Acknowledgements Thank you to the following for their kind reviews of my work: Prof. PhDr. Miroslav Klivar (painter, writer and art critic) for opening my eyes to the world of Czech and European art my life-long mentor Prof. Om Prakash Sharma (former Principal of College of Art, New Delhi, India, and a contemporary Indian Artist) prof. PhDr. Peter Michalovič, PhD. Department of Aesthetics, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia A special thank you to all my friends and family ...my parents Anton Fric and Lenka Fricova for their incredible allaround support. Without you none of this would be possible. ...my brother Petr Fric, the much loved “annoying little brother” ...my valiant team: Leo Cross and Jonny Wheeler for being there for me in work and life, and helping me see more then one project through (from brainstorming, to technical troubleshooting at 1am, caffeinated all-nighters, and at long last realization) A warm thanks goes to Hana Pinkavova, Olga Spatova and Jan Hala for a once in a lifetime opportunity and the wonderful memories I will take from it. My thanks to Mr. Ravi (Ravinder Kumar of WHO SEARO, New Delhi) for his incredible patience, organisational skills and making even the impossible possible! Thank you for the invaluable English translations by Mgr. Eva Fricova, Statna jazykova skola, Presov, Slovakia Promotional Materials Printed by: MVPrint & Graphics, Masarykovo Namesti 14, 25101 Ricany
Personal Statement My creative practice is a mix of merging disciplines, spanning across fine art, graphic design and illustration. I entered university with a fine art background and went on to study Graphic Design at BA level. My work is a symbiosis of my Czech heritage, international education and the influence of my Asian muses. Asian culture and visual style has soaked into my work on a subconscious level because of my experience of growing up and living in India, Indonesia, Nepal, Myanmar, and Thailand. The incredible experiences I carry from all these places essentially became the canvas upon which I created my paintings; it is also what accounts for my particular style of work as well as my general outlook on life. I have incorporated all this into my unconventional concept of home, similar to a snail carrying its shell wherever it goes. I do not think of myself as belonging to one nation or people, I consider myself an international citizen of the world and this mentality has transferred to my art. Art, which embodies the cultural influence of both the East and West, and speaks of coexistence and great tolerance.
â€œLADIâ€? Ladislava Fricova Bohacova Born on 10th January 1988 in Prague, Czech Republic.
Education: Graduated from the American Embassy School, New Delhi (AES) in 2006 with an International Baccalaureate Diploma. Completed the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design course, at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth (AIB), United Kingdom, in 2007. Completed studies on a Foundation Degree in Visual Communication at AIB. Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Graphic Design at the Arts University College Bournemouth (AUCB) in 2010. Currently admitted to a Master of Arts in Graphic Design at the University of Arts London (London College of Communication).
Group Exhibitions: 2006
“International Baccalaureate Art Exhibition” Art Gallery of the American Embassy School, New Delhi, India.
“External Affairs Spouses Association Exhibition” Inaugurated by Prime Minister’s Manmohan Singh’s wife, Maurya Sheraton Hotel, New Delhi.
“Art Ahead” exhibition by the University of Arts London, at the Indian International Centre, New Delhi, India.
“Foundation Diploma Exhibition”, AIB, Dorset, United Kingdom.
“Impression 2007”, Travancore Art Gallery, New Delhi, India.
“Tales of Textures”, Travancore Art Gallery, New Delhi, India.
Embassy of the Slovak Republic, New Delhi, India on the occasion of the visit of a Speaker of Parliament of the Slovak Republic.
Fda Visual Communication Degree Show, at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
Design & Art Direction (D&AD) New Blood (Fda Visual Communication, AIB) Olympia, London, United Kingdom.
BA Graphic Design Degree Show, at the Arts University College Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
Design & Art Direction (D&AD) New Blood (BA Graphic Design, AUCB) The Old Truman Brewery, London, United Kingdom.
Solo Exhibitions: 2008
India Habitat Center, Gulmohar Auditorium, New Delhi, India. Exhibition of works displayed on the occasion of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.
