crying child and the other blooming tree or shadow on the evening building. I would be very glad if my work make any influence on the person who will be looking at them. Someone said that „picture is worth a thousand words” and I think I agree with that. Even our times prove that theory, because we are living in world of pictures- Internet, Facebook, Instagram it is all digital pictures but it should not replace our connection with art in

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Maria Bolkowska

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ART Habens

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Maria Bolkowska

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Maria Bolkowska

ART Habens

special place like – gallery. The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article has at once captured our attention for the way you sapiently combined delicate tones with abstract feeling: would you tell us something about your usual setup and process? How do you usually conceive your artworks? My art process? First I have to come up with an idea (inspiration), what kind of collection I would like to make (what kind of topic, techniuqe, colours, what kind of format etc.). Then I have to (if that is a portrait) find models and then I start to sketch. It could be someone I know, like friend and family or someone strange. I am skatching everywhere I can, at my work, in coffee shop or at house party. When I have a sketch and concept then I am starting to make sketch on bigger format on canvas by oil. Sometimes the idea on paper is good enought to make it on canvas but somtimes final painting is completely deferent from the sketch because concept on paper look good but on bigger format on canvas, not so much.

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Maria Bolkowska

ART Habens

happyness, sadness and sarrow on canvas and it has big influance on paiters pallette.

So basically it look like: idea-->sketch on paper-->oil sketch on canvas--> final painting. With other subjects it look exacly the same (landscape, still nature...).

Do you conceive you works instinctively or do you methodically elaborate your pieces? In particular, how importance does spontaneity play in your artistic practice?

We have really appreciated the vibrancy of thoughtful nuances of your canvas, and we like the way your pallette shows that vivacious tones are not strictly indespensable to create tension and dynamics. How did you come about settling on your color palette? And how much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include in an artwork and in particular, how do you develop a texture?

I think, I do A LOT instictively but back ground for it is practicing, practicing and practicing. In my case I had to make a lot of mistake to make something right but it is process of learning, am I right? And as I mention before instinctively you know what king of technique you should use. And only from your mood depends what kind of colours and expression you will need on canvas.

About my pallette it depends from a lot of aspects like. What kind of collection of paintings I am making, what a mood I have, what kind of subject do I paint, even what kind of music do I listen during my work. But usually my pallette is very dynamic and strong because I think it is part of my personality. Every painting is very subjective and personalized that is why you can see part of painter soul in his work. You can see all the

Would you tell us your sources of inspiration? In particular, how importance does everyday life's experience fuel your creative process? My inspiration? It is people, interesting places, music....It could be everything. For my bigest collection the topic is masks. I was always interested in Venice's Masks (how to

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ART Habens

Maria Bolkowska

make it and techniques) but not only. My clowns where inspired by Stańczyk. It is Polish historicial clown on Polish royal court. He was very wise, intelligent and brave figure. He was daring to put against the will even to Polish kings and show them the week spots of decisions for Polish nation. His figure was inspiration for other great paiter Jan Matejko and his paintings was inspiration for me. But during painting this collection „Masks” one of my great idols past away – Michael Jackson. So my idea was to make a memorial of him and make a few paintings dedicate to him. I thought that he was wearing few „masks” as well. So as you can see my isnpiration is very deferent. My models are somtimes my friends and family. I take inspiration from my life. I love people and they are my biggest motivation to work. We daresay that your artistic practice seems to aim to look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface, providing the spectatorship with freedom to realize their own perception. How important is for you to invite the viewers to elaborate personal meaning? And in particular,

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Maria Bolkowska

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Maria Bolkowska

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Maria Bolkowska

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how open would you like your works to be understood? I think that paitings in general are very subjective. So my paintings for me have different meaning than for somebody else. I would like that my painting has any kind of influence on people lives. Good or bad, the worst opinion for me is no reaction at all. We like the way you artworks convey such a stimulating combination between figurative elements and captivating abstract feeling, creating such an oniric atmosphere: how would you consuder the relationship between abstraction and figurative in your practice? In particular, how does representation and a tendency towards abstraction find their balance in your work? As you know I have the knowlegde of history of art from prehistory to our time. But influence in abstract and figurative style in my work was more instinctivley than calculation creation process. I was more focused on expression of my artistic idea. I was trying to combine abstract emotion with showing beatiful of human face and body.

