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Address: 5 Emil Bersinski Str., 1408 Sofia, Bulgaria

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A WAVE WASHED A TRACE AWAY

Stanka Tsonkova – Usha

22 February 2023

Toplocentrala Gallery - Cube

Opening

22.02.2023., 18:00 hour

Visiting hours

Tuesday - Friday: 14:00 - 21:00 / Saturday - Sunday: 12:00 - 21:00 / Closed Mondays

A WAVE WASHED A TRACE AWAY

Stanka Tsonkova – Usha

 

25.02. / 2 pm - Exhibition tour with Vera Mlechevska and Stanka Tsonkova – Usha
18.03. / 2 pm - Exhibition tour with Stanka Tsonkova – Usha

The exhibition of Stanka Tsonkova - Usha is the result of her stay in Japan in 2001 and 2003. During this time, she made hundreds of photographs and videos inspired by the lives and work of bright figures who shaped the Japanese post-war avant-garde such as the photographer and cinematographer Eikoh Hosoe, the founders of Butoh - Tatsumi Hijikata and Ohno Kazuo, the poet and playwright Yukio Mishima, who together created unique works and opened Japanese culture to the world.

Usha's work was highly praised and she was supported by a 6-month fellowship grant from the Japan Foundation in 2003, which took her into the magical world of Butoh.

From her long collaboration with Eikoh Hosoe, Usha developed the project Embrace - Stone Gardens, inspired by Eikoh Hosoe's album of the same name, Isamu Noguchi's stone sculptures and Japanese Stone Gardens.
Previously unseen works include a series of photographic collages, black-and-white and colour photographs, and three video screenings. Unlike other stages in Usha's practice, where experimentation with photographic processes and layering are a guiding element, in this series of works, she captured on film with exacting precision the purity of forms as a manifestation of a spiritual world at one with nature.
Deeply impressed by the Japanese worldview of simplicity in harmony, Usha keenly observed living and non-living nature in its layering, spills, shards, fluids and fossils. Sometimes the traces of these processes took on the enigmatic encoding of abstract paintings. Compositions of four or more frames organized visual haiku poems. Usha's photographs evoke sensory sensations of contact with the earth, with stones, with the bark of a tree, and even evoke an eroticism permeating the forms of nature. It is here that the attitude towards the sensual adopted from Eikoh Hosoe's work Embrace comes through.
During this period, Usha also tried her hand at video, which gave her the chance to capture a very special event - the 96th birthday of Ohno Kazuo, who passed away at the age of 104 in 2010. She captured poignant moments of friends, admirers and followers from around the world paying tribute and bowing to the strength of his spirit.
In two other videos, we see Butoh performer Keiko, a devoted disciple and follower of Ohno Kazuo, on the ocean shore, moving with ritualistic devotion and in a state of deep awareness merging with divine nature.

Vera Mlechevska

 

The exhibition is realized in partnership with the Art Affairs and Documents Foundation and with the support of the National Culture Fund

 

 

 

Stanka Tsonkova – Usha

Curator Vera Mlechevska

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