“Chi Butterfly” Exhibition in Piao Piao Gallery 2010

Sigitas Staniunas bringing his cycle of paintings to Taipei. Yet another artist’s exhibition called “Chi Butterfly” in Piao Piao Gallery 2010.11.23 – 12.19. The Gallery is one of those places in the Yong Kang Street which attracts numbers of artists, art lovers and collectors.  It was established in 2004. The owner Peng Kanglong said, “The motivation to open the gallery was based neither on material incentives nor on the notion of ‘art for art’s sake’. Actually, this is just a way of lifestyle. The way of lifestyle I like.” The tiny but cozy gallery functions not only as an exhibition hall but also invites passersby for a cup of tea and leisurely chats. It offers an open but at the same time very intimate space for art exchange.

“Chi Butterfly” Exhibition 2010.11.23 – 12.19

address of Piao Piao Gallery:

No.44, Yongkang St. Da’an Dist.
Taipei City 106
Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Preparation for Exhibition in Vilnius studio

“Chi Butterfly” Exhibition Opening



PERFORMANCE


Love of Grass and Flowers: Oil Paintings by Sigitas Staniunas

Wu, Jie-xian

Sigitas’s works remind one of the “Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch (1453-1516). In this abundant garden of nature, with prosperous leaves and sweet fruits, human beings roam; attracted by it, they bath themselves in its overwhelming grace. For this subject of “Garden of Delights,” Bosch invented many forms of flower, grass, birds, and animals; they are not grotesque variation of their natural counterparts. They are sweet petals, pistils, and calyces; they are fruits, bulbous roots, fibrous roots, and creeping stems of all kinds. Their graceful and flamboyant postures emanate naiveté and appeal that precede the worldly morality and taboo.

Similarly, Sigitas’s works represent this evolutionary stage where there still is close relationship between human and nature; it is the time when human was still connected to worm, fish, flower, and plant. All lives are still interdependent. The cycle of love and desire, the various postures and gestures of creation are still universal and attracting to each other. What the artist represents before us is this conjuration of vision, touch, riddles, and magic. The artist’s way of creation is more than painting; it is more of capturing the natural rhythm and bodily momentum through music. Via the force that exists and moves long before the formation of the world, the artist is capturing Nature’s power of creation on the canvas. In some sense, Sigitas’s procedure of creation is similar to the Surrealistic Automatism in early 20th century. For the latter, the emphasis was on the function of unconscious and on the body as medium of artistic creation. For Sigitas, however, the process of creation is ritualistic. Surrounded by other completed works and music, the artist obtains unknown bodily momentum as if possessed, rhythmically filling the canvas not only with brushes but also with fingers, palms, and arms.

Due to this ritual of summoning the inspiration, perhaps, the art of Sigitas is full of mystical charm. After the automatic ritual of painting, the artist also deals with details, using fingers to form soft textures on the canvas, creating powdery surface that resembles the cotton, the pistils, or the butterfly’s wings, feathery and soft as silk. The completed works are delicate and filled with mysterious atmosphere. They remind one of the landscapes of Jean-Antoine Watteau, (1684-1721); are they strange dreams, staged scenes, or an altar of witchcrafts?

Works of night scenes by Sigitas are usually characterized with thick yet uncontained brushstrokes. They remind one of Francisco Goya (1746-1828), his lonely moon light with a giant figure sitting alone. The half-flower half-man, the gown and the cape, the mask and the feathery cap show traces of “The Robing of the Bride” by Max Ernst (1891-1976), where the bride’s body becomes one with the robe. The weirdness, the thrill, and the intoxicating appeal. Life of the nature has a rhythmic camouflage; it invokes color, smell, and form. These media serve the aim of mating and reproduction, showing the mutual attracting between the species. For this subject of natural species, the artist adopts the flower as the hero, utilizes butterfly, feathery cap, pearl, jewel, and surface of mirror to symbolize the desire, luxury, and brevity of humanity and life. Through a man-made specie, the artist shows the attractive postures of nature, blending a primitive and vainglorious beauty and a mysterious yet boisterous attraction in the paintings.

With mysterious atmosphere and scenes that inspire viewer’s imagination, the art of Sigitas crosses the boundaries of surrealism, expressionism, and symbolism. Many of his works remind viewer of works by Odilon Redon (1840-1916). Redon frequently took spirit as his subjects, such as “Spirit of the Forest” (1880), “Cactus Man” (1881), “The Crying Spider” (1881), and “Lady of the Flowers” (1890-95). Both Redon and Sigitas create their art on the convergence of dreaming and awakening, of body and nature. It is not unlike Alice in Wonderland, but with a heavy dose of escapism, decadence, and self-abandonment. On the one hand, the works depict a subtle, blurring, and mysterious land. On the other hand, suggestive and symbolic forms bring back viewer’s attention and imagination, herding the mind into the world of spirits.

Frequently, Sigitas brings the motifs of mask, helmet, and feathery cap into his works. The concept and images of mask reminds one of the art of James Ensor (1860-1949). In the works of Ensor, such as “Mask Confronting Death” (1888) and “The Strange Masks” (1892), the canvas is filled with an undistinguishable aura: was there a face behind the mask? Sigitas sometimes uses masks to replace the blurry human form; flower and leaves sometimes replace the human head. Viewer can imagine a forest awakens after sunset: spirits of plants and flowers walk down and dance and perform rituals. Some are gloriously attired as if they are royal family; some are clever and leisurely dressed as if they are guardians of the forest. The forest is dancing at all times. There is a feast taking place in the depth of the woods, with all trees, flowers, and grass as guests. The dance at nighttime is a show of attraction, an exchange of intimacy, a dissemination of pollen and seeds, to welcome the nature in.

Sigitas fantasy embraces our imagination. In the scientific civilization, human is automatic and efficient, but human is also a servant of technology. Mostly, our vision and touch is bound by flashing monitors and smooth keyboards. Our connection to nature is weakened yet we imagine we can contain nature in our science. In the work “Virtual Creation” (2006) by Lin Pey Chwen (1959~), a Taiwanese artist, butterflies fly, dance, and regenerate in the computer screen. This way, Lin critiques the human’s fantasizing on moving their urge for nature and beauty into the image technology. The art of Sigitas appeals to intuitive vision. In the context of today’s civilization, the world is surrounded by technology; Sigitas’s works invoke the spirit of nature to re-ignite the disappearing touch and creativity based on natural species. Inspired by many predecessors and artists, Sigitas’s art is distinctive in its summoning of our senses and imagination, marking his special vision in the contemporary world.


One Response to ““Chi Butterfly” Exhibition in Piao Piao Gallery 2010”

  1. Nancy says:

    i am touched by your art pieces!

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