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ART Habens

Maria Bolkowska

Your artworks often include

symbols and reminders to the dream-

elements rich of symbolic elements

like dimension in your imagery?

and references to the realm of

Yes, symbolism is very important to

imagination: would you tell us

me. Jan Matejko and Zdzisław

something about the importance of

Beksiński they were 2 of my top Polish

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Maria Bolkowska

ART Habens

and different for everyone and that makes it so unique and priceless.

painters and I must confest that I was inspared by them. I am using a lot of symbols. F.e. I am using clown – figure which suppose to be happy as an oxymoron. My clowns are sad, nostalgic and full of pain but calm and accepting their fate.

Every opinion is wery important for me and it giving me different point of view and motivation to paint. We have appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Maria. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

We have appreciated the way your artworks establish deep involvement with the viewers: over the years your hand-painted stopmotion videos have been installed at several locations and your recent solo exhibitions include your participation to the group show "Portraits”, at The Brick Lane Gallery, in London. How do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? And what do you hope your audience take away from your artworks?

Recently, I was working with adviceing my friends about wall painting in theirs club. But it was only helping with projects and advicing. About my future I have idea for a few paitings under the titule:”Kings&Queens”. It will be collection of paintings dedicated big stars of movie and music. Such as: Elvis Presley, Merylin Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Michael Jackson but in new unusual and modern way.

Of course the viewers are very important for me and exhibitions give me oportunety to speak with them. The most interesting thing for me (when I am speaking with them) is that they are seeing something deferent that I did. F.e. For somone one painting is very cheerful when for me is hard and depressing. But as I mention before Art is very subjective

An interview by and

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, curator curator

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Lives and works in the United Kingdom

At some point every artist is being asked to write a statement. It is interesting to read about someone’s story of artistic inspiration. So here I am facing this difficult task to say something about my work. I am born in Bulgaria and have lived most of my life there. I have studied art in college and have always being told that to be an artist is difficult thing. At first I did not understand what that meant, until I had to face the reality of being unwanted artist. According to most that is not a job. Some are lucky enough to work what they love, but most graduated artist has to work in different field so they can fund the artist in them. Eight years ago I had to move to UK to work. I can say that was the most difficult time in my life. There was a point in my life where I stopped being an artist, but in my mind I was dreaming that one day this will change, and it did! It is one of those things that happen, just one day you wake up and you see things in different perspective. My art became my escape plan from reality, even though is being inspired from real life examples. I am taking my ideas from everyday situations that made me think about something. Sometimes a beautiful picture can trigger my inspiration. Sometimes is something that someone has said during conversation that leads to my idea of creating art. Every time is different thing and that is what makes every piece unique in its own way. I work mainly with oil paint, because that is the type of paint that helps me represent the exact colours and texture that I want. Easily removed from the canvas, oil allows me to revise a work when I feel like I could do some changes. I think that there is something ancient in the oil paint and it always gives me the feeling that I can go back in time. Colors are very influencing tool, because you can give a feeling with a specific color. I have never used the information in order to transfer a specific emotion to a viewer only by color. I paint only by what feel. Sometimes I use extra materials that help me increase the feeling of specific emotion. Some examples of extra material added in my paintings can be seen in ‘’hair’’, ‘’curly’’, ‘’3D’’. This is very helpful tool when I want to increase the impact of my art. In the last few works I made a very different approach, so I can see how are they been accepted. I have done more abstract paintings just because that was the way I was feeling. I like to experiment with all mediums that have colors in them. I can use them not only in canvas but also in everyday objects. I have done few paintings on shoes and they were very well accepted. I am passionate and very positive person, very rarely I can get caught up in negative emotions, but I notice sometimes how my paintings express my emotions. And it happens unintentionally. What I want to express is simple emotions. I want to show the beauty of things, the look of beautiful woman, the mystery in people, the love, the culture, the genuine happiness, sadness, anger, curiosity and my colors and canvas are my tools. Enjoy !

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Snezhanka Zhelev

ART Habens

video, 2013

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Xin Ni

4 03


An interview by and

, curator curator

Hello Snezhanka and welcome back to ART Habens we already got the chance to introduce our readers to your artworks in a previous edition and we are now particularly pleased to discover the development of your artistic production: how would you describe the direction of your current artistic research? And how does your daily routine has changed over these recent years? Snezhanka Zheleva: Hello ART Habens, for me is a pleasure to be in your Biennial edition this year. I am happy to sit down and answer your questions. In the past few years many things changed in my life. Now, I am a mom of a very energetic boy and my perspective and focus has changed. Not entirely, but I can definitely say that I am now more open to things that before have never drawn my attention. As busy as it is being a parent I am trying to get my son involved in my art. Funny or not it is actually working for me. I can definitely say that I am enjoying the process and the fact that it is something that we can do together is even more satisfying. Simple example of the process is : I am giving him materials so he can create whatever is in his one and a half year old mind (yes one and a half year old) just with a canvas and pencil, and then I am trying to make a painting with my sense of colors and shapes. My works are not only created with him, in that way, but this is a clear example of what I meant by “more open to new things�. Also I am enjoying to add more elements in my works. It is always been a creation of a current thought or idea. Impulsive feeling. Time is limited for me, so I am taking every spare moment to make the most of it. I will show a picture with how it works.

