A magician's moments

Zacharie Miri is a 22 years old, living in Paris is a nurse by profession. He is also a professional magician. He does private and public close up shows, and even contested in France's got talent.

When did your love of magic first start?

I started pretty late compared to most magicians! I started when I was around 17 years old.

My family and I were going down to the south of France, but since we live In Paris (which is around the north),we had to stop midway, in Lyon.There, we went to a restaurant in a little place. Our table was outside, and my little brother (who was 12 years old), saw a magician busking in the other end of the place. Enthusiastically, he asked my mother to see him after eating. My mother said yes, and he just ate his food as fast as possible to see him.

While me being a teenager, acted like I didn't care. But there is something entertaining about magic which makes people glued to it, so I thought to visit and bring my brother back. When I reached the magician's stand, Noé (my brother) asked: "Sir, can you do your best magic trick to my brother before we leave?”

So he performed to me one trick( a trick when the spectator has a spongeball in his hands, and the magician makes another ball to teleport in my hand, so now I have two), and I was amazed and fooled so badly at the same time, that I kept on watching one trick after the other  until my father finally came to bring the both of us back !  While returning back, I was thinking that it would have been so great to learn how to perform magic. It was just a only a thought then.

Then we arrived at our destination. There was 1 room for each other, and my room was a furnitured attic. And among the various stuffs in the room, I found an old magic kit! I told to myself "Well I have no excuses to not start!”. I started to learn some tricks, including the spongeball trick! And when I performed tricks to my family (and friends who were joining us later) tiny miracles, they enjoyed so much that it made me feel so good, like I never was !

Later, back home, I ordered my own magic kit, less "chilidish" and started to learn as much as possible. Among all the kind of magic in the kit (ropes, coin,etc.), I oriented myself with cards, which became my specialization (like a lot of beginners), because of his unlimited possibilities of tricks, and it is ease to carry out various tricks.

Meanwhile, I was studying to be a nurse, but the more I learned and performed, the more people wanted to hire me for some events. And even if I love to be a nurse, I feel so happy when, for a moment, I make someone forget everything and make them enjoy the moment and see a world where everything is possible.

It is because I want to share the feeling that that magician gave me, just like your first firework, or when everyone sings for your birthday.. It is when I realized that that I saw my hobby turning into a real passion!

Do you think magic is something that anyone can learn or do you have to have a certain aptitude or mindset?

Everyone thinks that being able to "fool" people is a gift; some may even think that it requires real powers. But in fact, everybody can learn the conjuring art. I didn't even know how to properly shuffle a deck of cards before starting to learn! Depending on the category of magic you want to learn, there might be some difficulties, but there is 3 inherent things that you will need to be better at this art:

Time: because you'll spend hours and hours to understand a technique, timing, the presentation some tricks requires weeks, months, or even a lifetime to master!

Money: because time is money haha!  No really, the business of secret is well kept, and the more you'll get specialized, the more hidden secret will be expensive. Of course, you can pay also a mentor to teach you, but I learned by myself, because having a mentor is also expensive. Plus, sometimes, you have to buy some material to build/refill tricks. Doesn’t mean that you can't do good magic for cheap though, a good deck of cards and you can entertain people for hours if you know your tricks!

Motivation: the most important thing to have, because it is your motivation that will make you willing to spend time and money to be better. Your motivation is often having a hard time, whether you met bad spectators or you struggle to learn something,etc . But as long as you know your true motivation, and it is strong enough, you can be one of the best!This is how I managed to reach the "professional level" while starting way later: I worked hard to succeed, thanks to my true motivation!

What’s your favorites magic trick?

Well first of all, as a close-up magician, I like to involve the spectators as much as possible. As I said earlier, I want them to imagine a world of unlimited possibilities, not to show me and my "magic powers". It creates a win/lose situation, which I don't like.

