CreativPaper Issue 17

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CREATIVPAPER Magazine

Issue 017


These photos feature the arid landscape of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. From the vast deserts where you can lose yourself into the horizon, to the colossal naked-appearing mountains, the landscape abstracts easily into that of an alien (planet/world). As a matter of fact, the desert of Wadi Rum is well-known as a background for many movies whose plot unravels in other worlds. Words & Images by Denis Liang @ d3d3d3

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Welcome

As we transition into a new year, we are often brimming with optimism. Resolutions, changes and new beginnings can be exciting but come with their distinct challenges. To say that the year 2020 has had a bumpy start would be an understatement. From its advent, we have been bombarded with news of burnings countries, the brink of war, economic turmoil, a paradigm shift towards the lack of liberties and equality and not forgetting, a global pandemic. Yet, it is our resilience that shines through in times like these. Protests, acts of kindness and the human spirit gives us hope. Here at CreativPaper, we believe that communication, compassion, co-operation and understanding will get us through this. Our latest issue is full of artists such as Ryota Matsumoto, Jerome Chia-Horng Lin, Larry Simon and Derwin Levia, Michael Goulding. Individuals who are unique in their message and creativity but share a unified vision of a better world for us all.

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Above: Image Denis Liang @ d3d3d3

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Contents

08 RYOTA MATSUMOTO 12 HANNA SUPETRAN 16 KENNETH SUSYNSKI 20 JEROME CHIA-HORNG LIN 26 DERWIN LEIVA 28 LARRY SIMON 32 ALESSANDRA DIEFFE 34 GALYNA BAZ 40 MICHAEL GOULDING 48 TATIANA MCWETHY 52 ELIZABETH MALAVE 56 WEI YAN 60 WENDY YEO 66 NORA KOMOROCZKI 70 BRITTA ORTIZ 72 ELLEN GRAEL

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Cover Artist

RYOTA MATSUMOTO ryotamatsumoto.com

Our ever-expanding population is placing incomprehensible demands on the one place in the universe that we call home. Resources and habitats are being strained to their limits. Forest fires, plastic pollution, species extinction and shortages of food and potable water are current problems. As an artist, lecturer and urban planner, Tokyo based Ryota Matsumoto recently had a conversation with us about the demands placed on urban landscapes and how it needs to evolve with the times. Ryota was raised in Hong Kong and Japan and received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. He has also collaborated with the cofounder of the Metabolist Movement, Kisho Kurokawa.

As an urban planner, what are your thoughts on the evolution of the urban landscape to keep up with the increasing demands placed on it? The urban patterns and processes are intricate, non-linear systems that are comprised of a metastable assemblage of interacting components including ecological, sociocultural, climatic, and economic relations. The whole diversity-dependent ecosystem reveals the extensive biomorphic entity across multiple levels of granularity and abstraction. We need to embrace a holistic and integrated approach that links sustainable ecology to urban planning and management. The integration of a theoretical framework to structure all aspects of research outcomes, including complexity, resilience, socio-ecological systems, eco-psychoanalysis, smart grid computing and sustainability science, is crucial for developing the sustainable urban

environment. Would you say that your pieces are three-dimensional dialogues on the structure of our modern world? Yes, I think so. Our sociocultural constructs focus on daily practice and the embodied experience of places of social memory. This is observed and reflected in my work to recreate states of intensity along the spectrum of the collective effect between the human body, the nonhuman agents, the urban artefacts and all the inďŹ nitesimal steps in between as visual schemas. Consequently, the transduction process of these intensities as a time-image is transcribed in the artwork as a hybrid interface between the necessary actual and the possibilist virtual within a spatiotemporal continuum.