Snezhanka Zhelev Marked out with unique visual identity, the body of works that we have selected for this special issue of ART Habens and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article display such a rigorous sense of geometry and symmetry: this is evidente especially in Hair and in Wine, that feature apien combination between figurative and visual patterns. How do you consider the relationship between the geometric quality of your images and the sense

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ART Habens

Snezhanka Zheleva

of freedom communicated by your vivacious

key is the balance. There is always a good sense of balance by the viewer when combination of shape and color are in harmony. I believe that all emotions that artist experience should be

pallette? Snezhanka Zheleva: Interesting question, the

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Snezhanka Zheleva

visualized by the colors. I have always said that I love colors, and they have profound impact on all our emotions. They are good foundation for the viewers to approach my works. They may be

ART Habens

attracted by the shapes or the colors but it is a good start of getting to know my works. You have given a good comparison that colors give a sense of freedom and I truly believe in that

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ART Habens

Snezhanka Zheleva

statement. The palette gives me variety of options and to “play” with the colors is pleasant process. The shapes just adds on more layers to the painting. “Wine” was made in my earlier

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years and was one of these experiments, just so I can see how it will turn out. The colors in it have a big contrast and are more concrete. On the other hand “Hair” is very dear painting to

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Snezhanka Zheleva

me, because was made just at the beginning of my art journey in UK, I actually thought that I might have lost my focus having the break when I arrived. But “Hair� gave me hope and motivated me to continue to create. The colors

ART Habens

in it are more indefinite, and writing it now I realize that this was my emotion at that time, worried and not sure what will happen. Because of it and how it turned out I am still doing what I love. Strange enough I think that after creating

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ART Habens

Snezhanka Zheleva

certain work, the work itself takes its own journey and just leaves a certain feeling in me. The way I combine the shapes and the colors comes very impulsively I never plan it in advance. A lot of times it’s not working from the first try, then I change it as many times as needed so I can feel happy with my work. The relationship between shapes and colors in my works is expressing balance and harmony and way to communicate with the viewer. You sometimes include extra materials that help you increase the feeling of specific emotions. Photographer and sculptor Zoe Leonard once stated, "the objects that we leave behind hold the marks and the sign of our use: like archeological findings, they reveal so much about us". We’d love to ask you about the qualities of the materials that you include in your artworks: how do you select them and what does address you to combine extra materials? Snezhanka Zheleva: I love materials that have a sense of history in them. For example I can use pieces of newspaper, in some of my works and try to find the exact part that shows words that will give extra impact on the theme chosen for the painting. Clear example is “Hair” – in it I have used the word “hair” in 50 different languages, just so I can give a little “extra” meaning in the work. Another example is my work ‘’Curly” I used maybe 5 meters of string, which I cut, then curled every single piece and spray painted to look like a curly hair. This effect had a very big impact on the work. Sometimes the material holds sentimental value to me or it is a hidden reference towards the person who has asked me to do a painting. Example of that is the work – “Itinéraire”. That painting was done for a friend who asked me to create a painting from a song, made from his favorite musician. He gave me some reference like what he likes, which song etc. and when I started I printed out the songs lyrics and added them to the work. He was really impressed and to him that specific use of

