Rough, Tough and mystic. Visions of Yunnan & Tibet 

Mariateresa Cerretelli

Q: The colour is king in Rough, Tough and Mystic. Visions of Yunnan & Tibet, your new solo show at Alessia Paladini Gallery in Milan. What are the reasons behind this choice? 

A: My trip to Yunnan and Tibet left me with such strong impressions that only colour could express them. The itinerary was decided by Juan, my art dealer in Beijing who already knew the area very well. So he chose secluded places, far from the tourist flow. We mostly trekked with mountain shoes, on narrow trails, often along cliffs. A rough and tough trip! Physical effort and breath-taking landscapes, it really is the appropriate adjective considering the lack of oxygen!

Q: Expressive potential permeates the whole series and most of all the image on the invitation, it seems like a stage inviting the observer’s eye to capture the essence of those places. When and where did you develop this project?

A: By climbing on steep, stony trails, through rough landscapes with no plants and trees, inhospitable for humans, for hours, sometimes for days to get to the top… and then you see a refined building, decorated with exquisite graphic symbols. You are suddenly in a mystical atmosphere in the company of monks with a peaceful smile. A fascinating contrast and a therapeutic reward.
The Monk sitting in peace… contemplating the view to infinity is for me the image that expresses this contrast well. 

Q: Silence and mysticism are a powerful component of these works and using your natural pictorial sense and your great talent you faithfully return the grandeur and depth of these immense landscapes and valleys that leave you breathless. Does your vision aim to lead to a reflection on the existence and meaning of life?

A: My work is always a quest for Silence. Silence is necessary for reflection. In our world we need it increasingly more to find peace.
Without silence we enter a vortex of unhealthy thoughts. With my work, I try to give an answer to our frenetic life. A pause.