“Step by Step” Exhibition at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India.
“Dreamworlds” Exhibition at the Brooks Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic.
Private Collections: “Bastet and the Eye of Ra” acrylic paint on canvas Czech diplomat at the Czech Embassy in New Delhi, India. “Chinese Dragon” acrylic paint on handmade Indian paper Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in New Delhi, India. Given on the occasion of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “Golden Dragon” acrylic paint on handmade Indian paper Golden Dragon Restaurant, C - Block, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, India. Prints of “Ode to Nepal” High School Principal’s Office, American Embassy School, New Delhi, India.
Beth Miller-Manchester (Assistant Principal), American Embassy School, New Delhi, India.
Print of “Ode to Myanmar” Dr. Myint Htwe, World Health Organization, New Delhi, India. Print of “Kinnaree” His Excellency Mr. Chaisiri Anamarn Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Czech Republic
Dr. Samlee Plianbangchang, World Health Organization, New Delhi, India.
Print of “Lady with the Golden Fan” Dr. Than Sein, World Health Organization, New Delhi, India.
World Prize of Salvador Dali for significant accomplishment in the field of fine art.
European Prize by the European Union of Arts
World Prize of the World Union of Culture for Artistic Endeavour â€œwhich actively contributes to the cultural understanding between the East and Westâ€?
Media: Ceska Televize “Udel Nadani” Documentary (airing in early 2011) selected as one of five talented young Czech people of 2010 for the documentary May 1st 2006 Hindustan Times (HT City) “Artonomics yet again...” by Rewati Rau (Around Town, p.2) May 5th 2006 Hindustan Times “London Linkages” by Shraddha Shaw “Tales of Textures” Catalogue by Art Elements Gallery in Association with BNP Paribas Private Banking (p. 53 & 58) 2007 Art India Magazine http://www.artindiamag.com/quarter02_08/listing02_08.html
. (Work in Progress) .
. Dreamscapes Series . charcoal and dry pastels on handmade Indian paper 230cm x 120cm (each) 2007
The artistic name of LADI has recently appeared in paintings made by Ladislava Bohacova Fricova, a Czech artist. During her years of stay and study in Asia (India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand), she has been exposed to the ancient cultures of that part of the world. Ladi has created a cultural bridge between European and Asian cultures. She uses various techniques, such as acrylic on canvas, pastels, watercolours, ink, and various digital techniques. In her works of art we can distinguish several styles. Firstly, there are works inspired by philosophy of the Far East. There is a feeling of the philosophy of Zen, which looks for a timeless moment, for a point of no dimensions in which there is no duality, for an attempt to soar above this world’s norms. With the works of LADI we enter into the realm of emptiness where thinking in notions ceases to work. Each moment of our lives becomes a step of infinity. Master Po-chang used to explain to his students what life in Zen is, as follows: “Don’t be clinging, keep on exploring!” LADI the artist looks for “an original thought, an original mind”, she strives to understand the ego as a false self and the very centre of being as a true self. She strives for an insight into the primordial naturalness, she searches for a sudden enlightenment. According to Master Hui-hai, the sudden enlightenment means to shake off the vicious circle of errant thoughts. The insight into the primordial naturalness can be seen for example in the painting “Rhythmic Animalia” (2004), in which the artist works with the motifs of maternal love, in the central black-and-white detail, next to the struggle of a manhunter with wild animals as a symbol of survival. The painting as a whole expresses what is common for philosophies of the Far East – Advaita, Yoga, Lamaism, Zen, etc., i.e. which is spontaneity and naturalness. The artist feels that the intellect acts as an obstacle to this insight and, therefore, she converts the motifs into symbolic forms, such as a choppy symbolic head or stylized creatures in the form of mythical birds, etc. Reincarnation of souls is evident in this art. The highest intensity of symbols is presented in paintings inspired immediately by natural motifs, as it can be seen in the painting “Rhythmic Plantae” (2004). In fact, these natural motifs represent the second style of the artist which could be originally called “an entry into the naturalness of Nature”. Here, we can find natural energies and elements, but there is also a skeleton as the symbol of Death. The contradictions of eternity: life and death. We remember the wisdom of the Vedas: the higher nature surpassing the material nature is eternal. It has no history, no origin, neither a beginning nor end. According to the Vedas, there is another unexpressed form of nature eternally present in the transcendental expressed and unexpressed matter. It is the highest one and, as such, will never be destroyed. LADI the artist creates “the spiritual heaven”, for example, in the painting “Crystal Ball to India” (2005). The third style in LADI’s art consists of her mandalas. She has thoroughly studied the history of mandalas, so she knows very well that mandalas and jantras are ritual diagrams used in Tantrism and Tibetan Dharma. The artist has been particularly inspired by the Hindu jantras used during the meditations of the circle jantra. In each jantra there is a symbol of divinity. Each being has its own symbol. 13.