So the less I do things, the better it is, and it is even better if THEY do it. I have a lot of tricks like that, but if I had to choose one, it would be the trick where a spectators choose any card he/she likes, place it back in the deck wherever he/she wants, and keeps the deck the whole time. Then he/she would imagine burning his own card (which I don't know). A few seconds later, the spectators feel a bit of heat. He/she spreads the deck, to find one card with a big burnt hole: it is their card!This trick is so strong, and simple to follow, that you can even do it without speaking, I love the reactions I get from people with this trick so much that I do it all the time !

What has been the most memorable moment for you?

When you do magic, you meet a lot of different people, from different cultures, countries. So you have a lot of memorable moments created by the meeting of people you wouldn't even talk to without this special event. It is very hard to pick just one. Let me share couple of these special moments. Firstly, it was last year, the day after Christmas. There was an activity center who was keeping kids for parents who had to work on that day. Sad for the kids when you can't play with your presents! But the director hired me to do a 2 hr long show. When you do magic, you enjoy creating amazement and laughs to people, and see it on their face. But from all reactions I could have  in my "career", those from these 40 children were so pure and strong, that even now I can't talk about it without having a big smile and telling myself that is the best job ever!

Another experience was in India. My friend and I planned our trip two months ago, so we can be sure to have every guesthouse, every train ticket on the right time and we wouldn't have to worry about it. Our last night train was from Varanasi to Kolkata. But even two months before, we were the 4th and 5th on the waiting list. On the departure day, we took the night train. The first 45min of the trip was on sleeper class, with the tickets granted. But for the next 12 hours on AC2... still on waiting list! We had to sit on the floor, between to wagons, next to the toilets in the cold with people who wakes you up to cross or to go off the train. It was going to be the worst night of my life. But around 23pm, the Ticket Checker told us to go to the sleeper class. So we went, and there we met another two Indians in the same trouble as us.We talked a bit waiting for him, and when I told them what my job was, they naturally asked to show some tricks. So, I did around 30min of magic tricks, and they enjoyed it so much! That is one of the reasons I love Indian people, they love magic as much as I do! But still, we were without seat, the four of us. The ticket checker came again. So my “new friend” negotiated with the Ticket Checker and got us a seat by paying bribe. The whole negotiation process took 4 hrs!.When I wanted to give my new friend the money, he told me "Don't worry my friend, it is my way to thank you for all the good magic you showed us "On that day I've learnt how people can be generous and kind, and that without magic I would have spent the night on the floor!

Advances in technology have created even more possibilities in the art of illusion. What are your views?

A couple of centuries ago, people tend to call "magic" anything people would do that was beyond the understanding. Nowadays we know that magic is not real (as far as we know, but the feeling of living something magical is real, it is what we try to create !). People are getting smarter and smarter, and that is when technology has a role in it.

Today you can order a taxi, know the weather for 2 weeks in advance quite precisely, and talk to someone at the other end of the world! So we can use sometimes some subtle devices to do some parts of the trick that we wouldn't be able to with our bare hands, but I think some technologies are too obvious. That is the case with magic applications on Smartphone. If you think about it, if a magician brings out his own phone to do some miracles, people will think that it is just an app. And they are right most of the time!

People are not stupid, they are getting clever as fast as the technology evolves, and one day everyone will know about almost everything about it. So, I think we are in a technological era of magic, with a lot of magicians performing with tablets, Smartphone. But slowly, we are entering in a new era of magic, which involves the biggest computer ever: the brain. There is a psychological subtlety that absolutely no one knows, and there is no magic app for that. What if I told you that for a moment, I could take back your ability to read? Well, it is possible... and with nothing more than words on a cardboard.

Contact details : https://www.facebook.com/zacharie.miri


“It’s the human encounters that provide the biggest rewards”

In 2015, David Wu walked for 600 km from Kuala Lumpur to Kelantan to raise funds to help repair homes affected by the big flood in Kelantan, Malaysia. The following year, he cycled from his home town of Alor Setar, Malaysia to his ancestral home town in Taishan, China, raising funds to repair more damaged homes and also to search for his grandfather's birthplace. Now, David Wu wants to raise funds for children with cancer, and he wants to ‘take’ these kids to the Seven Modern Wonders of the World. As he cycles worldwide, funds raised will go to The National Cancer Society of Malaysia’s Children’s Home of Hope. This time he flags off with Ving Lee on Merdeka Day to travel to the 7 Modern Wonders of the World, again by bicycle .All they ask is that the public follow their journey and donate ONE Ringgit to help the children.

