26.02.2020 - 09.05.2020
Fait Gallery, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
Opening: 26. 2. 2020 at 7pm
Curator: Miroslav Ambroz
In my past lives, I was a hunter and a gatherer. I would always start my everyday routine
with decorating tools, weapons and creating musical instruments for myself.
1) Even though you were considered as the creator of spatial objects, in this exhibition your major emphasis is on paintings. What was the impulse?
The new atelier, where for the first time in my life, is light, space and warmth, this helped me to finally start painting. An eternity of horizons was open in front of me, together with two big travels to Columbia and Australia, I understand this happy season as staying on an abandoned island, therefore the name "Two years’ vacation".
2) In 2004 you painted large format canvases "Roads of swifts" and "Mother Earth". In the sametime frame you also painted "Chaple of Karlin", and even before that, "Envelopes" were created, therefore in your own way you are continuing with something that was created long before?
Of course, I was already painting in the '70s during my studies. Back then I inherited very rare pigments from prof. Slánský, which I am using presently. The first time I used them was during my exhibition in Rudolfinum, when there was a need to paint something great for "Silent Hall" and a figure of the central deity arose, which is appearing in my works in different varieties. Connection with the material was always important for me. The type of work on the ground on the non-gesso canvas, together with water diluted pigments and acrylate bonds demanded this physical contact. Even in some places on the paintings, there are my footprints.
A wall painting "Chaple of Karlin" was in somewhat a cleansing exhibition after the floods in 2002, and according to an agreement I had to turn it white. The oldest envelopes date back to 1986. The style of their decoration is connected with the style of "Third rococo" and that epoch is accumulated in my works. In the '90s I created multiple large format envelopes, which I perceived as the object/pictures having multiple-meanings and it opened an inexhaustible line packed into certain cushions, similar to guitars. This is related to my favourite non-standard formats (ovals) and adjusting large canvasses "free" without the stretcher bar.
3) What was most interesting thing about Australia?
First of all never ending space and starry skies. Five weeks, every evening by the fire in the desert. Furthermore, colours and rock paintings as old as 60 000 years. This was the first time I have seen baobabs and eucalypti that were 800 years old, which existed way before the arrival of whites... breathtaking scenery. I brought back a lot of collected materials and natural clay, with which I am painting. Australians have a "story" for each god, they are mostly cautionary stories, which have helped to keep the tribes viable. It appears to me as there are various imaginary divinities, however, they were born from the transcultural backdrop. Something interesting is that the rock paintings and figures on it are very similar all around the world, but I am not the type who would study these things in much detail. On the other hand, I deliberately keep certain blindness, to be astonished, and I would recommend this to consumers. Those who ask too much will learn too much.
4) Some rusty images look a bit apocalyptic, did it have any specific impulse?
"Rusty images" are painted by some rusty mud from a forested swamp in West Czech. In fact, they are ferric nano-shells of microorganisms. I discovered this beautiful colour in the '70s, which came back to me now, to extract it artistically. Thematically, they partly follow the cycle of thermo-drawings "Landscapes from Timelessness" or the cycle of graphics "Giants", where the power of nature is personified into supernatural beings. People desire to witness a miracle or other paranormal acts, and we have this advantage that we can also paint them. Also, people are drawn to the aesthetic of natural disasters and the theatre of extinction. Towards the end however, the road took me elsewhere.
5) When you were in Columbia, did you try yagé -the most renowned shamanic hallucinogen?
I don’t need to check what I suspect. I don't need to meet God. I don't want to upset him. He
could stop passing me.
The interview led Miroslav Ambroz
Fait Gallery PREVIEW, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
Opening: 26 February 2020 at 7pm
Curator: Tímea Vitázková
We are exploring the world to know how it works by just as like peeling Baumkuchen layer by layer.
There I wish the world is surrounded by moments to know small surprising facts which shake our understanding of the world a bit but not to the extent to completely change the structure.
… like when I came to know that couscous is a type of pasta.
Čert 180 g is a type of bread, which you can find on St. Nicolaus day in Tesco, Loupák pes 60g in Albert. Although these products are on offer in self-service checkouts, there is no real chance to buy them. Mirroring this situation, “bez omáčky” is most likely an option, that you can choose from while ordering fries from the same type of self-checkouts, but this wish may not be granted. Sometimes we are offered things by the system, which we cannot choose from, another time for a change we can choose things, which will not be allowed by the system. These are outwardly insignificant and easily overlooked objects and situations. We stop and think about it for a while and then we continue on with life, or we don’t pay attention to them at all.
Nonetheless, Minami Nishinaga with her daily obsession and sensitivity towards detail, pays attention to those situations, appreciates them and thus transforms them into her works. The essence of her work results in mostly objects and miniature sculptures, often having performative or audiovisual overlap. One of the main themes, which the artist deals with, is language. At the beginning, the author of Japanese descent perceived the Czech language as very difficult, even
inaccessible. She managed to get acquainted with the language only after getting to know the diminutives. These peculiar words, which contain a kind of mercy are also a sign of proximity between the subjects of communication, became a source of fascination for the artist. Minami Nishinaga became a collector of these phrases, the inventor of her imaginary vocabulary, looking for and assigning local equivalents to the diminutives of her native language. These diminutives
are the bearers of proximity but especially their cuteness - and it winds throughout the artist's work, which is also manifested at the exhibition in the Fait Gallery.
I’ll give brownie points to something like Čert 180 g, Loupák pes 60 g, or perhaps Bez omáčky visualises personal stories of eight anthropomorphic objects from different materials. These subtle narrative pieces capture a tiny murmur between objects and subjects. At first sight, these dialogues are not clear however, thanks to the author’s sensitivity and imagination they speak to us and are waiting for empathy, recognition and attention. It is subtle in personifications of zoomorphic works or objects, which are addressed with humanity and care. Other works are related to the artist herself, her "ritual" or situations, full of intimacy and are reflecting the search for support. Throughout these subtle poetic objects, Minami Nishinaga encourages sensitivity, receptive understanding and appreciation of not only your surroundings but also to you personally.