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Is it true that you spent some time growing up in Hong Kong? Did that time influence you artistically? I was fortunate enough to experience firsthand Hong Kong’s rapid urbanization, which was driven by economic growth throughout the 70s and early 80s. I was fascinated by the fact that both the Kowloon Walled City and the Shanghai Bank Building stood only a few miles apart from each other at around the same time. It dawned on me that the juxtaposition and coexistence of binary polar opposite elements in cities denote both coherent and incongruous imagery in a disjunctive and somewhat intriguing way, regardless of their function and nature. That seemingly contradicted notion and dual perspective, which also gripped the streets of Hong Kong, certainly influenced my perception of urbanism in the early days. How does your creative process begin? There are always both analogue and digital processes involved in my work, and sometimes I incorporate both concurrently. I assemble unrelated images generated by algorithms with different parameters and create a metaphoric or disjunctive association from them. On other occasions, I simply start by combining random handdrawn sketches that I have accumulated over the years and merge them into a unified or paradoxical entity. How do you find a balance between aesthetics and meaning in your work? We could attest that aesthetics represent one’s critical reflection on the range of affective intensities that are immanent in sociocultural entities. As a field, aesthetics is said to be defined as a complex interaction between sensory faculties and meaning-making experiences in cognitive processes.

meaning-making process in the semiotic context, and both aspects are crucial for experiencing art objects. Consequently, I believe art explores how visual representation is translated into meaning, but also how the flux of visual narratives evokes a sensory effect simultaneously. Japan, and particularly Tokyo, is seen as a benchmark on how to balance the demands of contemporary society and space, what are your thoughts on that? Tokyo is an urban space that is an antipode to the orderly configuration of contemporary European gridded city planning, which has clearly defined certain precepts to prescribe the patterns based on underlying infrastructures. The schema of the Japanese city can be decoded through its organic development around the multicellular nature of voids in tandem with their topographic landscape. Consequently, the centripetal structure of the traditional urban space is displaced in favour of the centrifugal multiplication of specialized assemblages. Both spatial structures of Tokyo and the society’s collective memory are said to be built around emptiness or verdant vacuity, as Roland Barthes pointed out in Empires of Sign. The spatio-temporal understanding of the Japanese city reflects the amorphous and transcendental nature of urban living of cognitive capitalist society, devoid of coherent interplay both among its inhabitants and across the urban milieu. What have you been working on at the moment? I am currently working on several collaborative projects, as well as group exhibitions. END

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Artist Feature

HANNA SUPETRAN hannasupetranartgallery.com

An international, multi-awarded artist, Hanna Supetran’s paintings are thought-provoking and emotionally evocative. Painting primarily in oil, her work displays different colours like a piece of music. Working together, each shade and stroke create a symphony for the viewer to take in. Trained in a multitude of mediums ranging from photography to fresco and contemporary art and figure drawing, Hanna has exhibited in the U.S.A, Europe and Asia. With her work, she aims to reflect the vibrancy in life, a balance of contrasting textures and movements, taking the viewer on a journey that is their own.

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Interview

KENNETH SUSYNSKI susynski.com

Born in 1965, American artist Kenneth Susynski presents a unique, hybrid style of figurative expressionism in beautifully-rendered and narrative theatrical compositions. A master of blending the representational with the abstract, he uses oils to conjure rich humanity from each of his pieces, helping it connect to every viewer on a more profound level. He has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally. We had a conversation with Kenneth where he talked about his latest project, pushing through adversity and his inspirations. He recently exhibited a piece from his ‘Unholy Martyrs’ series at the Kirkland Arts Centre as part of their ‘Threshold’ exhibition. An event that focussed on the pressing issues we face as a society at this moment in time and the urgency of much-required action on our part.

You’ve been working on a project this year that is very personal to you and your family, could you tell us a bit about that? Yes – my great aunt, Maria Suszynska-Bartmann, was a writer/poet in Poland before the onset of WWII. As a member of the Polish intelligentsia, she was eventually captured by the Nazis after the Uprising and sent to two camps: first Stutthof, then Bergen-Belsen. Following the war, she wrote a book, Nieswiete Meczennice (Unholy Martyrs), that recounts her experiences in the camps up to liberation. The book is written in Polish, printed originally from a now-defunct communist publisher in 1971. For decades, the book sat in my grandmother’s house untranslated, the only family members who could still read Polish had

neither interest nor means to translate the book for new generations of the family to read. I’ve long had a twofold goal: to see the book translated for myself and my children and to create a new series of oils in dedication. The challenges have been numerous. It took a while to find a reputable translator who had no interest in translating the book unless I aimed to publish it in the US and add them for translation royalties. The cost for translation services was also higher than I originally anticipated, yet thankfully I was able to trade art for 50% of the total cost. No one from my extended family offered to assist with funding the translation, and even once it was translated and presented in book form to family, some returned it immediately, refusing to even keep it for

