Sarkis, a French artist of Armenian origin, was born in Istanbul in 1938 and studied painting and interior architecture before moving to France in 1964. In 1967, he won the prize for painting awarded at the Paris Biennal. In 1969, he was invited by the great art critic Harald Szeermann to take part in an exhibition When Attitudes Become Form, which has been famous ever since: “My work is always related to memory. Everything that I have experienced in my life is in it. ”
For more than 35 years, Sarkis has been imagining scenes constructed from stories inspired as much by a sense of place – memories inherent to particular places – as his own personal memories. He uses a variety of media (e.g. watercolors, video and sculpture) and materials (e.g. neon, magnetic tape and copper) and confronts objects from different contexts or cultures. This has given his body of work a unique poetic dimension that reveals a profound humanism and a great familiarity with world history.
Sarkis has exhibited at many international exhibitions such as the Pompidou Center (Paris), Boymans Museum (Rotterdam), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Geneva).
About the Collection
I had two sources of inspiration for the Kintsugi service. First, what if I held a dinner for 12 very different guests… would they get along?
Second, I am fascinated by a 16th-century Japanese technique known as Kintsugi.
The idea is to make visible repairs in fired ceramic using a mix of lacquer and gold, which increases the esthetic value.
One might call it “the archeology of the future”! In other words, even if many copies of a plate exist, what counts is the original unit.
Each plate is unique, because I made different repairs on each one, as if it were a precious ancient object. Like an archeologist adding value to objects that are found.
In the workshops in Limoges, I worked like a calligrapher, highly concentrated, and did all 12 plates in the same sitting. Inspiration struck like lightning.”