From "The Earth at the Crossroads" to "Rise and Shine"

The unleashed creative laboratory that was from the very beginning, from the first edition, every West Meets East exhibition does not deny itself this time either. Since it is difficult to navigate among so many works, so diverse in terms of style, technique and theme as well, this time I will follow the chromatic thread, even if in this regard, too, we meet all possible approaches. For many artists I will mention the place they come from only to see once more the rich national and international participation. 

The sculptor Marcel SCUTARU does not use color. He leaves the clay uncolored in the Book of Protection, a triple metaphor of the mask, or cuts out a human figure in the middle of a math notebook, in his Book

There is and persists a noble passion for white, which allows the concentration of searches on shapes and the expressiveness of uncolored matter as in the work Signs in a rereading book made by Claudia – Adriana BUNEA MLADIN in textile collage, in Dana CATONA’s ceramics work – White Journal or in Michaela MALIŢA’s case who even named her work Blank. Giving up color required artists to make a greater effort to focus on the expressiveness of matter. 

Also Alexandra NEACŞU, following the minimalist line, in Revelation uses only the white of the cotton sheets with yellowed edges that „reveal” themselves, so that in Signs of Life, the sheets this time with graphic constructions to be included between the covers of a sumptuous red. 

Adelina UNGUREANU conceived, in Encrypted, an object in the form of a book, very elaborated, in one color, a dark reddish brown, decorated with embossed plant motifs. 

Another single color – several shades of bright blue – is used by Mihaela BĂLEANU in the textile collage Fish Scales

Two works in black and white are completely different in terms of conception and symbolism. Adriana LUCACIU from Timisoara uses black and white paper, giving it volume in her work The Book without Words, a paradoxical title with possible initiatory references. Cezar LĂZĂRESCU from Iași uses black and white, too in the book dedicated to the QR Code (quick response) in his post-Gutenberg work, an inspired title for our time, being among the artists in the exhibition who explore the symbolism of the book, of the way in which an unintelligible black and white image sends you to a new and rich universe of information. 

Here would be also the work of Dana DINCA, the mysterious Acnid Plaques (anagram of the name Dincă), an imaginary archaic writing with spirals, geometric or vegetal signs, anthropomorphic figures, drawn on a textile support that would have aged. 

Mariana MOCANU uses the writing, too but the very explicit one of the most popular prayer that she dedicates to the country using edge-burnt paper as another symbol for times of hardship. 

Radu TÂRNOVEANU’s Codex from Oradea is a sober work in wood and metal. 

The cover of the book-object Symbiosis of Dragoş PREUTESEI has an elaborate labyrinthine motif in black and white, and the interior is an explosion of cables and technology, the title suggesting a possible conciliation. 

In From front to back, Florin VOICU assembles several floppy disks, which have already become objects from the past, on which he intervenes with the brush. 

The book from somewhere I have never traveled to is one of the most beautiful titles of works in the exhibition; the title was inspired to Ana-Maria PANAITESCU by a great poet, while she wisely arranged containers with different soils on a bright white construction. 

The essential values of Gabriela PETRE are explicit in the work Beginnings: nature, soul, spirit, space, words inserted on some cells of the black and white cobweb. 

An inspired title, Yarn of Thread, Threads of Life, gave Virginia PIŞCORAN from Satu Mare to her solar abstract creations in two colors. 

Ramona Denissa Şercăianu, one of the young women in whom Daniela Frumuşeanu believes and who she promotes, also uses the seemingly forgotten felting technique to arrange a series of stylized floral compositions similar to those on Transylvanian tiles. 

Ecaterina MARGHIDAN from Iaşi uses two colors, black and a beautiful green, in the book-object Empty Words, words that are cut in the textile material, few words but which express the artist’s belief about what is not important. 

With his unmistakable blue combined with black, the gesturalist Lisandru NEAMŢU folds and cuts the paper in a new way every time, and so does now in My Journal

Creator of surreal images full of atmosphere, Liviu ŞOPTELEA from Botosani, otherwise full of color in his paintings, uses it with restraint in the two works in the exhibition – îngerarium, in which a trumpet angel appears, and in 3 Poems to Enchant Love

Chromatically sober – silver and wood color – but of great impact is also the work Fixed Reflection by Ionuţ MITROFAN who uses stainless steel pegs applied on pinewood in a well-defined composition. 