What is the message that you want to convey through this journey of yours-“One Ringgit, One Malaysian?

I think the message speaks for itself.  The rally call of “A Ringgit A Malaysian” simply means that as a collective, we can do so much by giving the absolute minimum. Every individual can only do so much but coming together as a society, we can certainly do a lot more provided we participate. Participation is key in the realization of any dream or ambition. 

In terms of logistics what is going to be the most challenging leg of your journey?

Well, I did think that India was going to be a tough challenge, but on a more serious note, I think the leg from New Delhi to Jordan will probably be the most challenging logistically. There will be barren land and deserts to cross. The geopolitical scenario in the Middle East is also looking rather prohibitive as far as easy passage is concerned. Jordan is surrounded by countries that are either at conflict or just unsafe to go through. We haven’t quite pinned down the exact route as yet since situations can change by the day in that region. We have an idea, but I think it will only reveal itself further as we get closer. 

You did a 4,000km cycling expedition from Kedah to China. Have you had any major setbacks in that trip, or sketchy situations you had to get yourself out of?

The ride to China was pretty much smooth sailing throughout. It was my first attempt at solo long distance cycling so I guess the challenge was very much a mental one. The fear of the unknown, so to speak. However, my security was never at any risk, looking back, although it didn’t feel like it at the time when I was stranded up in the mountains of Laos till very late at night. That episode was quite hairy, being all alone in pitch darkness in the middle of nowhere familiar. 

Did you ever feel like giving up, if so why? And what kept you going?

No, there hasn’t been a day that I felt like giving up. It will be a long journey nevertheless and I think coming to terms with that fact is key to keep moving forward. Of course there will be times when one will feel homesick or food sick, but in undertaking such a journey, you’ll just need to keep reminding yourself that you weren’t going to start something you don’t intend to finish. If you say it, do it. Getting to the finish line is in itself a huge motivation. 

What has been the most rewarding moment?

I guess it’s the human encounters that provide the biggest rewards. The kindness and generosity shown by total strangers is quite a treat and goes a long way to provide the optimism that deep down, the human nature is still good. We have had some amazing encounters with the people in India, especially in the more rural areas. The sights along our journey are also great feasts to the eyes and make it all worth the while. 

What did this journey teach you about yourself and adventure?

I think we’ll really only know the answer to that when the journey concludes, but at this point in time, I think the journey thus far has made us realize the depth of our own strengths. It is not an easy expedition by any means but I’m glad to say we have shown some incredible resolve up till now. 

Of late we have seen many such journeys associated with a cause. What are your thoughts about this trend?

I didn’t realise this was trending? I think it’s a good thing to associate an effort with a cause or charity. I mean, wouldn’t it be such a great waste of all that energy, focus and effort if none of it went towards helping those who could use a leg up? 

Follow his journey- https://www.facebook.com/SevenWunders/


"Our vision is to bring the amazing beauties of classical music everywhere around the world"

Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

Recently, the Victoria Memorial Hall,Italian Embassy Cultural Centre, New Delhi and Consulate General of Italy in Kolkata presented a western classical concert by Quartetto di Cremona featuring works by A. Webern, F. J. Haydn and F. Schubert. Since its formation in 2000, the Quartetto di Cremona has established a reputation as one of the most exciting chamber ensembles on the international stage. Regularly invited to perform at the most important festivals and concert seasons across Europe, South America, the United States and the Far East, the quartet has garnered universal acclaim from critics and audiences alike for its high level of interpretive artistry. They are a regular feature on radio and television broadcasts around the world (RAI, WDR, BBC, VRT, SDR, ABC) performing their extensive repertoire which ranges from early Haydn to contemporary music. 2017 will mark the release of the final volume in their complete recording of the Beethoven quartets, on the German label Audite. Simone Gramaglia who is considered one of the best Italian violist and also the manager of the group shares his thoughts.

