Artists’ web talk session with General director KITAGAWA Fram vol.9 ‘Longest summer vacation’
In this session, we have invited Zhanna Kadyrova, an artist from Ukraine, who was going to make an artwork that connects Ichihara and Kyiv. We asked her about how she spent her time in this same situation that we are all going through. With Kuralai’s help in translation, this interview has connected Kyiv, Paris, Tokyo and Ichihara.
Zhanna Kadyrova, General Director KITAGAWA Fram
Kuralai Abdukhalikova (Galleria Continua/ Paris)
Director Fram Kitagawa (hereafter Director):
As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the whole world is sharing the same experience, including the recognition of connection and disconnection. I think it is also a very valuable opportunity.
The situation in Japan has been settling down. What about Ukraine?
Zhanna Kadyrova（hereafter Zhanna):
We started quarantine since March 17th, and all the public transportation has stopped. Only medical workers, firefighters, and those with essential occupations could take the subway.
I think the government took measures very quickly and well. For the population of 40 million, there are only 40,000 diagnosed cases and 1000 deaths, so I think the infection rate has been well controlled. This is a very difficult decision for the economy, but I think the government has done a good job.
For example, our neighbor Russia is in a serious situation because the government couldn’t take measures quickly. I don’t think the Ukrainian government has much leadership in general, but this time it played a leading role.
I think this situation has caused damage to both developed countries like Europe, and developing countries.
The quarantine will continue loosely to the end of August in Ukraine. The subway has started running and so do the cafes and bars but ironically, the museums and galleries have not opened yet. I think that is ridiculous because the gallery will never be more crowded than the subway.
Kyiv does not have as many overseas tourists as cities such as Paris, and it is only the locals who suffer from the closure of galleries and museums.
How did you spend your time during this period?
There were many interesting moments during this time. I have been staying home for 3 months, and it was like a compulsory summer holiday. Normally I don’t have time to rest like this!
I renovated my house, which I didn’t have time to do before the quarantine.
I had planned to do 5 exhibitions in 5 countries but they were all canceled and will be held online. It has been a long time since the last time I stayed in Ukraine for such a long time.
Do you have any upcoming plans?
Last week, I was going to participate in a biennale in Poland. However, I didn’t want to go somewhere the pandemic is serious and have the 2-week compulsory quarantine, so I decided not to go at the last moment. This was my first time to instruct installing through video.
From next week, I will start working on an organization called “DND”, which is a gathering of Ukrainian intellectuals. As a part of the activity, we will go to an ancient modernist hotel which is about to be demolished, collect ceramic decorations, and send them to the museum. I will also collect materials from other places like old factories and prepare for my artworks.
Do you have any ideas about your artwork in Ichihara?
My artwork in Ichihara was a project that connects two trains on one earth, Kiev and Ichihara. I have a deep affection on Kyiv’s train, so that was a work I especially wanted to complete.
I wonder if there is something in common with this pandemic, to the theme of leaving the city and returning to nature. Through the experience of the pandemic, I am thinking of showing the changes that may happen in the meaning of my artworks without changing the artworks themselves.
Thank you very much.
Artists’ web talk session with General director KITAGAWA Fram
vol.1 ‘Hope artists have in the midst of the coronavirus disease outbreak’
vol.2 ‘Communication between two distant places’
vol.3 ‘Beyond borders’
vol.4 ‘Small changes in the daily life of the artist’
vol.5 ‘Time difference of 12 hours’
vol.6 ’Online Photo Session?'
vol.7 ‘Possibilities of public spaces’
vol.8 ‘Changing artwork’