Equally sober, but in a completely different register, is the symbolic work Door of Miana Ene’s, but in a different chromatic range, especially since she applies a patina on it. 

My Window Book by Magda MOROZAN, having a cover with a figure relief only in refined grays, like most sheets, subscribes to the theme chosen by several artists: the book as a symbol of the opening of the self to the world. 

The triptych Dimensional Message by Mădălina Stan is chromatically unitary, starting from white to black through several shades of gray, but each piece has its own shape, square, polygon with five sides and six sides. 

From Stuttgart, Dorothea FLEISS, who has been creating object-books for more than 20 years, sends Folium Tea Diarium and Diaphanous Reminder from her series of artist journals, writing explorations, little color and three-dimensional shapes. 

So does Anup LET from India in Untitled, My Story and The Fourth Dimension based on an expressionist drawing. 

The Dutchwoman Naomi SULTANIK often uses her own handwriting and graphics like in ART & (HER / HIs) tory, only the collages are colored, and in Long-lasting Species one can notice another preference of hers, the use of „poor”, minimalist objects. 

The graphic designer Denissa ŞERBAN MASCHEK, based in Germany, is also a follower of writing used for its expressiveness as in Jurnal PARimPAR (OddEven Journal), the color rarely intervening, restraint observable also in Orologhion (church prayer book), where the object is created / sculpted and colored with grays. 

With a strong and imaginative graphic, with various collages of paper, photography, glass, ceramics, Gabriela NAFTANAILĂ-LEVENŢU depicts her universe of values in Dowry Box, Book of Days and Family Book, choosing a dominant blue and black drawing. 

A composition based on red and black, Black Fluid, by Otilia SFETCU from Timişoara, proposes an unusual association between a book engulfed by an ink-like black matter, yet dominated by a mass of tangled red threads. 

On a „book” of felted wool, Livia PETRESCU economically applies gold leaf in the work titled Ancestors, where the millennial ancestors are the two materials themselves. 

Chromatically sober and precious despite the presence of the newspaper collage is also the composition Story from the forest by Tiberiu POP, in which the brushed brown is next to the gold. 

In three colors – white, red and black – Rodica BANCIU REGEP expresses herself for the symbolic work The Sign of Reconciliation in which she uses different cruciform forms. Still three colors – red, gray, black – uses Lavinia DIMA, as well in her Evolutionary Book in which the accent of red with the human figure is the center and mystery of the composition, and the gray and black lines are scholarly composed. 

Daniela FRUMUŞEANU is an enthusiast of using the heaviest techniques, including the beautiful technique of serigraphy and the secrets of dyes. She uses writing, too with explicit texts about her spiritual beliefs. In the Glossary, white, red and black are dominant, the colors receiving a special brightness on the manual paper. In the Book of Angels, shades of soft blue in tone with the title are used, and in the Revival, the symbol color is scarlet . 

The Red Box of the American Joanne Luongo uses badges with sickle and hammer, very common in the former USSR and which were well made in a plastic manner, textiles and paper, plus texts in Russian, to recall a symbolism whose meaning has become foreign to many contemporaries. 

Cristina Gloria OPRIŞA from Satu Mare also uses few colors in the Built Book, white on wood for ornamentation, black and white for writing, dark red for a frame – a composition inspired by a vintage photograph. 

The young student from Iași, Elena ŞOLTUZ, imagines a book carried by wings, an initiatory message underlined also by the title The Struggle between Good and Evil

Gabriela VASILESCU colored in black, dark emerald green and bloody red the cover of the object-book which bears the name of a Nordic goddess, Freya (A Forest Book). 

The object-books that would fit in the polychromy sphere also vary a lot, even starting from this criterion, some are sober, others exuberant, in some the color is accent, in others we have a dominant one and finally there are those in which polychromy is the main message. 

