GNAP – Excerpts from Artists’ Statements

‘This was the first ‘nature art’ project… the concept of a nomadic way of traveling and working in nature was quite exciting idea. Working in nature without any tools/ materials and with no preconceived ideas was a bit challenging at first… but later I  experienced a beautiful understanding of working with the different sites we visited. Most of my works in this project were therefore rather site-specific. The notion of ephemeral art is a beautiful idea and the temporary way of working has a beauty in itself. Nothing is eternal’. – Alok Bal

‘A traveller with a nomadic spirit tries to find his home everywhere in the world, searching for connection points, thanks to his open mind. To be a participant of GNAP India, it was not hard for me. I was impressed by Gujarat in several ways. The meditative silence of the deserts, the pulsating strength of the jungle, the plastic forms of the bald mountains, the everywhere exists energy of the sun all helped me during the workshops to feel and experience the power of the untouched nature. These were the main experience, and was completed with the multi-coloured culture of Gujarat, the honest hospitality of the local people and the deep inner wisdom, pure look, and life-loving of the people who are living together with the nature. In my homeland– in Transylvania – the organic crafts, which based on the human-nature symbiosis, are disappearing nowadays. These have already disappeared in Europe and many places of the world, but the crafts are still living in Gujarat, can be found in bazars and in small ateliers, and help to find the right way in the labyrinth of the globalization. The GNAP Project is a very important contemporary art movement. A global art-cooperation, which helps to encourage the GOOD, and move the ART from the insider circles of the galleries into the opened nature, and to the people, who living with the nature. The GNAP reappraises the role and place of art and artist. India was very special and important place of the GNAP, and the organization compared to the place was in very high level. – Peter Alper

‘This journey is still going on for me! Before I was at a point at which I needed to reconnect to my roots, the beginning of my way as an artist: to play like a child, open my mind to the landscape, experiment with materials the site offers me. Just simple tools, no calculation – following my imagination, with open end… This is, what I was looking for – and this is, what I found. My memories of the places, colours, music, local people, their skills and habits will stay with me, like seeds which are waiting to sprout. To travel with a group was new for me – and a challenge! This was another special experience, i don’t want to miss now! The way we shared and exchanged, walked, danced and laughed together still fills my heart with warmth. All my interventions during the journey were created spontaneously, without any plan – unpredicted and surprising for myself. Sometimes the limited time caused a pressure – though this forced me to reduce, which is allways a good lesson. On the other hand, compared to most other projects, there was less pressure to succeed, so I felt free to experiment and investigate. I cold follow my favourite way to find my site: to go alone for a meandering walk, just following the attraction of signs, like shapes, sounds, traces…I explored the things i’ve noticed along my track: visual axes of the landscape, patterns and structures of the soil, manmade relicts’. – Cornelia Konrads 

‘GNAP India has been a great experience of my creative life. From time to time journeys have led me astray, to detours from the route I planned and have always influenced my art. It reflects both inner and outer travels. It will come many new in our arts and understanding about how fragile is nature and life generally. My creative research during GNAP India has been based on beauty and drama in the nature – exploring the idea pattern, texture, colour, form, harmony between the natural and the man-made, the spiritual and the physical. I’m inspired by the passing of time, by the traces we leave behind in our surroundings. I have chosen to leave my markings as a kind of visual diary very carefully touching the nature, very fragmentary catching the mood, light and shape. Through my hands I have created a little story to tell and this connects me to other times, cultures and places. Being and creating in the nature has given me a key to my own sensitivity, a key to open doors of wonderful fragile harmony of the World. My works are created as a result of an ongoing conversation between myself and nature’. – Diana Radaviciute

‘During Global Nomadic Art Project journey, my choice went into interacting through my body with nature and landscapes. I was focusing on going back to primitive and simple forms using either only my body or tools from local workers. Acts and process of making artworks were more important than the results’. – Fred Martin

I did not know India, I still do not know, but I love India now.  When I heard GNAP. It was exactly what I want to do. It is a chance to escape from repeated lives and trip in a strange place. It is my dream of the journey.  However, a few days after arriving in India, I felt that this downtown is chaos itself. People, food, religion, climate, natural environment, transportation are completely different to Korea. There were more strange places then what I expect. But slowly I changed my mind and I love Indian style as time passed. My work in GNAP is entitled ‘The Holy Indian Cow’. This art work was made in the form of knitting on a tree branch. The Indian cow which is rarely seen in Korea – is very calm, never walks in a hurry, doesn’t moo loudly and has a gentle eye, which seems to say something always. Even without the explanation I got from Megha Joshi, an Indian artist, that I had many a chance to have conversations about the cow, and now the Indian cow is still the sacred feeling that it was during my experience of GNAP. – SungJu Ha

The art works they made were left to collapse to the place where they belong to over time. I could see the thesis that nature belongs to nature, not to humans. Since most of the artists hope their works last forever, how long the works are preserved is a very important matter, and it is the general custom that the value or price of an artwork is decided according to the preservation. However, nature artists do not put much emphasis on it. I think this project was an important experience not only to me, but to everybody. Kim Hye Sik