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Snezhanka Zheleva

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Snezhanka Zheleva

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materials had special meaning. It is spontaneous decision and not something that is always planned. I believe in what you have used as comparison by Zoe Leonard, we all leave our marks one way or another- intentionally or not -for others to find later in time, maybe even when we are no longer here. I think that people love the fact that they can leave a mark, message or some hidden treasure for someone to find in the future. There is a little adventurer hidden in all of us, we just need to find him/her. I can say that these are the most enjoying works that I create, the process is longer and gives me more time to “interact” with my creations. Most of my works containing the extra materials have found their new homes and that I think is because, people have found their meaning in them. Your portraits suggest a kind of intimacy that, as in the interesting South and Curly, goes beyond your relationship with the model. At the same time, many of your subjects seem to reveal their inner lives in the portraits: what’s your philosophy on the nature of the portrait? How do you select the people that you decide to include in your artworks? Snezhanka Zheleva: I usually think of an idea, then try to sketch it very quickly, just so I can see where it is going. Everything changes and develops during the process, nothing is final till I am happy with the work. I love to use as models women that have natural beauty. Some of the paintings have been done over a picture - like “Curly”, I have seen it somewhere and liked it, then draw it my way. Others have been gathered together from few images and real people, to get to the “face” that I have envisioned. ‘’South” holds combination of faces and to me has a story. I love the culture that it expresses and like to show it my works. In general I am not a fan of portraits of real people, I don’t like the idea of keeping a strict copy of the model in front of me, as an artist I would

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ART Habens

Snezhanka Zheleva

always like to add something extra, that I think it needs to be there. I have great respect towards artists that do realistic portraits, as it is very hard and holds a lot of discipline to get to that master - point. I am more of the “free will” type, and prefer to do my own thing. My philosophy is to paint what I feel, if I feel fear that is affecting the image, if it is joy the viewers will definitely notice it. I express emotions through my works and even if it is not an actual face that I am creating I can definitely say that my works are my soul and thoughts mirrors. Women are a recurrent theme in your artistic research: in your artworks women are marked out with such a peaceful beauty, and we have particularly appreciated the way you sapiently combined sense of ease and femininity: do you think that your being a woman provides your artistic research with some special value? Snezhanka Zheleva: With all my respect to men, because we wouldn’t be where we are today without them. Being a woman most definitely has given me more knowledge when creating my works. It is something that comes naturally. I truly believe that women are the little treasures in this world. Some have become more masculine than others in order to fit in the society, others have accepted the role of mothers, housewives and careers but all hold beauty within themselves. I find it very hard to believe that in a modern world there is still a struggle to “fit” women in some areas. I believe in equality and think that women have given more sacrifices in order to earn this position. I know that one day our children and their children will be the ones seeing the change. It will start with us teaching them how to treat women and how to accept their role in our society. We are no longer in the medieval ages when they were referred to simply within their traditional roles of maiden, wife, or widows. I give my respect and tribute to all women that has given piece of them in history with their

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Snezhanka Zheleva

acts. My works are pure admiration to women and I am expressing it the best way I can. I had a plan to make 12 of them and combine them in a calendar album, but that is still ongoing project. Maybe the time hasn’t come yet for it. My women portraits come at specific times in my life and I think that there is more to express and create in that direction. When I was at school we did a lot of male portraits, and what I can say as comparison is the fact that a men’s face becomes more meaningful and expressive with age. The lines hold a lot of meaning and tells us a story. With women I can see these stories without the age added, that I think is also the benefit of being a woman artist. Every person no matter the gender has their beauty within

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them and everyone deserves to be respected and appreciated through art. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, in the last few works you have done more abstract paintings just because that was the way you were feeling: how does your every day’s life influence the direction of your artistic research? In particular, how does representation and a tendency towards abstraction find their balance in your work? Snezhanka Zheleva: As I have mentioned in the first question, this is my trick to create art at his point. With being a mother and balancing work, art and family this is a good option to get my

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Snezhanka Zheleva

ART Habens

artist and the public. There is dept in them, abstract paintings take all the borders away from the eye and imagination does the rest.

son involved in the process of creating my art. My family is inspiring me to approach art in different perspective – the abstract one. My husband is always been the person who will motivate me and encourage me to try different styles in my works. He is always interested of the outcome and shares his opinion. For now I find it quite new and interesting and I am enjoying it as much as possible. Abstract paintings speak to all viewers in different ways. Their stories are limitless. Colors create different emotions as well. That way more people can relate to the specific abstract work. Some would see an image, others may see animal but all have the sense of understanding the artwork, which I believe makes a good relationship between the

Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco once stated, "the artists' role differs depending on which sociopolitical system they are living in.' Do you think that your artistic research responds to a particular cultural moment? Moreover, how do you consider the role of artists in our media driven contemporary age? Snezhanka Zheleva: I completely agree with this statement. I find that there is a lot of modern artists that haven’t actually touched a real brush, paint, clay etc. and all their works are