LADI understands the mandala as a sacred abode in which divinities dwell. In her works we find deep understanding of the fact that a form of the Hindu mandala is partially derived from the architecture of a temple. For example, what we find there is the representation of cosmos, because many Hindu and Buddhist works, for instance the temples in Lhasa, were built according to the mandala principle and contain the cosmos representation. The artist also knows that, in addition to the temples, large Buddhistic stupas (e.g. the stupa in Sanchi) were also constructed according to the mandala principles. The principle of the world axis appears and the artist strives to join the cosmic and the human. This principle is felt in the painting “Ode to Nepal” (2004); however, at the same time, we can observe that the artist respects different levels of the mandala ritual where Buddhists use specific mandalas with engraved syllables (mantras and dharani) as magic talismans. In the center of mythical cosmos there is the mountain of Meru, its axis. However, LADI has created a completely special symbolic world which does not copy the standard mandala principles mechanically from a historical point of view. Her world emphasizes the mandala symbols so that it unites human and cosmic symbols without overestimating perfection. Because of this, the artist does not always position Buddha the Sublime or Buddha the Wrathful, neither one of Buddhas in arms with a companion, in the center of the mandala. Next to the perfection, we also find the sansara: woes, changes, and a moral imperfection. Here, the tension between the sansara and the nirvana is essential. While a meditating person is getting rid of shortcomings, mandala symbols start to blend. In this context, LADI’s mandalas represent a microcosmos. This is how we perceive and understand the ritual diagrams in LADI’s works. The difference from the classic triangles is obvious at first glance. Tradition teaches differently. The triangles directed upwards or downwards – according to the male or female divinity – unite. The triangles are surrounded by circles symbolizing protection and by flower petals, which accompany the divinities. It seems that LADI the artist has been inspired more by those Buddhist mandalas which show Buddha’s teaching, circle of life, and cosmic trees. In short, the mandalas of a human being and of Nature dominate. In my opinion, LADI the artist creates mainly “the inner mandalas” which may induce the atmosphere for meditation, at times requiring the soft glow of candle light. What dominates is the representation of energy, we can concentrate on the inner energy in the painting, the energies of the human body and the soul. The perceiver reaches enlightenment. The perceiver strives for cleansing: “I am the soul, not the matter”. The fourth style of the artist is only loosely related to the previous one, but we could call it originally “a style of mystic energies”. This includes the paintings “Mystic Mandala” (2008), “First Flame” (2008), as well as “First Spring” (2008) and “Rain Sending” (2008). According to the fourth mantra, the energies of the Lord can be divided into three main categories: the inner energy, the marginal energy and the outer energy. For example, in the painting of LADI fire does not burn in one place, but spreads its heat all the way around. The Absolute Divine Personality transmits power in all directions. Living beings are born of the outer energy. The material world is created by the Lord’s outer energy, the spiritual heaven is the presentation of the inner energy, as the wisdom of the Vedas is recalled. 14.
