Man Who Loves Moon, Leonid Tishkov Private Moon Project
Jae Hyung Kang, Chief Curator at the Savina Museum of Contemporary Art
To celebrate expansion and reopening of the Savina Museum of Contemporary Art, we are pleased to present Leonid Tishkov’s Private Moon Project as an inauguration exhibition. Born in Russia, Tishkov has been traveling in many parts of Russia, New Zealand, North Pole, Japan, China, France, Italy, and the US last ten years. He finally makes a stop in Seoul, South Korea. He is known as a man who loves moon for the Private Moon Project. It may sound unusual to know he studied at the Moscow Medical Institute and practiced as a doctor for years. Tishkov started creating illustrations, paintings, art books, and installations while he was studying medicine in the 1970s. Since 1980, he has been focusing on his artistic endeavors.
In this exhibition, thirteen photography works that Tishkov created in North Pole, France, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Russia along with his New Moon installation. The Moon in the picture appears as a friend, lover, or stranger. Every scene is staged like a still from a movie. Its lyrical mood is very metaphoric and meditative. His sensitivity applies to his delicate working process. First, he imagines where to travel with his Moon and what kind of situation they will be in. Then, he makes narratives and writes poetries. It could take from a few days to a few years to search for a place to travel with Moon. Occasionally, he could find a meaningful place by accident. Following his narratives, Moon is placed in the designated spot and he adds his performance. This process is eventually captured in photographs. Private Moon Project has started in 2003, inspired by René Magritte’s Sixteenth of September, 1956. Tishkov made a model of moon and hung it on a tree like Magritte’s painting. After this event, he began to travel with Moon like a fairytale. In the poetry Tishkov wrote for the photography he took in Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts Garden in Taiwan, Li-Bai was mentioned who was referred as the greatest poet in Chinese literary history. Tishkov said that he started writing poem influenced by Korean scholar-poet Song Gang Jeong Cheol in the Joseon Dynasty. Based on what has influenced his art, his sensitivity can be understood by Eastern metaphors.
Moon is fair to anybody, regardless the rich, educated, old, or sick, wherever in the world. Moon never gets lost on its path and stays in the same cycle. One can see hopes, dreams, illusions like fairytales and legends while watching ascending and descending moon. Despite in the Western culture, where moon symbolizes anxiety and fear, in the Eastern culture moon symbolizes abundance and peace. In the Islamic culture, crescent moon means the beginning of truth. Tishkov’s moon has power to make viewers to imagine beautiful stories.
For this exhibition, the moon sculpture called The Stairs to the Moon, 2018 is installed on the roof. The bright crescent moon is installed on top of a ladder on the fifth floor of the museum so that anybody, who is looking up from the street or looking through a nearby apartment window, will make it as a personal experience and think of mysterious, graceful, and beautiful fantasies. We expect that Leonid Tishkov’s Private Moon would bring the light to the ground in the center of this city and offer deeply meditative and comforting time.