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Above: The Wind Drying Your Bare Bones, Oil on Linen, 50 x 54, 2019

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their children much less read it themselves. And then, of course, there was the challenge of how best to make the art reflect the book without simply depicting horror, bleakness, death, misery. Somehow, I wanted each piece to reflect a beauty I found in the passages of the book without taking away from the enduring power of the book’s message. Lastly, I have found it challenging if not impossible to find an audience/venue willing to host a show of such art, and have been quite perplexed and disappointed to have been turned down in every grant application I’ve submitted – especially in these times of growing ultra-nationalism everywhere, this book and the art (and any others like it) need to be omnipresent in our cultures today. Perhaps because I grew up in Europe, this is more important to me than my peers who were raised in the USA. Thus, I can say I’m proud to have been able to have her story translated for those in my family who share my level of interest, yet very disappointed that I’ve not been able to secure a single showing of this small series of work nor interest in the topic in general. I’m not giving up the goal, hoping to find alternative, non-traditional opportunities to educate new generations. Focusing on negative aspects in life is inevitable, should we as a culture focus on the positives more? Highlighting that silver lining in adversity? Of course, the answer is yes. Perhaps if we as a culture take a cricket bat to our TVs, smartphones and social media, we as a culture would exercise more humanity and there would be more peace on Earth, more respect for beliefs and faiths that are not our own, and an end to the cancel-culture idiocy that tries to punish people for being less than perfect or making one mistake. Disclaimer: I practice what I preach, and do not own a television nor participate in any social media personally or professionally.

Where do you get most of your inspiration from? The old masters, the new masters, any human that is adding beauty to the world in some form, and my wife and daughter. Where are you currently based? Seattle, Washington, USA How do you think the art world will evolve in the next few years? I foresee a few trends taking more root, in no particular order: the traditional gallery model is becoming outdated – buyers are finding success by either directly contacting an artist or finding work through secondary sites like Saatchi Online or non-traditional spaces/organizations; the technological advancements that enable one to reproduce art such as 3D printers will only improve to the point when someday one won’t be able to tell the difference from an original work – and as an oil painter I hope that never happens but it will; and too many digital artists. If I had the power to change one aspect of the art world immediately, for every piece of art sold at Christie’s, Sotheby’s or any other secondary exchange/auction/market, the artist receives at least a 50% commission on every resale. Has the current political situation in the United States affected your work in any way? The answer is no – I have zero interest in political art in any way. There’s no beauty in politics, at all. Ugh. The closest I have come is by making commentary on a social issue – for example, an observer may note that one of the few social issues I might address in my work is racial intolerance/tension yet I only do so as small component of an overall message I’m conveying in a piece, never as dedicated theme and always intended in a light manner. END

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Above: Iron Poppies, Oil on Linen, 64 x 60, 2019

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Interview

JEROME CHIA-HORNG LIN jeromelin.net

Being an artist can seem like an effortless lifestyle choice. Hours spent in the studio, following your passion, escaping the rat race. The reality, couldn’t be more different. Loneliness, lack of financial stability, creative blocks and a plethora of obstacles are situations that artists have to face daily. Artist Jerome Chia-Horng Lin touches on a few of these in our interview with him. Born and based in Taipei, Taiwan, Jerome had to battle with the complexities of the lack of support towards a career in the arts among traditional Asian communities. His work focusses on both the macro and micro in our world and the interdependence between them.