The fifth style of LADI the artist immediately builds on the postmodern art of the 20th century. The painting “Me in Four Colors” (2005) reminds us of Warhol and the post-pop-art in today’s culture. What dominates here are feelings typical for our civilization of advertisement and the world of audio-visual culture. The surface is decorative, the colors are bright and purposely contrasting. The artist does not follow modern techniques of a screen print used by Warhol and the likes, but she uses an ink technique, with the result of bigger volume compared to plane ink. The artist does not want to multiply her works (as pop-artists do) in high quantities. The sixth style of the artist, different from the technically perfect use of phototechnique in a picture, from a computer schematism, develops digital approaches on a graphic tablet. Thus, the graphic is the basis, and photo-techniques with a help of the computer are just auxiliary. As a result, a graphic character of the art works, with domination of graphic modulated line, can be observed. Colors are not cold, they are understood in an artistic concept as a lyric association, where various subconscious ideas connect into chains of forms. The background is of a painting, there are imaginary landscapes into which a graphic fantasy of drawings is planted. The artist strives for spiritual content, the meditations and contemplations return again as in her mystics. The artist succeeds in overcoming the computer fallacy by the vibrant colorfulness. The vibration reminds us of natural atmospheric changes. That is why this style of the artist may be called “a vibrant abstract contemplation”. The second level of the digital style in the development of the artist stems from the inspiration by the so-called new figuration of the 20th century, where the mystic symbolism of an ornament connects with the real psychology of a figure. A conventional feminine gesture is often revived namely with the help of mystic radiation. Photo-techniques drive the artist close to the anonymity of a figural representation, and, at the same time, an artistic concept drives her close to the expression of the figure’s identity. This struggle is typical in the works from 2008 (Desiderium, and others). Some works reach the borderline of magic realism, where the surrealist concept of dreaming starts to dominate. Thank God for the art of LADI and we wish for her art to keep us in the state of transcendental bliss! August 2010
Prof. PhDr. Miroslav Klivar European Union of Art
. Rhythmic Animalia . charcoal, dry pastels, and coloured pencils on paper 50cm x 60cm 2004
. Crystal Ball to India . dry pastels, watercolours, coloured pencils, and pen on tag board 55cm x 60cm 2005
. Yogi . oil paint on canvas paper 30cm x 40cm 2010
. Natureâ€™s Flow . oil pastels and coloured pencils on paper 25cm x 40cm 2005
. Personal Mandala . photocopy transfer and acrylic paint on tag board 70cm x 70cm 2004
. Mystic Mandala . acrylic paint on canvas 120cm x 120cm 2008
. First Flame . acrylic paste and oil paint on canvas 110cm x 110cm 2008
. First Spring . acrylic paste and oil paint on canvas paper 40cm x 30cm 2008
Living the Postmodern Experience In the context of the Czech and Slovak visual arts, the name of Ladislava Fričová Boháčová aka LADI is not well-known yet. This is not because the artist has not created enough artifacts deserving of our attention, but due to the simple fact that although she is of Czech and Slovak origins, she is about to enter this (i.e. Central European) territory by an indirect path. She lived in Asia for many years, and has therefore had the opportunity to encounter various visual cultures of several countries which we consider exotic. Consequently, this experience is reflected in her artistic creations. If I were to offer a key to understanding LADI’s art, I would recommend focusing on the following four paintings. The first one would be the painting entitled Ode to Czechoslovakia (2007) since this is the one that represents - at least for me - the culture our young artist sprang from. Given the painting’s name, it becomes clear that she left for Asia in the era of Czechoslovakia’s joint existence, which was quite a long time ago. Evidently, there are mostly memories instead of direct experiences which bind LADI to this region. So, she uses the imagery, symbols and well-known characteristics related to Czechoslovakia, but she does this in a way belonging to neither the Czech, nor to the Slovak or any concrete Asian visual culture she has maintained a more immediate contact with. As a result, her painting is comprised of an in-between style born of the dialogue of two or more - cultures. The same can be said about the following three paintings, namely Ode to Nepal (2004), Ode to Indonesia (2005) and Ode to Myanmar (2008). The names themselvs suggest that they are pictorial expressions of LADI’s admiration of the three countries in question. Expressions, which on one hand work with fragments of the visual arts from these respective countries, but on the other hand the way these fragments are transformed, the way they are subjected to the laws of composition reveals the position the artist is coming from, which is not one of an insider, but an outsider. However, to be perfectly clear, I am not saying this in a negative connotation. On the contrary, it is her position of distance, of stepping back, which enables her to process the stimuli coming from different visual cultures in a new way. I will conclude with the following remark: at first glance, it seems possible to position Ode to Czechoslovakia (2007) contrastingly with the three remaining works cited. However, through detailed observation it can be said that all four paintings actually form one cycle, even if perhaps this was not the author’s intention at all. The cycle is more than the expression of admiration of the four countries depicted in the paintings, above all it is the revelation of the basis of the artist’s signature style. Here we can use the term “postmodern” as a suitable one, despite its large semantic scope. This term is still able to “cover” the radical plurality of artistic styles and schools. I am speaking of plurality which is able to provide the foundation for multiculturalism in its various forms, as well as for globalism. These are the aspects of cultures which LADI has had the chance to experience immediately and directly. The rest - that is, how to articulate this experience in an artistic way - is up to her. August 2010
prof. PhDr. Peter Michalovič, PhD. Department of Aesthetics Faculty of Arts Comenius University Bratislava, Slovakia
. Ode to Czechoslovakia . acrylic paint on canvas 80cm x 100cm 2005
. Ode to Nepal . acrylic paint on canvas 80cm x 100cm 2005
. Ode to Indonesia . acrylic paint on canvas 80cm x 100cm 2005
. Ode to Myanmar . acrylic paint on canvas 80cm x 100cm 2007
Quotes & Comments
(from “Step-by-Step” exhibition): “Your colors – are like the touch of the Sun; and your painting – is like a journey across half the world. Thank you.” (Prochazkovi, +420 317 723 509) “Very thought provoking, soul searching , touching to the core.” (Pushpa Singh, ph. +91 9818497318) “A mystic world which is beyond the imagination.” (Ramen Sarkar, F-267, 2nd Floor, New Rajendra Nagar, New Delhi-110060) “Thought provoking. Well managed cultural as well as mental scapes.” (Nazar Khan, +91 9871351516) “I am increasingly delighted by the exhibition. Ladi is very much influenced by Indian philosophy and the Mandalas have been beautifully captured in her painting.” (Sameer Kumar, email@example.com ) “I’ll have some piece of India in my heart from these pictures.” (Ivan, Russia) “Thank you very much for this nice exhibition. It is very interesting. I really love 3 pieces about dreams – they are both spiritual and well-made, and it is very important for me, as far as I’m an artist. The very good thing is that you use pastels and hand-made paper – these two materials I love.” (Maria, Russia)
Quotes & Comments
(from “Step-by-Step” exhibition): “I love the colors and vibrancy of feeling in your work. I hope that you will find on your journey the depth and meaning that you’ve been looking for, and some answer to the many questions you have. God bless you and your search for life and experience of love.” (Indi firstname.lastname@example.org ) “Ladi, thanks so much for your creativity and courage to put on your first show in the country that is a part of you. All the best for your future as an artist. I really appreciate your works and the openness of your expression.” (Stefan Eicher, ph. +91 9810859579 email@example.com ) “Ladi’s paintings are indeed very exotic. I would like to include her works in the Group show curated by Reddot Art Gallery – www.reddot.in (K.K.Majumdar) “First flame” is fabulous. Very good mix of styles.” (Gauri Sharma, ph. +91 9899593089) “Most impressive solo show I have ever seen.” (Vimal S. Mehta, FIPA – Forum of IndianPhotographic artists, +91 9810386090 FIPAINDIA@gmail.com ) “Very fresh ideas expressed with feelings of lovely colors. Very inspiring work.” (Ashok Sharma firstname.lastname@example.org +91 9871722366 )
Opposite Page: photos from inauguration of “Step-by-Step” exhibition, New Delhi India. 31.
ÂŠ Copyright LADI Ladislava Fricova Bohacova Tehov 57, 25101 Ricany Czech Republic