Working in metal, Bogdan-Severin HOJBOTĂ imagines in his work, Mysterious, an elegant shielded book with a bright window on the cover, and in Mechanism on the page it shows clock wheels, with a double symbolism, of both science and time. 

Polymer clay modeling is used by Victoria ILEA to create two works whose provocative titles, The Absolute Truth and The Emperor’s Memory, were intended to be illegible texts. 

Valentina ŞTEFĂNESCU from Timişoara rightly considers that the Bookmark is the man indeed, so she created a human head from papier maché. 

Miruna HAŞEGAN, a university professor from Iași, in her collage The Book of Life plastically synthesizes the diversity of life using some keywords or texts in a discreet polychromy. 

Cristina MOCAN’s polychromy in Journal under Fluid Compression is also discreet in a different manner. It is in fact a work in white – the background and the black resulted from a gestural brushstroke, with a few red inserts and a few other inserts even more discreet in other colors. 

Gabriela RĂDULESCU from Craiova proposes a delicate and scientific „guide”-object Vademecum (Medieval Journal) which includes notations about healing plants, prayers, color drawings, watercolors, martisoare cast on paper. 

The Book Is the Best Medicine decrees Mălina-Elena TURMACU, a young woman from Timişoara, imagining a playful object to support her statement. 

A dramatic work and a dramatic title – A Marriage between Life and Death – is presented by the young woman from Craiova, Maria Alexandra ȚECU. 

Under the title The Eye of the Mind, Vlad Nicolaie BULGĂRE from Cluj exhibits several concentric abstract creations in a balanced polychromy. 

The choice of material as well as of the title of the work Sky and Clouds determined Adriana CĂNIJA POPA from Deva to adopt soft colors among which she slipped gold. 

Mioara Trandafir STANCU presents a mysterious and locked up box, but playful through the combination of elements, a box that contains painted stones and which is named The Journey

Alfred SCHUPLER, creator of artist books, exhibits Symmetria/Diaphora, a sign that this noble art is still preserved nowadays. 

With a special decorative sense, Luciana TOMA creates three blue letters like chicory (also present), WME, each of the three letters being painted separately, just like the background, on a box. 

The young, but certificated Mihaela MIHALACHE, in the three oils on canvas, with a dark chromatic, which she presents in the exhibition, uses a theme dear to her, that of the bear, the favorite toy of many children, which thus insinuates itself in the collective mind as symbol of the lost childhood, but which however continues to live in each and every one of us. 

A closed but strong chromaticism is used by Mihai MOLDOVANU – this being a stylistic feature of his – in The Earth at the Crossroads, one of the few works in the exhibition under the sign of the times we live in. 

Alina VODĂ exhibits three works, Book-object – applying on a surface several small metal objects from today’s daily life, numbers and barcodes; Carrousel – a playful object that repeats the black silhouette of a dog; S.O.S. The Forest – a composition complex in terms of technique, in several planes, the last one containing the image of a deer in the darkness of vegetation. 

Several textile „tabs” are contained in the work of the young woman from Iași, Ioana Bianca DIDEA, Vegetal Structures, on which various colored floral motifs are applied. 

In Unwoven Files Mihaela TĂTULESCU from Oradea has small multicolored fabrics with ancient symbols and decorations on white wool. 

The artist Andreea RUS, from Bistrita, refers in her creation to this strange spring for all of us in Journal Sheet – This spring using a dramatic chromatic. 

By form or by title, sometimes by both, several works in the exhibition refer to the previous forms of record, such as the Apocryphal Manuscript of Mihaela OLARU, with its harmonious chromaticism serving as background for the cruciform symbol. 

Vasile POP-NEGREŞTEANU participates in the exhibition with three works with the general title Stories from My Book: in the first book the particular title is Virus Captured in which the very colored virus is „captured” by a large white square, where the white and the square are beneficial symbols. The second one, The Ascension of the Word, is ascending by its very construction both solar and in detail, while the third one, The Primordial Page, is an abstract composition as the primordial is always imagined. 

Initiatory, the book-object of Zoe VIDA from Cluj, entitled The Book of Gates invites you to get acquainted with her countless gates and keys. 

