Interview: Tijana Mandaric

inteviewTijanaMandaricImage courtesy of Tijana Mandaric

Interview: Tijana Mandaric

Luca Curci talks with Tijana  Mandaric during VISIONS – THE GARDEN OF LIQUID IDENTITIES in Venice.

Tijana Mandarić is a Serbian visual artist and new media designer, born in Belgrade. From the earliest age she was closely related to fine arts, through drawing and sculpting. In her work she is drawn to an idea on how to transpose an ordinary object deriving from it a qualitatively different meaning with her personal attitude embedded. Playing with different materials she creates new objects as delicate carriers of emotions. Lately she is tending to merge porcelain, her favourite material, with digital features as a reflection of her emotional adventure in modern world. Recently she has exhibited her works in Belgrade, Florence and Venice. Due to strange set of circumstances befalling former Federal Republic Yugoslavia (FRY), she graduated from the Faculty of Economy of the University of Belgrade with BA in Economy and the MBA in Finance and Banking. After graduation she worked in corporate world (a financial audit company and an advertising agency). Nevertheless, she kept nourishing her creative impulse attending art school for drawing, painting, sculpting and ceramics for years. Eventually she finished master studies in New Media Design at the Faculty of Digital Arts of the Metropolitan University in Belgrade with the master theses in digital air sculpture.

 

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Luca Curci – What is your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most? 

Tijana Mandarić – My background is a bit colourful. I grew up in an artistic environment since my mother, although professional doctor and writer, was also engaged in fine arts. Her creative impulse was so contagious and being near her made me want to express my creative impulses through drawing and sculpting from my earliest childhood. Art became my passion and part of my identity. Also, I attended art school for years. Since the 90s in the FRY, with the hyperinflation, political and economic sanctions, were not suitable for artistic life, I made a rational decision to enter the Faculty of Economy with a cunning plan to do whatever I want after it. I graduated obtaining an MA in Finance and Banking. I worked in corporate world, in financial audit department of a company and in advertising agency as an account executive, happy and very grateful for the opportunity to be close to art and artists, collaborating directly with designers. When I finally figured out that it was actually a misconception and a very heavy compromise on my part, I decided to take a 180 degree turn in my professional life. I changed my profession in my thirties and earned a Master’s degree in the field of new media art from the Faculty of Digital Arts. I am constantly researching through illustrations, animations, ceramic and sculptures. In the last few years I have exhibited in Belgrade, Florence and Venice. The experience in corporate world had the most striking influence on my life. That environment forced me to realize that acknowledgment, instead of denial of hypersensitivity, is liberating, and that it is actually a working tool for an artist. I realized that this “hyper” has a natural function; it is there to be poured into an art piece and shared with others who need it. That “corporate burden” now I consider a gift for my creative adventures.

 

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L.C. – How do you find the creative inspiration?

T.M. – I would say that inspiration actually finds me. The process is natural and smooth while I just listen and observe myself and my reactions to stimuli. When I react to something, this is the right place to research, dig and focus my creative energy. The process is like digging the truth out of myself, triggered by a sight, sound, digital … anything. The piece rises from myself as a materialized attitude drawn through the filter of my being, shaped by inner experience and delicate trembling over the object. It is mostly an intuitive interaction. Almost an instinct.

 

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L.C. – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?

T.M. – To be honest, at this moment, it is the technical one. My ideas are not limited with what I already know. There is a lot of technical stuff that I missed out in my education and experience. Finding the right glue for the specific material is currently my favourite battle field, but I am sure that eventually I will overcome my problem with „bonding”. Since you mentioned a challenge, I would add – to conquer a new “land“of growth.

 

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L.C. Did your style change over the years? How?

T.M. – I can’t say that I have an exact stile yet. I research, play with different materials, enjoy and improve myself. At this moment, porcelain is my favourite – so delicate, strong and sensitive. It thought me patience, gentleness and deep dedication, which I believe to be true wisdom. I love 3D in digital and real world, and lately I am inclined to merge them.  We all have the privilege to live in time when digital and real are merging, and that is the reality after all. It makes this moment of mankind history very interesting and unique.

 

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L.C. – What are you currently working on?

T.M. – At the moment am trying to find the way to make a digital sculpture with air nuzzles. I am also planning a solo exhibition exploring how humans are emotionally and biologically changed through influence of the digital. Is it changing the spirit and the DNA of mankind? What will man then become? Merging porcelain with digital solutions and motion graphic trends. I am sticking to porcelain, since the digital cannot offer yet that delicate kind of touch and feel.

 

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L.C. – What is the art tip you usually receive? Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?

T.M. – Feedback always enriches me, no matter what. I listen, respect and collect all comments. Some people are very drawn to my art, some are indifferent, depends on one’s mood, character or interest. But, what thrills me the most is when I receive some unexpected impressions, something totally different from my intention. Then I am able to observe my artwork more objectively, and from another perspective, and I­’m grateful for this new point of view. That kind of interaction is very valuable and inspires me.

 

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L.C. – How is being the artist nowadays?

T.M. – I suppose very tough at the beginning. But one can manage by combining commercial and commissioned work, with more truthfulness in other pieces. It is pretty uncertain, but we all have to eat as well as express ourselves. Multitasking is an inevitable skill in my opinion, or better said “multi-skilling”.

 

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L.C. – What do you think about the concept of this festival? In which way did it inspire you?

T.M. – The concept of the festival “Visions: Garden of Liquid Identities” was a great inspiration trigger. It made me think about the identity of things. Especially an artwork identity – is it constant? Actually, I made a conceptual “liquid” print as 3D render which can have a different meaning every day, by changing the substance of dynamic QR codes, integrated in the piece as graphic elements. Two short animations were embedded in QRs. They have that legitimate power to change the meaning of the artwork. I had that privilege to be selected to be a part of this great exhibition and to share my vision of liquid reality with wider audience.

 

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L.C. – Do you think ITS LIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?

T.M. – It has been an exceptional opportunity to be represented through ITS LIQUID platform online, as well as in the gallery The Room in Venice. Very professional cooperation and I would strongly recommend it.

 

 

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