You recently signed up with a gallery in Mexico, could you tell us a bit more about that? It’s called Galería Yuri López Kullins which was recommended by an artist who lives in Mexico. I was told the gallery has two spaces in both Mexico and Madrid, Spain. I sent several paintings to both locations last Dec. I encountered some shipping problems during the process. Not surprisingly, there are always some technical hurdles for international exhibitions. Luckily, two paintings were able to participate in a group show in their Mexico gallery this January. Our childhoods tend to play a huge role in shaping us an individual, how did yours impact you as an artist? I started my official training in an experimental art program in my junior school. We

pass the exam to get into this special class consisting of twenty-something students. A wide range of art courses are included in the program such as drawing, Chinese painting, printmaking, watercolour, sculpture and graphic design etc. I dedicated my life to becoming an artist since then and my parents were pretty against it. They didn’t know I was serious until a little bit later. On top of that, my parents just didn’t have enough economic support for me. I have to work from time to time since high school to earn my art supply. Comparatively, throughout the years most of my classmates are supported by their parents. Years later I found out most of them don’t do art at all. I know the hardship is like a test stone to ensure I remain at the right path. It’s probably because of this

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Above: Inward Water II, Oil on Canvas, diameter 50cm, 2015

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Above: Inward Water III, Oil on Canvas, diameter 50cm, 2015

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background that I feel that all the challenges in front of me right now are nothing compared to what I went through as a teenager. The worst is over and I always have a better future welcoming me. Years of suffering has been replaced with optimism. You’ve exhibited extensively around the globe, what are the unique challenges that you have faced? I wouldn’t say extensively yet because I see many artists who do much better than me. I try to do as many international exhibitions as I can, the fact is that I can only manage a few in recent years. I also know artists are dealing with very similar challenges, except those who can afford to have assistants, agents or someone helping them. Recently, I have heard more voices about artists crying out for nonpaid opportunities. For years, contests, galleries and other exhibition opportunities demanded artists to pay for the certain fee to showcase their artworks. It adds to the burden of artists besides the cost of art supply, promotion and living expenses etc. People don’t understand that being an artist is an e xpensive affair, including many invisible and hidden costs. They only see the spiritual side of it. Also, the art infrastructure has some hidden rules, too. It’s not noticed as an issue until Ministère de la Culture of France announced in December 2019 that French public organizations have to pay Display Royalty to those anticipating artists. When it comes to Royalty, different sectors of art industries have different perspectives on dealing with it. It seems that visual artists have to either rely on selling their piece of art or apply for subsidies from museums, foundations and other organizations. To obtain those grants, connections seem to play a vital role. What if you are not good at it? For years, many people assumed artists eagerly need more platforms to showcase

their art than the audience need to witness the art activities. Artists are given opportunities to demonstrate their talent. Moreover, many organizations take advantages of the desire of artists. I started to be approached by more vanity galleries and vanity awards recently. Should I be happy that I finally get the chance to be appreciated by them? In a word, I think artists all deal with countless challenges in front of them. We face different problems at different stages in our careers. Your pieces often challenge our perception of reality as a race, do you think these lines are getting blurred due to the changing face of the planet and technology? I always thought people perceive the world in their way. So-called truth is always relative to every individual’s experience. We can all look at the same phenomenon from various angles and different interpretations are being made. Even the same photos, everyone has their focal point and comprehension. It’s the development of technology that leads us to understand more about the secrets behind. For instance, there are many invisible light waves like infrared and ultraviolet existing all over the place. Scientists discover that many animals possess the ability to see a broader range of colours and simulate their vision to the audience, revealing many incredibly brilliant colours they could see. Insects see flowers with more patterns than we do, so they can sense them for certain purposes. Why are we programmed to see only certain colours? We often see so many things with gigantic information. The mystery is about how and why our brains select certain information and the whole mechanism behind. It must be for the sake of survival. As a visual artist, I felt that my job is to develop my interpretation of how to look at the world. 23


