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22/01 - 28/03 


Suojia Zhang and Ernests Vītiņš, Mākslas muzejs Rīgas birža, starptautiska izstāde

This is a concept of the collaborative exposition "Dialogue: Upon the evocation of memories" of two artists, Suoija Zhang (China) and Ernest Vitin (Latvia), for an international glass art exhibition "Voice of Glass. Collaborative" at the Riga Bourse Art Museum (Riga Old Town, Latvia) from the 22nd of January to 28th of March, 2021.

The glass artists' works face each other as if in dialogue. An act illustrative of the central concept of the exhibition - collaboration. In this case collaboration is a remote dialogue between the artists; between Latvia and China; hot and cold glass working techniques. The dialogue is about, on the one hand - what has been, on the other - who has been. Affection and understanding of each other's experience arise from understanding the process of evoking memories within oneself. 
The grief associated with the demolition of the artist Suojia Zhang's birthplace is depicted in the form of a hundred-year-old red brick cast in glass. Each brick bears an imprint of the artist's spiritual homeland - 青岛 (Quingdao) - the name of the city. On the other hand, the layered glass monument, which bears the family name of Ernest Vītiņš - Vītiņi, represents equivalent feelings of unfillable emptiness when a beloved person will nevermore be seen walking this earth again. Between them is a pile of sand, which is a paraphrase of a construction site where the last evidence of old architecture has collapsed in the form of the cast glass bricks and the characteristic sand on the gravesite.
The dialogue forms a space enclosed on both sides by large sheets of glass. Rice papers attached to both glass sheets are shipped from China. The lines on them are drawn with traditional Chinese ink and a calligraphy brush. 
The glass sheet with horizontally placed rice paper is covered with ash as a paraphrase about the exposure of memories to the destructive effects of time. The ash comes from the furnaces of Ernest's family house, which his grandparents bought nearly a century ago and which might get demolished during the time of this exhibition to enable the construction of a new family home that meets this time and needs. The horizontal line is a path through the dimensions maintained by the mind - past (memories) and future (fantasies). The glass sheet with the vertical rice paper is clean, symbolizing the presence of the mind in the present and the associated understanding and peace. The vertical line conveys that time is irrelevant - the depth of experience is what matters. 

Textual description of the concept and photography: Linda Vītiņa
Exhibition curators: "Voice of Glass. Collaboration" Inguna Audere and Michael Rogers (Irmacollaborative, Art Academy of Latvia), Vita Birzaka and Ieva Zemīte (Riga Bourse Art Museum)

Set designer: Artūrs Arnis

Many thanks to: 

Very forthcoming Riga Bourse Art Museum assistance: Kristīne Jansone and Rūdolfs Cunskis

Glasstone collective assistance: Linda Vītiņa, Mārtiņš Kalniņš, Krista Ancāne, Ernests Ronis (development of the Vitini memorial, sandpile, glass walls and setup of the exhibition)
Beijing Houliu Glass Studio assistance: Hu Dongfgang and Wang Wei (production of Suojia Zhang's glass bricks and international transportation of the work)

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