Would you share a bit about Quartetto di Cremona’s vision and mission?

To have a vision is very important if you have a project. If you have a project without a vision it like to have a flower without water. It won’t grow. Our vision is to bring the amazing beauties of classical music everywhere around the world. Our mission is to realize it!

The quartet has collaborated with numerous artists of international renown. What are some of the most rewarding experiences?

I can for sure mention the amazing collaboration with our friend Lawrence Dutton, violist of the Emerson String Quartet. We played many concerts with him and it was always fantastic. Or with my great friend the cellist Jamie Walton. He is just fantastic. 

The quartet frequently conducts master classes. Could you describe the master class experience and the value of working with young musicians?

Teaching at a certain point of life becomes essential. You physically need to pass your experience to others and working with young musicians it’s always very stimulating. And it help to learn many things too!

The effect of a piece doesn't merely depend on the performance of the musicians, but also on the place it is performed at. How do you see the relationship between location and sound?

This is a very clever question. I think if many artistic directors around the world would think a bit more to this matter we would have a much easier life...The location and its acoustic are fundamental for the sound. Specially talking about strings. If it’s too dry or too resonant or too big audience will loose most of the quality of the interpretation and many details of the piece. 

Quartetto di Cremona is an Ambassador for the International ‘Friends of Stradivari’. How important is to promote and develop stringed instrument making from a cultural standpoint?

It is extremely important. We are very proud to bring around the world the great value of what Italy and Italian artists where able to produce and it means the best fine string instruments in the world.  

Increasingly, performers, orchestras and record labels are thinking beyond the traditional concert in an attempt to get classical music heard by new audiences. Can classical music reach a new audience through unlikely venues?

I don’t think it’s a matter of venues. It’s more a matter of education. If you don’t bring music to young children you can’t pretend they will attend a classical concert even if you propose it in a cave on Mars. It always and just a matter of education. If you know something you can decide what to do. You can accept it or not. But if you don’t know something

                                                   -  Simone Gramaglia

What are some of your goals and aspirations as a quartet as you look towards the future? Are there any recordings on the horizon for you?

As artists we have many goals, the main one is to play all the most beautiful music written for string quartet. We already played a lot but still we have a lot to do. 

Recording? Yes! Our beloved Franz Schubert with his quartet op. 161 and String quintet op. 163 with two cellos. 

Since you manage the group, how challenging is your role? What would you say your top priorities?

It’s not easy being a musician nowadays. Specially a classical musician. 

Lot of my colleagues and students still spend the all time of their time practicing in their room and waiting for a “phone call” that will change their life. Maybe this was possible years ago. Not anymore. A musician today of course has to be gifted, super well prepared but then he needs a clear vision and a very focused strategy. I started the quartet when I was 25 yrs. After 5 years of pure studying and competitions I took our career in my hands. And since then I had two works. Violist and manager. I’m almost 43 now. I brought the quartet everywhere around the world. I built a super-network of contacts. I planned and realized all our recording projects. It has been a super hard work. Lot of nights spent to create projects, ideas, possibilities. Challenging. But essential for our career.  At the end I can say my top priorities are beauty, a clear vision and enthusiasm. 


To be in love with God

Semida David is a trained economist, after working for some years as a financial inspector, she quit her job and chose a humanist path.Together with her husband, she owns and manages a guesthouse in the mountains. There, she has created a spiritual center, Shanti Spiritual Centre. She is a Bowen, Reiki, Bach and Yoga therapist. She conducts ‘Yoga for Health’ class at her hometown’s Culture House, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. There, she has hosted conferences on Indian culture. She also hosts different spiritual courses such as: Happiness Course, Guiding Souls beyond Death Course and Youth Elixir – Immortality Elixir.She is currently writing spirituality books, both for kids (a series of tales with Angels) and for adults. She has taught Romanian Language at an Indian University.