The planet is going through rapid change because of the acceleration of climate change. We have also speed up abundant information accumulation. Undoubtedly technology speeds it up. But the lines were always blurred beyond our imagination. Especially since we now know that the world has 97% of dark matter which is not visible to us. But they exist. Can any of us say that we see reality in its entirety? Hypothetically some superior beings could, I guess they need to do the subtraction as we do!? Your ‘water’ series of paintings has had an addition of elements through the years, could you expand on that for us? My inspiration comes from everywhere. In the painting “The sniff of the ideology”, I try to say that we judge things with our particular ideology, so do cats. They probably think of many things beyond our mind. In this painting, there is an inner cat hidden inside the outside cat. It’s exactly like the way we comprehend things. There are layers in different parts of our mind. About the painting: ”The flying bird isn’t moving”, if we freeze a tiny fraction of a moment, just like taking a snapshot, everything seems to be still in all photos. However, this is not how we perceive objects, we see things in our interpretation. We believe in what we see. In this painting, it’s a flying bird and it doesn’t look exactly like a bird. It resembles a bird. When we see a bird flying, we see a blurry item but we identify it like a bird. Why? We assume it’s a bird. At this fraction of moment, the bird is not moving. I want to provoke the issue of being illusionary towards many matters in our daily life. The earth rotation is at a speed of roughly 1600 km per hour, yet we don’t feel it. Nothing in the world is still so to speak. We inhabit a universe in constant motion.

“Inward water series”. I wanted to point out the fact that the ocean gravitates towards the core of the earth. The massive body of the ocean leads us to think of it as a whole. However, it consists of countless water molecules interacting with each other to cause magnificent phenomena like waves, splashes, tides, etc. I adapt the swirling form to indicate the essence of life and the core of our earth. The heat from the core of earth dances with the chilling water. There are many ways to look at this work. In the following pieces, I further develop this idea by adding more swirls with various colours. It seems to be more vivid and joyful. Are you working towards something particular this year? I recently reached an agreement with a gallery in Treviso, Italy. I sent three paintings to them to showcase in the upcoming art fairs in Italy. I am looking forward to seeing more exposure there. I don’t plan to travel for exhibitions this year, considering the budget and virus situation. I hope coronavirus will vanish pretty soon. I plan to exhibit at New York Art expo or some other art fairs in Europe next year. We shall see about that. Any words of advice for upcoming artists? For those who want to take on this path to become an artist, you will see many contradiction paradoxes. I was confused for a long time, too. For instance, many artists claimed it’s not right to sell their valuable artworks, meanwhile, they wish their market value goes up. Art schools refuse to teach more about the art market, condemning their corruption and secularity. It’s OK to fumble for a long time before you determine which way to go. But you have to keep on searching and thinking. Otherwise, you will be consumed by the swirl of the art world. It’s hard to stay creating art unless you find your solid ground. It takes time and effort. END

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Above: The Flying Bird Isn’t Moving, Oil on Canvas, 31.5 x 41cm, 2017

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Artist Feature

DERWIN LEIVA derwinleiva.com

Art, in its myriad of forms, can be a language that transcends borders and languages. A way for the artist to express their inner workings, desires and battles. When artist Derwin Levia stands in front of a canvas or creates a sculpture, he is transported into a world where the most important thing is his imagination and the way he transfers it to the end viewer. Growing up in Cuba, music was an important part of Derwin’s life. Picasso, Boccioni and Wilfredo Lam were influential in his creative journey but it was music that played the central role in his narrative. Through the use of rhythm and motion in his work, Derwin mirrors the experience of freedom found through Cuban music.

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Artist Feature

LARRY SIMON

larrysimonphotographer.com A self-taught photographer, artist Larry Simon takes his inspiration from everyday objects, surfaces and scenes to create composed narratives shrouded in a sense of the unknown. Tapping into the inner world of our subconscious, full of void and mystery. Based in Chicago, Larry travels the world extensively, working with a blend of sharp and soft focus, presenting his work in photo collage form or as digital prints. Larry’s current project is a photography book on the architecture of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who is considered one of the pioneers of modernist architecture. Reimagining Mies offers a more intimate, impressionistic look into Mies’ work around the globe. It is sold in museum shops and on Larry’s website.

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Artist Feature

Above: Richard Parker guarda il mare, Digital Art, 54,19 x 24,7 cm, 2018 Opposite: Mi piace il rosa, Digital Art, 45,72 x 60,96 cm, 2018

ALESSANDRA DIEFFE alessandradieffe.myportfolio.com

Creating art from her home town of Pescara, Italy we have artist Alessandra Dieffe. A course in drawing with artist Sandro Visca in 1988 ignited her passion for the arts. This was developed by visiting exhibitions and expositions, along with reading art literature and cinema. The acceleration of technology and the tools it provides gave Alessandra a new medium to experiment. She uses digital manipulation to create, convey and inspire. Her work references both classic and contemporary Italian and world cinema.

