Sign of water

[b]Vasily Kostyuchenko’s life philosophy: the many facets of realismWater gives life to all things on our planet, as Belarusian artist Vasily Kostyuchenko explores via his own interpretation. Nature’s vital force is the theme of his Sign of Water exhibition at Minsk’s Modern Fine Arts Museum. It’s like a rainstorm on a sunny day: unexpected yet predictable. He inspires us to open our eyes more widely in assessing the nature of this essential substance [/b]Our vital water sources are endangered; the Earth’s glaciers are melting, while drinkable water resources are becoming scarcer. However, Belarus is rich in rivers and lakes, with spring water found deep underground. Some states’ wealth is based on oil, natural gas or coal; our treasure is water. Mr. Kostyuchenko highlights this, demonstrating the value of water against heat. Last summer’s hot weather, which brought forest fires and drought, inspired Mr. Kostyuchenko’s series on the theme of water as a life giving force. He stresses that water is vital to our daily lives. His simple title People Who Drink Water perfectly indicates the focus of his work. Subtly, he shows its unpredictability — which parallels that of fate; meanwhile, water flows as life does.
Vasily Kostyuchenko’s life philosophy: the many facets of realism
Water gives life to all things on our planet, as Belarusian artist Vasily Kostyuchenko explores via his own interpretation. Nature’s vital force is the theme of his Sign of Water exhibition at Minsk’s Modern Fine Arts Museum. It’s like a rainstorm on a sunny day: unexpected yet predictable. He inspires us to open our eyes more widely in assessing the nature of this essential substance


Our vital water sources are endangered; the Earth’s glaciers are melting, while drinkable water resources are becoming scarcer. However, Belarus is rich in rivers and lakes, with spring water found deep underground. Some states’ wealth is based on oil, natural gas or coal; our treasure is water. Mr. Kostyuchenko highlights this, demonstrating the value of water against heat.
Last summer’s hot weather, which brought forest fires and drought, inspired Mr. Kostyuchenko’s series on the theme of water as a life giving force. He stresses that water is vital to our daily lives. His simple title People Who Drink Water perfectly indicates the focus of his work. Subtly, he shows its unpredictability — which parallels that of fate; meanwhile, water flows as life does.
Mr. Kostyuchenko sees the spiritual aspect of water. In caring for it, we demonstrate our sense of responsibility to future generations. Of course, the artist uses pictorial means to express his thoughts and we can see that he aims to find a spiritual pivot — in his own self and in those who surround him. He strives to define the essence of human nature, revealing our relationship with the environment. His works are aimed at those who are inclined to ponder the ordinary, seeing deeper meaning; he overcomes material matters, inspiring audiences to shift their consciousness.
Of course, perceptions can differ. In depicting such a tangible subject, everyone can have an opinion, encouraging us to dialogue.

What does art mean to you? Artists don’t necessarily draw what they see at a given moment, as your exhibition well confirms. How do you evaluate the process of drawing?
I believe that artists, poets and writers share a similar spirit, although they differ in how they express themselves. I often ponder why we sometimes have something to convey and sometimes we don’t. Artists are born rather than trained, being inspired to share their ideas. They feel passionately.
My ‘Sign of Water’ series shows my own attitude towards life. Nobody gives an artist their theme; rather, you form your own thoughts, which you then express. Art has always existed to some degree. Its diversity is what makes it interesting. I see art as a living organism which can evolve; you sometimes have to expel bad ideas to leave only the good. I believe it’s important to keep your sense of self; if you work sincerely, conveying your true feelings, a worthy result is forthcoming. Audiences sometimes fail to understand my mission but they usually understand and accept. They love my work.

Is participation in exhibitions important for you?
Of course, since it allows communication.

Your works are not realistic, although you are capable of reflecting reality. Why have you shifted from realism in your works, finding new forms to express yourself?
What is realism? It’s when I’m walking down the street or in the forest — when I can feel and smell my environment, giving an emotional response. If we photograph the forest, we see an exact depiction but also experience our associative feelings; every person’s response will be a little different. It’s impossible simply to reproduce nature, as every ‘copy’ involves some personal interpretation. Of course, different images inspire different responses.
Happiness is an intangible thing, although it can be encapsulated in a painting. How can we explore personal relationships? People may be painted sitting close to one another, looking happy, but my depiction shows them as separate beings as much as being united.
I’ve approached the topic of water realistically but, truly, how can we decide what is ‘real’ — in the sense of being genuine — and what is not?

What is your grand theme and mission?
I want to explore my personal responses. We may be sitting chatting but if a car passes and my brush falls, a new moment of time is created. I want to depict each moment; themes are secondary in importance. What is vital is that each painting should inspire reflection. My ‘Sign of Water’ series is so important to me. I hope you can understand.

Do you think that works must be beautiful?
Not necessarily. A man once told me that my works were beautiful, but I consider them to be far from perfect. What do we mean by beauty? For me, it refers to harmony of colour, when there is no need to change anything and where the depiction seems natural. However, I also want people to understand my ideas. There’s great skill in composition and rhythm, although it is not all. Many artists remain unknown, being unable to work independently. Everyone struggles in their own way.

You’ve taken part in many exhibitions, touring abroad. Has this experience been useful?
I think we are only interesting when we are original.

What are your artistic plans? Do you think you’ve already achieved artistic heights, with no more need to invent something new?
In my opinion, it’s bad to view yourself as a master. Repeating what’s already known to you is a waste of time, since you must ever endeavour to improve yourself. Struggle is vital; you should never become indifferent. You might follow a certain path, developing exclusively within it, but there is no limit to perfection and no end to your work. I still hope to express myself more clearly in my works.

What does inspire you? Are your works based on life in Belarus and its national features? Or are you an ‘international’ artist?
Of course, I draw on global art. However, I’m most inspired by Belarus, where I live, communicate and experience life. Accordingly, my themes are born here — even when they are more global (like ‘Sign of Water’). Speaking of today’s 20 year old students, I’m very much afraid that a generational gap is evident.

Are you worried about the preservation of traditions?
Of course. Traditions can help the young, so they must be preserved.
Vasily Kostyuchenko is an artist with his own perception of the world and his own artistic philosophy. His Sign of Water series perfectly characterises his passion for life. Reality takes many forms in his works. Each picture is a fragment within the series, which focuses on global harmony. He also accepts the world as a whole, rather than as a ‘frozen’ moment and is keen to reveal his own responses, which guide his artistic position.

By Victor Mikhailov
Заметили ошибку? Пожалуйста, выделите её и нажмите Ctrl+Enter
Версия для печати
Заполните форму или Авторизуйтесь
 
*
 
 
 
*
 
Написать сообщение …Загрузить файлы?
Новости
Все новости