She coordinates a theatre group, putting on stage mainly spiritual plays written and directed by her. She has been on tour in India several times. Loving spiritual travels, she has visited special places in Europe, Israel, Egypt and India, and written about them.Her greatest joy is to be of help to others, in every possible way. Her latest book- “Always Be Happy” traces the spiritual journey of the author. A deeply moving book, it is written straight from the heart. From being an atheist brought up in Communist Romania, the author gradually turns to God.

What’s the main message you hope readers take from your book? 

God is accessible to everyone and loves us equally.

Who or what inspires you the most?

The Infinite love of God.

It seems like more people are searching for inner peace and meaning in their life. This is especially true in the western world. Many westerners are drawn to India.  Why do you think this is happening?

This is because in India there are many saints. They have touched the inner peace, they have touched God.

What motivated you to found the Shanti Spiritual Center?

Our aim is to bring Indian spirituality to Romania. To open a gateway to spirituality for the Romanian people.

In your opinion, why is yoga so important for the times we’re living in?

YOGA brings balance to mind, body and soul.

What would you advise if someone wants to be happy and have peace of mind in his/her life?

To be in love with God.


Investigations about pictures and their perceptions

Thora Kraft was born in Hoya in 1967. She lives and works in Calberlah, between Hannover and Berlin. From 1987 to 1996 she studied Fine Arts at Universities of Arts in Braunschweig / Germany and in Barcelona /Spain with Prof. John Armleder and others. From 1996 to 1997 she had masterclasses. In 2014 she won the  art prize of the Kunstverein Wolfsburg and in the same year received a residence scholarship for the Künstlerhaus Salzwedel. In 2015 and 2017 she was nominated for the art prize of the artfederation "Lüneburgische Landschaft". Her artwork is a show of investigations about pictures and their perceptions. Therefore she puts light upon the public and verbatim/ literally the backgrounds of presentations.

Thora Kraft's short  film "covering myself"
Can you share a bit about how you got started in photography?

Originally I am a painter. In the course of this I consider significant the sphere around the actual picture. Because I refuse producing a detached something just thrown undirected into the crowd. Hence I studied from the beginning the conditions for paintings,, subsequent artworks in general. For this purpose I use the photo camera. These explorations with the camera set up / built up some ongoing series:

- light on pictures “spot on the unexposed”

- The meaning and surroundings of studios "Refuge for the unexposed/ studios / Home-Stories "

- The setting about an exhibition "Looking at the exhibition / Looking at the public…/"

Thora Kraft's short  film "covering myself"
Describe what you are trying to communicate with your photos to your viewers?

I make use of photography in order to explore what is between pictures and people and people. About discoveries, disguises and camouflages in general. All findings are essential and they flow in my next piece. If you see into a picture like on a stage, my photos show you the space behind, above, beyond, in front of. I like to tell about the hidden space behind the curtain, the unseen area backstage without spotting them on stage. To let under-cover sometimes means to show respect. There are some worlds; they have to be preserved invisible. I want to tell about these worlds like the astronomers tell about planet nine.

Where do you find inspiration for your photography?

The inspiration for my photos I find among people. The fathomless and at the same time vanishingly small worlds in between. 
Thora Kraft's short  film "covering myself"

You have done some interesting photographic series. Which one would you say have been the most significant for you in your career so far?

My pieces of art are like pieces of puzzle about the seen and the unseen, the seeking and the hiding. My work is about sharing my way of researches to the public.

Do you have any advice for a new photographer starting out?

My advice for a new photographer: Be surprised. Do not take anything for granted. The most is invisible. The invisible deserves your attentiveness and your respect.

What would be your dream creative project?

My dream creative project would be having a studio inside the huge space of a jungle. Maybe I would explore the space between two leaves. Maybe I would paint doorways to the greens.


