On December 31, 2011 an exhibition of Anna Chromy’s works was inaugurated in the Foshan Art Museum as part of the countdown to the New Year. Foshan is a city of 7 million inhabitants, 20 km from Guangzhou (Canton), with which it will be united as the no. 1 mega-city in China. The exhibition was organized and financed by the Foshan Media Group, which owns all media (radio, television, newspapers) in the area. Foshan Media Group used this exhibition to expose Western Art to the people of Foshan and, at the same time, introduce Anna Chromy as its Ambassador from Europe. This explains the use of the Spiritus Mundi theme for the exhibition.
Anna Chromy’s Speech at the Exhibition opening
Spiritus Mundi, the title of this exhibition, means the spirit of being that unites us all. It is the universal consciousness independent of the country where we live or the culture in which we were raised, and it enables us to perceive the deeper truths of life and our planet.
Artists can help others understand these truths which affect the questions before us all: What am I doing here? what is the meaning of my life? But to succeed the artist must use language understandable to all. This is one reason why I chose a figurative approach in my creations.
Most important is the beauty that inspires you to love a work and see its message come true. In the words of Keats: “Beauty is truth and truth is beauty”, and Dostoyevsky “Only beauty will save the world.”
I am fortunate to live in an extraordinary part of our globe, the birthplace of sculpture in ancient Greece and Rome. Here we have seen the development of art through the Renaissance and Baroque periods with geniuses such as Michelangelo, Rafael and Bernini. The permanent confrontation with their creations, internalized through generations of contemplation, provides a particular theme for my work.
As was laid down in the Enneads of ancient mythology, “Look from deep within yourself if you cannot yet see the beauty, and then think like the artist to see it fully”. I see my work in a spirit of love and harmony, which culminates with its most complete expression in “The Cloak” (of Conscience). This is the largest ever sculpture carved from pure white marble. It began with a monolith of 250 tonnes. The marble was extracted from the famous quarry of Michelangelo in Carrara, where the Master had created such works as David and the Pieta.
The space of meditation and contemplation within The Cloak is empty in appearance. It contains the strength of our love and compassion, and it exposes our soul and our spirit; “Spiritus Mundi and Anima.” In the words of Confucius: “The power of spiritual forces are at work everywhere in the universe. Invisible to the eye, inaccessible to the senses, it penetrates everything and nothing escapes its action. The man who puts into practice the principles of his conscience and the rule of reciprocity is never far from the moral law.”
To conclude, I would like to quote Albert Einstein, another genius of humanity that I admire deeply: “The most beautiful experience we can experience is the mysterious. This is the fundamental emotion at the root of true art and true science. If we can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, then we are already dead”.
I wish you all may experience the wonder and question the mystery of my works.