My exhibition aims primarily to convey the topic of mental duality. Dualism is known to be the contrast between the physical and the mental, however, I see it more as a battle inside of one's mind. This is nowadays a national phenomenon that is recurrent especially in our generation, due to lockdowns, curfews, masks, all restrictions, having many psychological consequences. And at a turning point, I concentrated on the fractured mentality, which is the ongoing theme in the whole of my work.
In my work, I have explored many different mediums such as paint, clay, plaster, chalk and charcoal, and drawing. When I started working with plaster and modroc for Antagonist, one of the key pieces of my exhibition, I managed to make 3 faces interlaced with wire, having such a strong message, the course of my work changed completely to focusing on figures, mental state, fractured identity, ie. duality. Antagonist arose from my grandmother's struggles with mental illness, as well as Laurie Anderson’s novel Speak, where she explores the ideas of loneliness and vulnerability in today’s society. Antagonist evolved to represent the increasing feelings of disconnection and wariness, representing a fractured modern identity. Next, I created a clay sculpture, Ancient History, but instead of making it heavy, I made it light, emphasizing internal space. It resembles a fossil, one of the first living creatures that created an effective and very efficient shelter out of a tiny bit of material. Hidden Truth, however, is a human-sized body piece, made out of plaster, and modroc paint, using mirrors to reflect the spikes in the interior of the woman’s body. It is similar to an Iron Maiden, a supposed medieval torture device. I believe the Iron Maiden caught people’s imaginations because the idea of a human shape filled with spikes makes sense with how people often feel, so the Iron Maiden has an emotional truth even if it lacks a historical one. It speaks the truth about many people’s experiences of their bodies and pain, whether that pain is literal or emotional.
Many different artists have inspired my works on duality. The most important ones were Frida Kahlo, Marc Quinn, and Frank Messerschmidt for Antagonist, as they either had a theme linked to mine or were physically appealing and transmitting what I wished to transmit. On the other hand, Ancient History was simply inspired by the works of Barbara Hepworth and Rebecca Horn for their aesthetic and not the meaning. Ben Nicholson was a major influence on my two wooden panels, Majorelle Children and Simple figures, as even though he carved into plaster it gave me the idea to superpose wood.
My exhibition space is a room with two entrances, four walls, and strong lighting. Not knowing from where people would enter, I placed Antagonist (the three-headed sculpture) in the center of the room as this depicts my theme well. I hung Simple Figure and Majorelle Children near the entrance to attract attention as they are the most colorful pieces and the large format painting Fallen Tree is on the facing wall to be one of the first pieces noticed by the audience. On the remaining wall I assembled some of my earlier work True Colors, Reflexion, and Hidden Art, since all three of them have a theme of the city and reflections. Lastly, my large sculpture Hidden Truth takes a dominant space on the floor next to the big windows to take advantage of the light falling on it and draws the audience's attention to it.
To conclude, I want to allow the viewers to reflect on the conflict in their minds so they can relate to my different pieces and how they represent this aspect of being lost and fractured both figuratively and in a real sense.
HIDDEN TRUTH (November 2021)
Modroc, plaster, paper
176 x 144 cm
HIDDEN TRUTH is at the top of a full-size body. The contrast between the smooth exterior and the spikes on the underside represents the difference in how on the outside we appear content, but the truth is our hidden dissatisfaction, emptiness, and anger inside. The work of the Asian artist Ki-Pyung was an inspiration, the main themes are impermanence, identity and conformity.The duality present in my piece started by looking at the emptiness of his Existential Sculptures.