Positive spirit and conscious songs

Pic courtesy - PASCH Goethe-Institut Südasien

Germany’s Raggabund (aka Caramelo Criminal) consists of artists who came together to lift the local reggae and dancehall music onto the next level.  The group’s most striking personalities are the South-American brothers Paco Mendoza & Don Caramelo. The band is multilingual and sings in German, Spanish and English. Whether critical of society or entertaining, Raggabund is always absolutely authentic: a successful mixture of punchline, poetry and positive message.Upon invitation of the initiative "Schools: Partners for the Future" (PASCH), the band is on a tour of South Asia together with Hermanos Mikey Board and De Luca of the Swiss band The Dubby Conquerors.  They recently performed at the at Vidya Mandir, Kolkata.

How would you describe Raggabund as a band?

We are a German based band who is specialized in Caribbean beats like dancehall, reggae, cumbia or reggaeton. We provide danceable music with lots of good vibes and try to reflect our views of a conscious and helpful society within this world.

How does the band’s association with “The Dubby Conquerors” have influenced your music?

Our actual album “Buena Medicina” was very inspired by our partners and backing band “the dubby conquerors”. They are protagonists of the Swiss reggae movement which is well known for roots reggae with a classic / analog spirit of the 70ies reggae. It was the first album we worked on with one producer and one band and we love the sound. It got groovy classic reggae beats with a conscious and spiritual essence like our idols used to have back in the days.

What kind of message you want to tell with your songs?

We don't have specific topics in our songs; we talk about everything that inspires us. This might be love, misunderstandings or the incredibly good Indian food. But we keep an eye on a positive spirit in our music and sometimes we love to write conscious songs which might encourage the people to think about habits or things that happen in this world.

What’s it been like traveling and being able to play in international venues and not just a band that just plays within the in a specific region?

Our entire career we have played in several countries and on several continents, so we don't know how it is to be a local band. We are very grateful of the big gift to get in touch with so many cultures through our music. It is incredible seeing how music can cross boundaries such as language, borders and cultures. We think Caribbean rhythms can work all over the world, cause anywhere we go the people love to dance to our music. Playing international venues really is a big chance for us, because people who haven’t known our band yet might get interested if they hear our name and come to our concerts and that is the best way to get your music well known.

Pic courtesy - PASCH Goethe-Institut Südasien

Do you have any favorite moments that stand out during your SOUTH ASIAN TOUR 2017 that were just special to you?

Well, every city, every venue and every concert have their own energy. Generally, it is very hard to pick your favorite moment, if a tour is full of incredible moments like the tour we did. We got to know so many people who inspired us with their hospitality, their kindness and their beauty. India offered us so many great experiences we will never forget. But if we have to choose, surely Kolkata with all her beauty and flavors was special. We have known this city for so many years because of its history and stories, and it was very special walking through these historic streets.

What ways are your live acts different from your albums?

The good thing about concerts is that you get in touch with your fans instantly. You interact with them or figure out how new songs work on a big stage. We love to alternate songs and their sound on stage. Some songs we play faster than on our album, some we play slower. We even change the chords and enrich a song with different feelings than the original one. But our main target is to offer a perfect show to our audience, so when they love a song only in its original mood, we will play it like that.

What are your thoughts on where reggae is heading as a genre?

As we don't consider ourselves a reggae band only, I can't answer your question in a proper way. But I know that reggae, like a lot of genres, got mixed up with a lot of different styles just like electronic, hip hop, global bass or dubstep. We love this fusion, which helps us to get new ideas and is a great inspiration.


The interaction of line, surface, space and colour

Karin Schuff is a painter, in the old meaning. She's working with traditional materials, like oil on canvas or ink and gouache on paper. But her interest is not narrative, she isn't trying to tell you a story or try to show you something you know or have seen. All that matters is the interaction of line, surface, Space and colour. Karin was one of the participants of at the Indo German Art Festival held at the Arts Acre.

Where do you find the inspiration for your creations?

My work is not narrative. My intentions and methods are just painterly. I try to build indefinite rooms , made of  lines, surfaces and colours. 

Where do you find the inspiration for your creations?

I find Inspiration almost everywhere, in nature or in the city, everywhere where I can find forms and colours- but I never paint exactly what I see, just remembering or reminiscences of the real world. 

How do you think digitalisation is changing the art world?

