BOULDER STAR / Pragovka Gallery

26.5.-29.6.2023 Pragovka Gallery, Prague, CZ

Kaija Hinkula
Boulder Star

Pragovka Gallery
Kolbenova 923/34a
Opening 25.5. 6 pm

Kurátor a autor textu / Curator and author of the text: Kristýna Řeháčková
Překlad / Translation: Eva Galovičová Dubová

Finnish artist Kaija Hinkula let the audience enter a new world: utopian visions inspired by a disappearing underwater universe.

The inspiration for the site-specific installation Boulder Star made for the Pragovka Gallery was the artist’s own fantasy
world, created in her head in her studio. By bringing the installation in the gallery, the piece takes on its final form becoming
a space for the play and imagination of the audience. In her own words, Hinkula gives the audience a manual for modelling and
understanding a new universe, according to which their own world may or may not arise.

Kaija Hinkula’s artistic work includes the expanded painting, where a spatial intervention is created with the distinctive qualities of painting such as color and composition. She explores the spatiality of painting and its expanded materiality. According to artist and art theorist Mark Titmarsch, expanded painting can be viewed as a free game with painting inspired by Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein
and his notion of a game. While Wittgenstein considers speech a game, Titmarsch applies this principle to painting. Just like
the free play is allowed in tennis despite the rules given, the basic set of conditions that determine a painting can be deliberately
omitted, and in contrast other elements, such as videos, fabrics, threads, ceramic objects, colored plates and other materials
can be added.

Formally, references to the minimalism of 1960’s can be traced in Hinkula’s work. However, the austerity and restraint
associated with minimalism is absent in her work which can be labeled as fantastic minimalism in the author’s own words. The
term was coined with some exaggeration while preparing for her previous installation Stargazer in the HAM Gallery, Helsinki, with
art historian Juha-Heikki Tihinen to describe her current work. Although she is minimalist in the use of monochromatic colour tones
and discipline of a form, Hinkula’s work is also playful, colourful, fantastical and organic in its shapes.

The world presented here feels organic, inviting the viewer into the sea to watch the coral reefs. In English, Boulder Star refers to an endangered species of coral. The created environment is a visual inspiration for the artist’s utopian visions in the first place, nevertheless, environmental aspects of her work emerge too, as she creates a fantasy world out of items that may soon no longer be part of the world as we know it today.

Hinkula’s work is also characterized by recycling and repetition of elements, materials and colors. The finalization of
the work took place directly in the gallery where individual elements acquired new connotations and meanings both from the
artist’s and from the viewer’s perspectives. The created worlds allude to Hinkula’s previous installations, which this exhibition follows up on bringing the installation to other levels.

Kaija Hinkula (b. 1984) holds a master’s degree in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki and the Saimaa University of Applied Sciences in Finland. Her works are represented in the collections of the Helsinki Art Museum(HAM), Oulu Art Museum and The Finish
State Art Collection.