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DARK STORY OF ORANGES



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Photographer: Galyna Baz @galynabaz Model: Sana Eva @sanaevamodel Photography assistant: Anna Sokur @sokuranna

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Artist Feature

MICHAEL GOULDING gouldingphotography.com

The female form and spirit form the core of artist Michael Goulding’s work. He wants his work to uplift and celebrates its subject matter, full of complexity and aesthetics while urging the viewer to return to find something new. Shooting exclusively in black and white, he forces the viewer to focus on the interplay of light and shadow as well as textural detail. As most of us see in colour, Michael’s deliberate choice to shoot in monochrome presents the viewer with an alternate viewpoint. Each subtle change in shadow or light significantly influencing the result.

Opposite: Red Panda XXIII, Photography (Digital Capture), 11” x 14” (16” x 20” framed), 2019 Next Page: Red Panda XVII, Photography (Digital Capture), 14” x 11” (20” x 16” framed), 2019

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Above: Aileen LXXIX, Photography (Digital Capture), 11” x 14” (16” x 20” framed), 2019 Opposite: Red Panda XX, Photography (Digital Capture), 11” x 14” (16” x 20” framed), 2019 Next Page: Red Panda I, Photography (Digital Capture), 14” x 11” (20” x 16” framed), 2019

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Interview

TATIANA MCWETHY timcwethy.com

Art has the power to transform an everyday object into something that transcends the physical. When artist Tatiana McWethy paints everyday objects, they take on a narrative of their own, with detail and accuracy that comes with years of practice. Born in Ukraine in the town of Berditchev in 1967, she studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art, delving into the secrets of the old masters. Currently based in sunny Sonoma, California, Tatiana continues to create portraits, landscapes and still life paintings in the realist tradition.

Could you tell us a bit about your time in the St. Petersburg Academy of Art? After graduating from the Zheleznogorsky College of Art, I spent three years at the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts, one of the best schools of classical realism in the world. It was the beginning of perestroika, a time of chaos in politics and economics, a very challenging but interesting time. Then I was more than twenty years old and I was full of energy and determination to practice and study art. Usually, a working day in the academy began with drawing class, then there was a painting (portrait or figure) class and in the evening again a drawing class and sketches. I also copied drawings and paintings of the old masters and studied anatomy. It was a great experience of communication between professors and students, discussions of aesthetic aspects and technical details of the creative process.

What was the inspiration behind your body of work titled ‘Garden Paradiso’? The beauty of flowers, an incredible variety of colours and shapes, their perfection and fragility has always attracted and inspired me. God created the Earth as a paradise but unfortunately, humankind lost it and we continue to destroy the planet. But if one looks closely, in every little petal of flowers one can find the Divine beauty of Lost paradise. Some inspiration for my paintings “Garden Paradiso” came from the poem “Flowers” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. You have a very unique approach to painting ‘Stills’, what advice would you give to young artists who are beginning to explore ‘Still Life’ as a practice? I would probably advise young artists not to be afraid to be sincere, to express their ideas, feelings, disappointments through ordinary objects that surround us. 48


Above: In the Search of Beauty, 70” x 44”, Oil on Linen, 2018

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Above: Still Life with Icon, 38” x 36”, Oil on Linen

Be creative, experiment with different techniques and materials, persevere at work and learn from the heritage of Great Masters.

vineyards, a sip of a glass of good Californian wine. Sonoma has a friendly, multi-cultured community, art festivals, all wrapped in sunny Californian climate.

Russia has a rich heritage of art, how does contemporary art fit into this? Indeed Russia has a rich heritage of art and many talented Russian artists are working in many styles of paintings: from classic realism to abstract, pop art and installations.But to answer your question I need to understand your idea of what is “contemporary” and what is “art” now?

Do you have any artistic goals for the upcoming year? To paint.