I think that we are only in the beginnings of the era of digitalisation- and of course it will change art as well as almost everything else. The development of computer Games shows how fast things happen. The kids of today are already feeling at home in virtual parallel universes. And they will have a totally new approach to art when they grow up. But I also think that there always will be room for traditional painting as well. 

What advice do you have for emerging artists?

My advice to emerging artists, is to try to stay authentic and true to their own work. 

What role does the artist have in society?

My own work has no political or Social Intentions, but I do of course sometimes appreciate political works made by other artists. I believe that everybody, if artist or not has got an obligation to try to change the world into a better one.


About time, form and space

Recently the The Indo-German Art Forum 2017 which  is jointly planned and managed by the Arts Acre Foundation, Kolkata, and GDIZ Gesellschaft für Deutsch-Indische Zusammenarbeit e.V. (German-Indian Association), based in Munich / Germany was held. Uwe Jonas was one of the participating artist.He is a painter, who uses the instruments and methods of a sculptor.

Portal, Mountain Machine und Pole 2,
installation view palace chapel,
Gallery Ewald Schrade, Mochental, 2009
Was art a part of your life when you were growing up? Can you remember your first introduction to art?
Art has become part of my life since I was 15. I started creating little sculptures made of brass + wood and drawing political cartoons. At the age of seventeen I got influenced by the Russian painter W. Kandinsky and turned myself to abstract painting.

What is your goal with each sculpture you make?

The concentration of reaching the only form full of tension and passion. It is the coincidence of lightness and density, gravity and transparence.

Describe your creative process. How long does it take for a piece to go from idea to final product?

I am following my series (e.g. squares, colored items) for a long time, they are ongoing projects. Ideas appear and vanish, so is the process building and destroying. A final result may appear after a period between a month, a year or a decade.

Jeju Island 8, Basalt and Steel,
27 x 27 cm, Uwe Jonas, 2013

What do you hope the people would take away after watching your Jeju Island Series?

I hope the people get attracted by the charm of the Series. The arrangements are kept totally simple giving the stones the ultimate chance to dance in their cage.

How does painting compare to sculpting for you?

Painting means two- dimensional organization, sculpture means three- dimensional painting.

What is your key piece of advice for artists embarking on fine art or creative degree today?

Art is an organizing science, a serious game of building and destructing. The character is analytical and synthetical. The concern is about time, form and space.

For more information - www.uwejonas.de

Musical ‘CHEF’ fun-packed with rich sounds and vivid visualizations!

‘BIBAP’ was shown tremendous love for the past 6 years since its premiere in 2011. Now 'BIBAP' is beginning a new chapter with a new name, ‘CHEF’. Not only has the name changed, but the music and choreography are also enhanced with more musical elements and upgraded scenes to showcase a truly dynamic performance. The upgraded musical ‘CHEF’fun-packed with rich sounds and vivid visualizations!  It’s an explosive stage where a world-class level of b-boying and beatbox are deliberately combined. Every facial expression and movement of the performers is thoroughly calculated, naturally incorporating slapstick comedy in the show. The raw comedy and the element of surprise brings vivacious laughter in the audience. Also, ‘Chef’ is an interactive performance that encourages participation from different audience members, which in turn generates unexpected laughter! The Embassy of the Republic of Korea, New Delhi supported by the Korean Consulate in Kolkata hosted “Tasty Korea-a Korean Musical night”. Miok Kim the PR Team Manager of musical CHEF talks about the BIBAP CHEF.

Why is it that BIBAP CHEF is one of Korea’s favorite shows and has been well-received at global venues?

There are 3 factors why musical CHEF can be loved in all over the world.Firstly, musical CHEF is non-verbal performance. So regardless of audience’s language, they can understand our storyline and what our performers are doing. Secondly, musical CHEF has explosive energy.  It has well-made comedy and dynamic performance of our actors. Finally, our performance has a connotation of the charm of Korea. That’s why our show is one of the famous Korean wave performance.

Could you enlighten our readers about Korea’s rich food culture?

