26 July, 2019 – November 05
Exhibited at Ceramic Art Pavilion

Authors: Zina Blyzniuk (Ukraine), Rosana Tagliari Bortolin (Brazil), Srinia Chowdhury (India), Rasa Justaitė-Gecevičienė (Lithuania), Nizam Orçun Önal (Turkey) Siraj Saxena (India), Byongchan Seo (South Korea)

“The artist’s profession usually looks very individualistic. However, there is a special relationship between the ceramicists. Maybe that’s why until the symposium started, they seemed so different, but during the symposium, they start to communicate in the same language. Of course, stylistic solutions remain individual, but the common denominator exists here. The works of the XXII Panevėžys International Ceramic Symposium can be divided into two bright groups: sculptures reflecting growth and constant change of life, and objects that explore a more active social themes.

Byongchan Seo, the South Korean representative, usually creates traditional shape dishes. The artist is particularly interested in the wood firing. Paradoxically, however, the ceramicist was interested in this traditional way of wood firing, appeared in Korea 1,500 years ago, during his Master’s studies in Australia, but not in his native South Korea. When he returned after his studies, he himself built a fairly simple Tong-gama type kiln, where he combust his works. Meanwhile, during the ceramic symposium, B. Seo created works that were not typical of him. Some of them are ancient totems. High, graceful, upward-looking shapes, decorated with textures and ritual drawings created by the author’s individual technique. From these forms of totems, another sculpture of a man on horseback follows. The artist depicts also a ruler who puts a chair on horseback, which conveys the idea of an overwhelming desire for power. An individual is characterized by a desire to rise as high as possible, despite security and stability. Ceramicist invites you to look from the side at the reckless ambitions that can sometimes be hopeless.

Speaking of high-altitude architectural forms, one should mention the works of Siraj Saxena. His openwork buildings are towers of human life that never stop growing. The statue walls decorated with Indian ornaments symbolize pleasant events and details of everyday life. Meanwhile, adjacent blowholes are uncontrollable events that are beyond the control of the person. With these stylistic means, the artist seeks to emphasize the constant growth of the human personality and to separate himself from the negative thoughts and the angle of such a prevailing attitude.

Nizam Orçun Önal, a Turkish artist, mixes urban buildings with natural rocks or even mountain motifs in his works. In this way, images of inhabited cavities that appear to be like mountain caves arise. Rotating and upward parts create an impression of dynamism. Other creations of this Turkish artist are witty. The bus, which in its appearance reflects the end of the 20th century, illustrates the moments of everyday life of the participants of the symposium. With a vehicle marked with No. 6, ceramic artists have been traveling to creative studies every day for a number of years. Such a work is like an artist’s attempt to make routine rituals meaningful.

Vitality is characteristic of many of the works of this symposium. Zina Blyzniuk, who is a Ukrainian artist, has moulded stylized plants. According to the artist, her sculptures and their motives are directly influenced by the emotions and moods experienced by the author. Unlimited possibilities to create, implement mature ideas, realize large-scale ambitions have probably led to the abundance of lavishly decorated, sprawling, tall flower figures. Rhythmic volume ornaments prevent the sculpture from becoming too decorative and complete the composition neatly.

The cones of Rasa Justaitė-Gecevičienė, who is the only artist representing Lithuania, appear as symbols of maturity in the context of symposium works. If the sculptures of other participants symbolized growth and new experiences, then R. Justaitė-Gecevičienė is conveying the already accumulated knowledge. The real scale of the cone, which is increased ten times, further accentuates the impression of experience and importance. Although the piece may be just a decorative expression of ceramicist’s hobby to collect these coniferous seed tanks, its size, in itself, creates additional meanings. This sculpture organically integrates into the general motif of the artist’s ceramics objects – plant interpretations, which, according to the author, express the eternally changing circle of nature, unique to his individuality and surprise.

The works of Rosana Tagliari Bortolin, who is a Brazilian artist, help move from natural forms to social themes. Its clay modeling technique, like the form of the works itself, is taken from the natural world. The author creates her work as a swallow sticking the nest: put a small piece of wet clay on top of one another until she obtains the necessary texture and form. R. T. Bortolin, on the basis of her own performative experience, interprets a woman’s body as a nest in ceramics (which is also related to the idea of a primordial dish). The artist creates a safe shelter that does not have a hostile attitude towards a woman’s lifestyle and action, in which she can not only fulfill the duty of the society to take care of the welfare of the family in certain cases, but also to create, improve and realize herself.

The other participant of the symposium, actively developing the theme of femininity, was Srinia Chowdhury, an Indian artist. She creates sculptures in the form of primitive toys, decorated with personalized drawings made by sgraffito technique, telling about the position of women in society. Bull or horse-shaped toys are sexless. They are like a reference to innocent and pure childhood, in which there is no division between male and female activities or duties. The works of the artist created during the symposium also aim to convey different cultures – the traditional and the springy, which is a rapidly changing, harmonious combination.

An extremely powerful energy charge that materialized into impressive ceramics was felt throughout the symposium. Maybe that’s why the works created by seven artists contain both vitality and different experiences. You can see the hints of general human feelings and individual experiences of each artist. When these works are combined, they convey the remarkable atmosphere and aura of the entire XXII Panevėžys International Ceramic Symposium.“

Aurelija Seilienė,
Art Critic,
Head of the Symposium