On a precious polychrome background, several scrolls are arranged vertically, some white crossed by a few golden threads, others golden with gold writing in My BOOK of Soul by Elena CIOBĂNAŞU from Iaşi. 

Athena-Elena Simionescu, a student from Iași, creates a three-dimensional object alluding to a person sequestered in Isolation, another work dedicated to our experience this year, whereas in The Legends of the Citadel she soberly combines only a few elements that refer to the title. 

A master of the veiled line, Doina REGHIŞ IONESCU in The Altar of the Divine Creation presents several abstract creations. 

Ana-Maria RUGESCU also presents several abstract creations, based on large spots of color and a chromatic in line with the title Inscriptions – The Mysteries of the Earth

Ioana VÎLCU from Râmnicu Vâlcea gathers several abstract compositions based on vivid spots of color between some covers, titling the work Through Other Eyes

Georgeta HLIHOR dedicates her book-object to Mozart in a composition in which the color is the one that accentuates the message. 

In The Drawing Block, Monica Pop from Iași explores on each sheet very different forms of expression inspired by an image. 

Some polychromes are on a background of color, black, white, blue, etc. Adriana BĂDESCU, in a book-object with several sheets of different backgrounds, glues well composed images on different color backgrounds in My Memories Binder

Ruxandra Eugenia Socaciu from Curtea de Argeş in the book-object with several pages, titled Elements, presents abstract or figurative compositions, equally well mastered. 

Violeta CARP in her Sketchbook The Carpathian Space International Art Festival exhibits suggestive visual notations in a safe way. 

The object-book of Niculina VLAD LEONTE from Bârlad contains several pages with painted objects. 

Vidya Sagar SINGH from India in the Corona Series – again a reflection of this year’s obsession – presents a composition dominated by a black cobweb, the color intervening in a core full of symbols. 

Rajesh Patil EKNATH from New Delhi is also exhibiting a pandemic work, C-19 Hammer on the Nation, in which the letters of his country, India, are pasted on a background covered with white dots, some of them bloody. 

In a textile creation dominated by blue – Symbols of Cucuteni, in a second one dominated by red – Cucuteni, Elena HĂBĂŞESCU places the spiral and the other symbols of this culture in a magnificent chromatic context. 

The Riga Crypto work of the young Ionela APETRII has the dominance of the yellow mushrooms, the theme of her composition being inspired by the famous poem of Ion Barbu, a symbol of impossible love. 

Full of verve and color, the Indian Konar KOUSHIK summarizes in the style of naive art the very rich intrigues of three very famous films in his country. 

Two young sisters, Elena Livia GREACA and Maria Laura GREACA, both of them students of Daniela Frumuşeanu’s, whom she enthusiastically promotes, as she did with many of her other students, have their own artistic personality, a defined style. The two works of Elena Livia Greaca, both titled Proliferation, plastically develop an abstract concept, an attribute of matter. Maria Laura Greaca starting from an animal motif, the butterfly, in the three works Elitre, seems to compete with what nature has created as richness and chromatic composition. 

Full of color is the multi-page object-book by Lidia MĂRGELU, titled The Tree of Life, another work in the exhibition dedicated to the archetypal motifs of humankind. 

The polychromy as the main message is found in the abstract work The Story of the Thread by Rodica-Rozalia JIANU. 

Several compositions with a strong but well-mastered chromatic are included in the book-object Subjective Geomorphics by Sibiu Olimpia COMAN-SIPEANU. 

A beautiful title has the book-object of the young Daria Elena ZETU from Suceava – Rise and Shine – which includes several compositions from textile collages under the sign of the sun, the mountain, the sea and the human being.

The text represents the point of view of the author

Mihaela Varga

Mihaela Varga

Born Mihaela Dima, on January 15, 1952, in Sighișoara. He graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Sociology, University of Bucharest, 1975. He defended his doctoral thesis in 2006, on "The history of art trade in Romania in the twentieth century", leader Gheorghe Buzatu. He worked at the Braşov County Museum (1975-1979), the National Art Museum of Romania (1979-1992), the Cotroceni National Museum (1992-1993) and the Maiko Publishing House (1993 - present); is a member of the Union of Fine Artists, Critical Branch.

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