The nights of modern cities are always bustling with artificial lights. The eyes become fatigue from the street lights, speeding car lamps, full colours of advertisement lights of the night, more so than daytime. Modern day people do not even have the time to look up at the sky whether it is at night or during the day. The subtle ‘lyrical’ moonlight has long been forgotten by the modern day people.  (during GNAP India) I worked on ‘abstract’ifying the inherent beauty of nature. In such extension of work, I am now preparing for a ‘traveling moon’ exhibition. Through this work, I wish to awaken the lyricism of the moon, which has been forgotten by modern day people. – Hur Kang

‘…when I create an art work I tend to hire the resources which are only found in nature, the hardened salt from the salt desert, the fine-colourful feathers of unknown birds, countless coin-shaped mudflats created from a number of earthquakes occurred in the area, every element was collected impromptu and militated in favour of concentration. Work by work, my mind was relaxed, full of inexhaustible and joyful energy. Like Nomadism, a way of life and human existence that is deeply connected with its surrounding nature, what I have seen and experienced in the project provided the artist an opportunity to discover a lifestyle that harmoniously melts the nature, people, and cultures in a pot called India. I believe, the reason why the artists from all around the world and the devoted organizers who travelled together in coaches, shared every evening, stayed with for 37 days, are more or less similar to each other is because of the strong artistic bond formed from the nature where we collectively felt, perceived, and exchanged our thoughts and ideas via works of art’. – Ko Hyun Hie

‘As I experienced the ever-changing situations that unfolded at the site in India I repeated thought, “What is the real spirit of Nomad?” Because the reality that what we faced was not that of a round-table council. In other words, as an art, realizing the nomad requires “artistic characteristics” that are more emotional than rational, more intuitive than logical, and more creative than mechanical. And similar to the meaning of the word “nomad,” it involves living at the site. More than a logical framework or meta-discourse, through meeting a site, in a way, it allows for natural creation. Differing concepts of nature and art only gain their true meaning through the relationships formed by mutual communication between artists and citizens’. – Eung Woo Ri

‘Global Nomadic Art Project gave me a new way of seeing the life and the existence. It took me into the spirit of real nature and made me more alive, giving me a better understanding and the power to respond to the nature at the sublime. I question existence and us as a vital part of it, that why do we exist? What is our role and purpose of being here on this planet Earth? Travelling and working in this project to all the interior parts of Gujarat, which has so diverse eco systems and the soft hearted people in collaboration with the flora and fauna, which make these wetlands, mud lands, the desert, the mangrove forest, and the Great Runn of Kutch, gave me deeper sensibilities to penetrate in and out of the nature and elevated me more as a living being which in turn made me rise to a platform where I became more sensitive in order to locate answers to the questions posed above’. – Manjot Kaur

 Through the trip I did various kinds of work. Some were interventions in the landscape such as filling the crevices and cracks of rocks with bright berries; some were more physical such as fitting the form of my body parts into the hollows of the same shape – fitting in.  Every landscape threw a new idea at me. At the salt dessert I added more edible salt and spices as so many times in the trip, food and taste were under discussion – the foreigners could not handle spice and the Indians would crave it.  Stones that dissolved as red pigment were a discovery that I used in the riverbeds.  Assemblages at the beach with shells, working with found feathers and with sticks in the mangroves were spontaneous ways of working. Then photographing them in the larger environment always yielded surprises and compositions that even I could not predict. I also made a little dummy doll of myself to do the things I could not do due to an injury and she climbed trees, scrambled up tiny rocks and went further than I could’. – Megha Joshi

‘The photographs document me climbing trees throughout the GNAP journey.  In each location a tree is chosen, and climbed with the idea of the GNAP philosophy in mind ‘without leaving any trace like Nomads’.  It is surprisingly difficult to do any artistic practice without leaving a trace, and this has been my preoccupation throughout the time in Gujarat.  So I have used my body to explore the 3  dimensional shapes of the extraordinary trees I have found where ever we have worked.  I do not know the names of these trees, this is a different forest to that in Scotland.  Through this physical exploration I have learnt a lot about the landscapes around me and people have come forward with stories, uses, rituals and names that add to my growing knowledge of each tree.  The text has grown from these conversations; aphorisms about trees and our relationship to them’. – Nicole Gear

‘I find this project valuable to all human kind. A powerful social learning strategy is one that creates an environment of learning is through the sharing of experiences. Although experiences are personal, there is a lot of learning that can be derived from participation in groups such a the GNAP. My performances during the journey were unscripted, random, spontaneous and without audience participation. Using the notions of time, space and body – I tried to engage with natural material in actions that are almost like random sketching with and within in the environment; or, like composing and playing with it. Through these performances I tried to leave traces of my dialogue with nature’. – Sikan Panda

‘Seeing the landscape shift between forest, desert and mountain was an approach of magic. Touching the mud, trees, grass, stone and river was the method to enter the natural. Walking inside the wildness and unknown environment was a path of finding the soul. Hearing the shouting and singing from the shepherd in the valley was unbelievable. Breathing the salty air and sandy heat created a connection between the physical and space. Finding death in the undiscovered surroundings gave me a new and different perspective of life. Observing the stitching line of textiles from the Vandh trip was a way of knowing the past. Feeling the breath of camels, goats and cows was a treasure of being with spirit. Drawing the things, people and views in front of me was the platform of communication. Traveling through the nomadic journey was taking a bath with a surrealistic reality’. – Yachu Kang