“Printmaking and bookbinding have a strong presence in my work as I embrace the complexity of printed art. There’s a spiritual power in the process of printing and repetition, like saying a mantra or a prayer. At the same time I see printing as equal partner with my paintings, drawings and installations. When selecting materials, it’s about the medium that best expresses my narratives both formally and conceptually.”
Swedish-Ecuadorian Gaby Berglund Cardenas has lived and studied half her life abroad. Born in Ecuador, she speaks several languages and earned her MFA in Oil Painting from Kyungsung University in Busan, South Korea with further studies in Printmaking. Since 2009 she established a studio in Busan from where she has been actively working and exhibiting in solo and collective shows locally and internationally (USA, Japan, Germany, Netherlands among other countries). She has exhibited by invitation at the Koehnline Museum of Illinois in USA (2013), the Hangaram Museum in Seoul, S. Korea (2014), Busan Biennale 2012, Art Show Busan 2014 and this coming summer at Art Busan 2015. Working often with themes to promote social change, Cardenas has also exhibited at Soho20 Chelsea Gallery and the A.I.R. Gallery in New York. In 2014 the artist was selected by Doug Litts, head of the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art/National Portrait Gallery Library to participate in ‘Outside the Margin’ exhibition of prints and artists’ book at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in MD, USA.
The artist is currently represented by Praum Gallery (formerly Soohohrom) in Busan and Gallery Bellarte in Seoul, S. Korea while her work is collected internationally. Her VI Solo Exhibition “Journal Pages: On Balance” (a series of woodcuts, books and installations) is currently hosted by Praum Gallery in Busan until May 7th, 2015.
Cardenas works from Busan but also improvises a studio and creates during her annual trips to Sweden and Ecuador.
Moving to Asia woke up an interest in Cardenas to study ‘Zen Buddhist Philosophy’ (or Mindfulness) and Whit Altizer wrote on Bracket Art Magazine of Sep. 2014:
“The artist addresses philosophical, social, political, psychological and spiritual aspects of women, through work that incorporates a unique style with multiple techniques and materials, causing the spectator to pause and think about those aspects.”
“In a way, her work does feel like meditation. Her choice of colors, materials and subject have a meditative quality that forces you to focus on the work. They draw you into heavy issues through dreamlike scenes.”
“Through time my work has revolved around the woman, human relations and identity. I utilize the female figure as a format for discussing social, cultural, political or psychological issues that concern me as a human being. My work usually responds to the detail of a scene or a story from readings of contemporary and historic issues or personal travels. Focusing my work on women’s bodies and mind can seem very intimate but at the same time is universal.
Printmaking and bookbinding have a strong presence in my work as I embrace the complexity of printed art. There’s a spiritual power in the process of printing and repetition, like saying a mantra or a prayer. At the same time I see printing as equal partner with my paintings, drawings and installations. When selecting materials, it’s about the medium that best expresses my narratives both formally and conceptually.
In bookbinding I use handmade papers and fabrics that I collect through my travels together with hand-sewed original prints, drawings and cut-outs from antique books or magazines. In my latest book/installations entitled “No Mind” and “Self-Portrait” I incorporated ink calligraphy scripts over 4 meters long that I made as part of my meditative practice. It reminds me of the process of drawing Enzo circles that the Zen monks went through in the past as a form of meditation.
Something particular about my woodcuts is that they are printed by foot instead of machine. This is an almost forgotten and old Japanese technique learned from a Master.”