Could you tell us a bit about Sonoma, California, where you currently live? I was lucky to live in the city of Sonoma, the centre of California’s Wine Country. I always enjoyed its pastoral scenes with hills and

What does Tatiana miss the most about Russia? I miss part of my family, my friends who live in Russia. Sometimes I would love just to go for a walk somewhere in St. Petersburg, meet a friend and talk about art history, literature, challenges of life and then in the evening go to a concert. END

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Above: Welcome to My World, 70” x 44”, Oil on Linen, 2016

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Artist Feature

ELIZABETH MALAVE elizabethmalave.com

As an artist, public validation and opinion can plan an important role. But, the primary concern must be with the narrative. Create, because you want to, cause its what feels right. Follow that gut feeling. Artist Elizabeth Malave uses these rules whenever she is in the studio. After shying from sharing her work for years, she eventually took the plunge and moved on to having it showcased in London and Italy. She believes in collaboration with other artists and photographers, making the best of each day and the opportunities it offers.

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Interview

WEI YAN yanwei.ca

Born in Beijing, China in the late 1960s, artist Yan Wei began to learn fine art at Beijing Children’s Palace at the age of nine. He went on to graduate with a BA degree from the Fine Art department at Beijing Capital Normal University and then went to Seneca College, in Toronto, Canada. His work has been exhibited at various exhibitions in Canada, the United States, Europe and China. His pieces can also be found in private collections in North America, China, Europe and Australia. Currently based in Ontario, Canada, Wei teaches art at the studio alongside his practice.

The creation of our world plays an important role in your work, what are your thoughts on its current state? Wow, it is a very interesting question. Technology is playing a more important role in the modern life, AI is an endless topic today, especially since it will replace some artist’s job, it seems far away from our imagination, but it happens faster and puts human beings in a very critical situation. I always think that would not apply to the true artist, the artists with not only outstanding techniques but also with unique thoughts, and the art piece filled with full of energy and philosophy points, thus I am trying to be the true one. I also pursue the core of artistic expression. Art is to express your most real moments and experiences of life. Could you talk us through your creative process? There are no specific images before I start

creating my art, I sometimes recall my travel experiences and dreams I have remembered. I usually draw a rough colour draft to see if the composition and colour are satisfied or matched, I will make my colour palette plans if so, then I start to transfer this on canvas. What message are you trying to convey to the audience through your work? Every audience will feel both cultural systems in my paintings. It’s hardly even simply called abstract art in my opinion. To me I would rather name my art style New Imagism Painting, My style contains more of the Oriental culture of Yin and Yang, poetry and other Oriental elements. It is very different from Western abstract art and traditional Chinese paintings. I exist as an artist for my viewers to be able to notice the mixture of art styles within my pieces. I learned the Western oil painting technique in Canada. 56


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Chinese Freehand painting along with my passion for art has helped me learn and gain accomplishments. I believe that the emotions you experience daily in life are vastly important to the thought process of artists and their art pieces, in both Western and Eastern art styles. Chinese paintings, in my opinion, impose manner and integrity. The most valued aspect of traditional Chinese art is its spirit. The concept of rhythmic strokes on the canvas will forever be a sensation that I will enjoy. For western oil paintings, the most important aspect is perspective, art anatomy, and space and structure. With constant innovation, notorious development can be achieved. A work of art must be vivid, alive, artistic and spiritual. It must be able to move hearts and communicate with viewers with just a single glance. Though the mind can no longer conquer the universe, the universe is just as great as the mind. Some of my art collectors have said that they felt some philosophy view in my art pieces, Taoism has deeply influenced my creation since I started to create New Imagism paintings.

seeing beauty. Chinese art is rooted for thousands of years, its philosophy has deeply influenced my art. Do you plan to exhibit your work anytime soon? Not yet, I want to create more pieces before I decide where the next Wei Yan’s solo exhibition is. What are the aspects of the art world that frustrate you the most? It’s another good question, living in the time with full of fickle ambience over the art world. Some people aren’t able to identify what’s the true art and fake ones. People can’t tell what’s beautiful and what’s ugly. I think that frustrates me the most. How does Wei Yan deal with constructive criticism? I like listening to true words about my art, not only praise but also inspirational criticism. END