 Korean food is well-being and variety; moreover it is good for health. Korean share food together and exchange feeling. Bibimbap is one of the famous Korea traditional food. It is well-being food because of being made with fresh ingredients. There is bibimbap scene in the musical CHEF. We would like to share the Korea’s food culture with global audience through our show.

What have been the most memorable performances so far?

We have performed various countries during 7 years. We were impressed each external performances. Every external performance, we met new local audiences. The audiences move us every moment. That’s why each external performance is meaningful for us.   Especially this performance in Kolkata, we were very impressed with the audiences. There were many young audiences and they were interested in Korean culture. Also we got a big round of applause. It was the first performance in India, so it has been very pleasant memories for a long time to our team.
How was your experience performing in Kolkata?

The Kolkata people brought smile and it will remain in our memory. We can feel the new future of India through passionate young people of Kolkata. We thought that if we could perform for a long time in Kolkata, it would be really great.  So, we hope that we can go to Kolkata again for performance.

​What are the future plans for the group?

We are trying to meet audiences of diverse country. We have plan for external performance in many countries for the next year and long-term performance in some major cities.  Also we are planning to do nationwide tour in India.


"It will be fascinating to observe the new combinations of ancient methods with the digital methods"

Hertha Miessner focuses in her works the different layers of transparency and the simultaneous use of form to look at the inside and outside. She is developing in both of a painting and computer aided process a transformation in her work. Her art pieces name the contrast between reality and virtuality in her very own way.

“Cardinal red, draperies of shiny velvet and creased silk, changeovers from light to shadow – Hertha Miessner creates pieces of work which resemble paintings from the old masters, f.e. Remprandt, Caravaggio. But the baroque opulence is only a photographic product, a perfect virtual illusion. The starting point for Hertha Miessner’s digital artwork is - almost deeply symbolic – waste products of painting: randomly painted tapes which are normally used to cover parts of the painting. Scanned and digitally arranged tapes disclose a preciousness which renders the images a character of valuable, historic paintings with their illusionistic effect. They simulate an enigmatic surface which is hiding something unexpected. " In this way, the deceptive aesthetics of the digital world is the subject of Hertha Miessner’s artwork. What remains from the painting process as a by- product turns to a basic product of a new working process which remains true to painting. Quality of colour, materiality or motives’ suggestions are digitally arranged, emphasised and systematically accented. Hertha was one of the artists who participated in the  The Indo-German Art Forum 2017 which was held at the Arts Acre.

How did you begin working in art and new media?

In my "first life" I studied to be teacher, was occupied to have children and less time to work in art medium. Then grow up the chance to study drawing, painting, lithography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany from 1990 - 1996 . I finished as master scholar with the diploma. Since then I work as professional, freelance artist. At that time I began to include digital methods and video into special art projects I need for installations. Successively I developed different methods to find a new expression in my paining works - computer generated - learning by doing.

If you had to sum up your mission as an artist, or the primary takeaway you’d hope to convey to an audience, what would they be?

Mainly I make my art for myself, to find a language to express me, my feelings, ideas and thoughts. I cannot expect that all people understand me, but I am happy when my works evoke interest in some spectators. I guess these spectators have a feeling for to look into things / pictures / structures deeper, are fascinated of light, shadows, transparency, form and color dialogues and especially like to be irritated and curious.

Would you say that contemporary art has undergone a complete overhaul with the arrival of a new technological age? 

For my opinion our age with the new possibilities in New Media represent a bigger step then the invention of photography in the last decades. But it will be an extension- for sure extreme- to the mediums used until now.

Are art galleries the best place for presenting new media works? What would be the ideal space for presenting new media?

This is one of the advantages of new media that now art can be easily transferred into open spaces, streets, walls outside etc. So art will be recognized from much more people than before.

What do you see as the future of new media art? Where is it headed?

It will be fascinating to observe the new combinations of ancient methods, like painting, drawing, constructing, with the digital methods in all areas. I see it as an enrichment of variety and possibilities which were not possible before. At the other side the speed of digital development is sometimes overwhelming and makes anxious. But I trust, especially into artist`s power and individuality to resist an overwhelming system.


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