The kick of Taiwan
At the end of the first wave, I was in Taiwan for an exchange programme. I flew there in February, so covid had only spread in South Asia and Taiwan, it got worse.
I spent half a year on the exchange programme before the summer, and it was great because everything was open including the school, and I could paint. It was also a really helpful experience for me to be surrounded by the culture it allowed me to progress in my work.
This second wave has only affected me in the way that I had no place to work so I had to find a studio. Before, I worked at home, and it was troublesome due to the scale I work with, and I have had a lot of people interested in my work. I like working on a larger scale because it is nice when a figure is the same size as the actual human body. I understand that there is a disadvantage in terms of scale while purchasing my work as not everyone can fit in 3-meter painting in their flat. But working on a small scale is difficult for me as I want to express more, and a smaller amount of space limits me.
Everything is done in one go, and you can see every brushstroke.
One ''uncomfortable'' aspect
I saw while travelling in south-east Asia around 3 years ago was prostitution literally at every corner. It was shocking how easy it is to get girls. I became concerned and started my research on the topic. In my paintings, I try to educate about the stories of the girls that had to and still go through this horrible experience. It is a heavy topic, and that is why I am trying to paint it more lightly, covering it with a lighter colour palette and so on.
My last exhibition that ended in December was about 7 girls from Cambodia. They were saved from prostitution but they died very shortly after being rescued to due getting aids.
I have been reaching out to some organisations because I wanted to see how I can help out in general.
I have been reaching out to some organisations because I wanted to see how I can help out in general. In the future for my diploma work, I have in mind that I want to work with the survivors and create art therapy with them to get to know them in general. Out of their paintings, I would create an exhibition and try to sell them to help out.
I understand that prostitution will always be around however it really should be illegal under 18.
I never prepare anything for the canvas, no composition, nothing. It just comes naturally. It is like a collage that I collect in my head. I don't usually make sketches apart from my latest work that was based on these BLUE ROSE sketches I made.
Most of my painting titles come from war aeroplanes. Pilots usually painted these ''war paintings' on the top of the nose of their aircraft. They also always gave them quite sexual titles such as- Booby trap, Yellow rose, Heroine tail and so on... something with a double meaning and I try to recreate that genre into my paintings. It also made sense to look up these aircraft as I have a background in flying.
In this blue series, I am trying to portrait women as an object. In their faces, you can see that they are not present at the moment. The snakes represent the torture method that is well known in Cambodia, when girls do not cooperate with the client they torture the girls with the snakes putting them under their clothes and so on.
Blue is a very meaningful colour. For this particular series, I chose it because it is a very honest one, and it creates a safe place.
When I was in Taiwan for half a year, I got obsessed with pottery and started implementing those beautiful shapes of the vases into my work. I decided to draw the stories of the girls inside those vases as the object is very feminine and fragile.
I would like to create 20 paintings of these vases and put them around a room so they fill the whole space and create this effect of almost being trapped in a maze. Through that, I am trying to achieve a feeling of how small the girls feel while being surrounded by the heaviness of vases.
I am not thinking about switching media yet. I am open to everything, but for now, painting gives me enough space to express myself how I want to.