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Snezhanka Zheleva

ART Habens

Snezhanka Zheleva: To me it is very important to trigger the viewers personal understanding. When creating my works I put all my emotions in the process and intensify them through the shapes and colors. My intentions after are not to foist these feelings of mine, but to actually make the viewer create his own emotions. I believe that all works can be understood, the question is more “How” – through the artists vision or through the viewers? For me any conversation raised from viewing my works is success. I believe that when certain work triggers the viewer’s imagination that means that they see their own projections, their interpretations and that makes the works more relatable. Every single work that I have created is not going to be understood from all viewers, but that is okay. The aim is to have something for most of the viewers. It is like going to a concert, you like the majority of the songs but not all, and you relate to the meanings of them, but you don’t really know why they were sang and written that way. So yes I am very open to any interpretations of my works, that is something that I would prefer even.

done electronically for example. That is okay because the society accepts it and enjoys it- it is still Art. I don’t follow any cultural movements, but maybe I fit in some, who knows. I know that artists nowadays must be flexible and experiment in order to find the medium that works for them the best. I am not saying that one should change their artistic vision, but in a world where everything depends on how many followers, likes and posts we make, there is some flexibility necessary. I see more and more artists that take different approaches only to be more recognizable in these times. I think that being artist shouldn’t frame you as “someone that creates a piece of art”. Nowadays artist is a person that “creates piece of art” but also someone that teaches, gives, shows wrongs in the world, defend certain cause and inspires people that look up to him/her. To be recognizable and liked the artist must take different approach and present their work in extraordinary way. This happens because the public is over-satisfied with everything, they’ve see it all thanks to the media and to be remembered you should make an impression. The role of an artist nowadays is really difficult. It is a mixture of personal skills and artistic expressions, you cannot just be an artist and expect people to like and understand- you must find the path to reach in to your viewers as well.

Direct relationship with the audience in a physical is definitely the most important one, in order to snatch the spirit of a work of Art. However, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to the online realm increases: how do you consider the role of emerging online technosphere ― including platforms as Instagram ― in creating new links between artists and worldwide audience?

Marked out with such unique seductive beauty on the surface, Your artworks feature such an oniric atmosphere and deeply struck us for the way they incite the viewer to make new personal associations. Austrian Art historian Ernst Gombrich once remarked the importance of providing a space for the viewers to project onto, so that they can actively participate in the creation of the illusion: how important is for you to trigger the viewers' imagination in order to address them to elaborate personal interpretations? In particular, how open would you like your works to be understood?

Snezhanka Zheleva: I actually really like this approach. I believe that this is the gate to the whole world, if you live in UK the chances that someone in the other end of the world sees you works is increasing drastically, than to being in art gallery. I am someone that looks up to Instagram to see artists that have made impression to me. Sometimes they share

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‘’If they are able to do it, I should be able too’’ As I said it before this is motivating and teaches people that look up to those artist to be like them. This media driven world gives us direct and very fast communication with the audience, we feel more connected than ever before. The artist can receive feedback for their works as soon as they post it on social medias. On the other side there is a risk people to be mean and to discourage the artist. By creating a media profile, the artist should be prepared for both good and bad comments. In traditional gallery spaces the people that visit, still keep an etiquette that spares the artist from the negative emotions. I believe that both approaches are good and attract different type

interesting approaches. Sometimes is material information that may be helpful to someone that is wondering and looking for this specific information. That way they feel more “real” and approachable. Their image is more humanized and makes you feel like everything is possible.

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of publics. I still believe that galleries are giving a good training for the artist to observe and interact with the viewers, but the technosphere as you said it, is giving the artist bigger recognition.

future and we need to be open to all possible options to show our arts and crafts. I have also put a lot of energy in to creating custom shoes and clothing, these have been accepted quite well and it is another way to show and express myself. Recently I have worked very closely with one Italian brand – Italian Rugby Style which is in the process of developing their shoe collection, watch out for them as they will be huge success. There is also a possibility one of my works to be featured in London exhibition which for me would be more that I can ever imagine. The results will come at the end of July, so anyone interested may visit my website for more details. And last but not least I would really like to thank ART Habens team for inviting me one more time. This is a very good platform for artists to show what they are up to and anyone interested to learn something new about them. Wish you all the best.

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts again, Snezhanka. Finally, would you like to tell our readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? Snezhanka Zheleva: To be honest this year is actually quite busy and productive so far. As we have discussed In the interview in this modern world we need to be more flexible and open to changes. The project that is finalizing this month is my art website: www.snowsheepart.com, which will also have Facebook and Instagram accounts. I invite all of the readers to visit it and share their thoughts. I think that this is the

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