Interview: Anne-Kristin Vaudour
Luca Curci talks with Anne-Kristin Vaudour during ANIMA MUNDI FESTIVAL 2019 – CONSCIOUSNESS at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Anne-Kristin was born in the former East German town of Wittenberg-Lutherstadt. With her father being an officer in the army, she grew up in a rather bleak and restricted communist environment. As a form of escapism, she spent most of her time day dreaming, imagining a world of fairies and magic where everything is possible. In 1996 she went to Shanghai for her studies of Journalism at Fudan University. Her favourite past time was strolling along the antique markets and buying Chinese porcelain, jade objects and traditional Chinese scroll paintings. After graduating in 2000, she moved to Hong Kong, where she worked as a freelance Project Coordinator and Arts Consultant for the British Council, Goethe-Institut, The Hong Kong Design Centre, The Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hong Kong Ballet. Her most recent job was Business Development Manager and Director for the Austrian luxury jeweller FREYWILLE for whom she also worked in Singapore from 2012 until 2017.
Following her passion for the arts, Anne went to Italy in 2004 in order to study Fashion – and Costume Design at the renowned Accademia di Moda e di Costume in Rome. In 2010 she continued her studies in Children Book Illustration and Oil Painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Macerata
(Italy). As a child Anne wanted to be a magician. But since magic powers were too unpredictable, she wanted to become something close to being a magician – an artist. The canvas is a magic tool that gives endless possibilities and where imagination has no limits. But destiny had different plans for her and she became a manager, working for corporate companies.
Anne is currently living and working in Hong Kong. Only last year in March she gave up her corporate job and is now dedicating all her time to painting.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Anne–Kristin Vaudour – I grew up in East Germany in a rather bleak and communist environment. I dreamt of travelling and exploring the world with all it’s wonders. Travelling with my fantasy was the only way to go and my imagination grew.
Later I studied the Chinese language in order to be able to explore this country with it’s many myths and secrets. Since 1996 I live in Asia. I studied Journalism in Shanghai and lived and worked in Singapore and Hong Kong, where I am currently residing. My artistic skills, I mainly acquired in Italy. I studied fashion and costume design at the Accademia di Moda e di Costume in Rome and Children Book Illustration at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Macerata. My work is mainly influenced by my multicultural upbringing and the frequently changing environment that I am finding myself in. I am taking reference from fashion, Western and Asian mythology, fairy tales, history, science fiction and add a great deal of fantasy.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
AKV – I mainly work on portraits as I am interested in humans of all ethnicities, their cultural backgrounds, history and adaptability to their different environments and lifestyles.
LC – What is your creative process like?
AKV – I am inspired by my travels, interaction with people, especially the stories they have to tell. Just today I met a man from the Taroko Mountains in Taiwan, where I am currently staying. He told me that the common greeting here is: “How strong are you?” And the response should be: “I am strong.” This greeting shows how important it is to be physically strong in order to survive here, especially in a historic context. The so called Truku are an ancient tribe with special beliefs, symbolistic facial tattoos and rich costumes. I take all those impressions and transform them into a pencil sketch, which I scan m into my ipad and elaborate it there. I work in oil or digital.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
AKV – At the moment I am trying to explore the fluidity between genders and ethnicities. I aspire to project a futuristic being that is the result of globalization, the need to adapt to increasing pollution and the always greater dominance of AI in our lifes. The result are human beings that are rather genderless and have animalistic and even robotic features, especially in my more recent works.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
AKV – I am a full time artist since just over 1 year. So my main objective is to create art and bring my ideas out of my mind onto a canvas (digital or oil). I had more recognition so far than I would have expected to gain in such a short period of time. I think the internet, especially social media is a great tool to make your artwork known.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
AKV – I was very happy when I was contacted by your team and my artwork has been selected. I decided to showcase a digital make over of my China Girls – the highlight of my previous exhibition in Hong Kong.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
AKV – I absolutely love the philosophy behind the ANIMA MUNDI concept. It reflects my explorative mind and the quest for that special energy that has always stimulated human thought and creation.
Currently being a digital nomad within an ever changing environment, I feel like being a part of the ANIMA MUNDI tribe.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
AKV – I enjoy our collaboration very much. Amaride has been very swift, responsive and professional at all times. I also like the service you provide to artists and the result, especially the artist promotion and the exhibition during the Venice Biennale in such a prime location. I appreciate that you are giving a chance to emerging artists, such as myself. I would definitely be happy to further recommend your services.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
AKV – Yes, I did and still do. And I look forward to future collaborations with you.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
AKV – I am working with you since a short time only and I have the feeling that I haven’t yet experience the full scope of your services. I would look forward to more promotion opportunities (just today I saw a beautiful video about one of the artists), networking (possible collaborations with fashion designers, interior designers/ decorators etc), active presentation of my artwork to potential collectors and perhaps the possibility to hold a talk or workshop during the festival.