How do you find a balance between creativity and the business aspect of being an artist? This is a very good question, it’s very critical saturation in front of every artist to deal with. I don’t see any other art market welcoming artist’s works although it’s quite easy through the internet today, as I don’t want something to influence me. I am always finding fresh ideas from my life. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t care about the trend of today. I know what’s going on for today’s art market, I do what an artist should do. Has having a multicultural viewpoint made you see Chinese and Oriental art in a new light? Yes. Art shouldn’t be separated by boundaries. No matter Western art or Eastern art, there’s a common point where people 58


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Artist Feature

WENDY YEO wendyyeo.com

An elected member of the Royal Watercolour Society of Wales, UK. Artist Wendy Yeo was born in Hong Kong, where she studied Chinese painting techniques. She migrated to England at the age of seventeen to study at the Slade School of Fine Art, University of London. Drawing inspiration from landscapes, townscapes and organic forms in nature, she combines the individuality of Western art culture with her unique interpretation of Chinese brushwork and atmosphere. She has also taught art, lecturing for six years on the history of Chinese art the University of London’s Department of Extramural Studies. She exhibited in the “International Masters” Exhibition in the Vatican Chancellery Palace, Rome from 1st - 8th February, 2020 and her work is in various museums and Public Collections.

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Above: Fish and Rocks, Acrylic on Canvas, 66 x 76cm

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Above: The Lake in October, Acrylic on Canvas, 71 x 91cm

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Above: Whirlpool in Autumn, Acrylic on Canvas, 61 x 76cm

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Above: Hong Kong at Sunrise, Acrylic on Canvas, 91 x 122cm

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Above: Waterfall after Rain, Acrylic on Canvas, 91 x 122cm

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Artist Feature

Above: Innerlake of Tihany, 120 cm x 90 cm, Oil on Canvas, 2019

NORA KOMOROCZKI artnow0.webnode.com

Nora Komoroczki or MANO as she is known is a Hungarian Artist who has painted with oil on canvas for more than three decades. She draws her inspiration from the countries that she has lived outside her home country with her family. Sweden, Israel and Belgium to name a few. Bright colours of the landscapes of Scandinavia were where she found inspiration in the 1980s along with the archipelago, known for its dotted islands and summer houses. Decades of travelling and meeting people from across the globe furthered her interest in creativity. She has become one of the sixty top artists from around the world who will soon be recognized as one of ATIM’s Top 60 Masters. This prestigious award will be delivered at the ceremony to be held at the Auditorium al Duomo in Florence, Italy on May 23rd, 2020.

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Above: Routes-ways, 70 cm x 100 cm, Oil on Canvas, 2019

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Above: Floral Scope, 80 cm x 60 cm, Oil on Canvas, 2019

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Above: Indian Summer�, 120 cm x 100 cm, Oil on Canvas, 2018

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Artist Feature

BRITTA ORTIZ britta-ortiz.dk

Born in Denmark, artist Britta Ortiz balances life as a doctor, having studied psychology and holding a masters in health anthropology. Art is where she is free, her first exhibition was in 2010, In 2014 she took the initiative to establish the Isefjord artists, an art association that she chairs. Existentially relating to art, Britta deals with several art forms, ranging from painting to drawing, ceramics and graphic design. She believes that her expression cannot be limited to one medium.

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Artist Feature

ELLEN GRAEL ellengrael.nl

A Dutch artist living and working in Amsterdam, Ellen Grael started drawing at an early age. Her teenage years consisted of private lessons with several artists. But it was not till she was seventeen, where a visit to Italy opened her eyes to the works of the Renaissance greats that Ellen was moved by the creations before her. She keeps the materials she works with to a minimal. Ink, water, pastels and acrylic combine with paper, a material that’s she continues to work with since her Art school years. Its unique characteristics keep her returning to this earliest of mediums.

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Above: Being an Artist, 70 x 90cm, Washed Ink, Charcoal and Pastel on Paper, 2017

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Above: Being an Artist, 70 x 90cm, Washed Ink, Charcoal and Pastel on Paper, 2015

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Above: Being an Artist, 70 x 90cm, Washed Ink, Charcoal and Pastel on Paper, 2015

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