Vladimír Kokolia on China’s doorstep
Source:Artintern.net Author:Libor Sečka Date: 2013-09-27 Size:
It took some time to convince Vladimír Kokolia to travel to China and address the country through his art. Even though he has already been oriented to its culture, civilization and spirituality for a long time – intuitively and consciously – he was not certain whether it was the right moment.

It took some time to convince Vladimír Kokolia to travel to China and address the country through his art. Even though he has already been oriented to its culture, civilization and spirituality for a long time – intuitively and consciously – he was not certain whether it was the right moment. Behind his hesitation lurked a number of reasons and inner emotions. I was intrigued by one argument – the feeling that he did not want to/could not come to China right now because he suspected that he would not return home. He senses that he would stay in China, that he would connect with it, integrate into it. I thought about this notion, but, guided by my ever-present doubts, I also considered that his motivations could be quite the opposite. That perhaps behind it all simply lies the fear of losing some carefully nurtured illusions, the fear of a dream evaporating, of not finding what he is searching for. A step forward that could mean a step backward. I mulled over the situation and at the same time I tried to get to know and to better understand Vladimír and his world. I came to the conclusion that Vladimír Kokolia and China belong together.


This assertion is based not only on concerns and attitudes that are shared by both sides, but also on plenty of diverse elements and stances that multiply the mutual attraction. Vladimír Kokolia has entered into the boundlessness (wu ji) of the Chinese philosophical stream, he has found balance with nature, become part of it and allowed it to permeate him freely. Nature has become for him, just as it has for Chinese schools of painting, one of the greatest sources of inspiration. It provides as much mystery and thrill as it does the joy of discovery, thus knowledge itself. It creates systems that are in perpetual transformation. It continually presents new questions which Kokolia does not wish to leave unanswered. He wants to grasp it, embrace it, see it from all angles, penetrate it. He wants to discuss it and the paths that lead to its approach. All of the recent meetings with Chinese painters at the Kokolias’ home in the Czech village of Veverské Knínice or in their verdent garden focused at least in part on nature.

Kokolia finds in nature a haven; he does not seek in it a refuge. He does not play a game of masks. On the contrary, he appears as a vulnerable figure, exposed. Naturalness for him is directness. He is a lone surfer riding against a tidal wave of commercialization, factionalism, ambivalence. Against a wave that is barrelling through the world, today’s China not excluded. He rejects bombast and inanity. He toils alone on a Sisyphean path to seek the sense of art, and he can not stand aside. He shows the way, writes the book of his signposts. Not unlike Don Quixote, he raises his lance against windmills. Ridiculed, he stands in the rain, yet he defends his truth. The world needs quiet heroes. Vladimír Kokolia now comes to China. Nay, Vladimír Kokolia returns to China. He has never broken free from its embrace…

Beijing, 11 September 2013


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