Tanja Pak
Oblikovanje steklaBlack lineProstorske postavitve, skulpture

Artist's statement

Tanja Pak, March 2018

Each being, unique and the only one in its awareness and perceptions, takes part in creating the breathing of this world. Each one of us lives inside the veil of their own transient world, filled with memories, emotions and yearnings.

Sometimes, a sense of loneliness and timelessness unfolds and makes one gasp for air in their own intimate space of experience, which I call the In-between breath. It is the moment a breath stops, frozen in time, and tunes.

My work is about breathing. Inhale, exhale, and all the space and time between. Contemplation and peacefulness, drifting apart and separating, longing and conciliation, reuniting into quiet tranquility again. I believe this is the process of many individual intimacies of today.

My work is a process of internalizing external impressions, translating visual, audio and tactile stimuli to an inner world, as an inhalation, and then their expression to a work of art, as an exhalation. I try to capture emotions and the essence of thoughts into the almost de-materialized matter, constantly searching for immensity and silence in vastness of actual landscapes, mirroring those inside my awareness.

I have been much influenced by readings of Bachelard, Arvo Part’s music and, more than anything else, by my own search for immensity and silence in the vastness of deserts and the depths of the sea. Every sense finds its place there and every silence its echo. I seek in the limitless horizons of the desert or the ocean, my own space in which every thought and every feeling breadth to breathe.

When I seek the Whiteness that so much describes my work, I think of breathing, of inhalation and exhalation, of floating in the “In betweenness”. What is an individual who seeks his place of dreaming in the world, where the waves compel him to swim with them? What is the nature of the sense of solitude in a crowd, where the I ends and collective dreams begin? Can the I remain in its own sphere of dream and longing?

The color white, that defines my work, is for me a space for breathing, an infinite broadness, vastness, a sense of levitation in the space of In-between. White is a softness that encompasses me in the moments of innermost peace, it is the silence in which rests the peace I seek.

When velvet black appears in my work, it is the earthly counterweight to the ethereal white. It is bounded and defined. A caressing embrace.

The duality of glass makes it a suitable medium for my search for possibilities of expressing personal issues and anguish felt by the individual. The ethereal and elusive image of the material offers the possibility to visualize her longing and emotions, the intangible that addresses us on intuitive level.

The part of me, which constantly feels for emotions and questions in every vibration of light, searches for light inside the glass, it dives into its depths, travels into it and looks back into the world through its membrane. Who I am, hidden and mirrored in reflections within it, shattered in endless layers and scattered to fragments.

Glass is the material which allows me to scratch the layers, discover them one by one, dream with my eyes open and wake from my dream again and again, each time with different views. Glass is the unrelenting mirror, an impermeable membrane between here and there. It keeps my thoughts in an unspoken and undefined space, almost devoid of gravity, almost nothing but a thought and its trace. In the next moment it is present again, gently quivering and tranquil, with layered coats of softness and lack of definition… No longer matter, just light captured inside matter, and shadow outlining it into reality. This is why it’s able to address and translate emotions and seizes us through all our senses.

The technique I choose is never more than a mere tool, a decision based on the narrative/confession and desired communicative effect. The same is true of reaching for other materials than glass and venturing into fields other than that of pure visual art, when searching for ways of visualization.

I understand my spatial installations through dramaturgical perspective and through our whole awareness; through matter, sound, light, touch, smell, and movement. Individual units become parts of a story of greater dimensions, inserted in a given space, which itself carries within mute testimony, inscribed on its surface like a palimpsest. They tell of eternal tension between subject and object, and yearning of the self. They are a search for breath, for inhaling and exhaling, for immensity and vastness. They sum our experiences up and speak to the observer, invoking his intimate memory.

In my spaces of captured lights I build dimensions, which offer dreamers space for their very own reveries.

Tanja Pak