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Solo exhibition by Niya Tsenkova

08.03 – 29.03

Opening: 08.03, 6 pm

Niya Tsenkova's solo show draws direct inspiration from the new location of KO-OP Art Space, transitioning from Zaimov Park to Triaditsa 5, occupying the former Port.A gallery.

The distinctive architectural elements of this space intrigued her, leading her to delve into the building's history and evolution. The amalgamation of historical columns, ornate marble entrances, metal railings, a whimsical floor mosaic, and the authentic Indian wooden gate creates an eclectic collage of time. The narrow street's charm pays homage to Sofia's rich cultural heritage, resulting in an aesthetic patchwork steeped in history.

Engaging in a conversation with one of the building's owners leads to an interesting narrative of the space and its temporal journey. Erected in 1912 as the Sofia Palace Hotel by the Hadjivulchevi brothers from Bansko the building designed by the architects Marichkov and Fingov was an architectural landmark. Fingov's distinct columns, cast in the Strug factory, stand out, with one notably bearing a backward inscription. These columns were characteristic of the era's public buildings and served as markers of the city's progress.

The interplay of elements within the building and the gallery space prompted reflections on the shared human experience and the analogous transformations inherent in both individuals and spaces. This dialogue with the past sets the thematic foundation, guiding the artistic process and shaping the imaginative narrative of the exhibition. The front gate, an eclectic architectural element that never goes unnoticed, serves as both the symbolic beginning, inspiring the exhibition, and its actual entrance.

Delving into the symbolism of doors, gates, and portals, the exhibition transcends mere architectural features to explore their social and metaphorical dimensions.

In this exploration, Niya invites viewers to consider the imperceptible influence of the past on the present. Whether marking transitions between life stages, defining boundaries or symbolizing metamorphoses, doors emerge as integral symbols within personal and communal spaces.

The inclusion of works from previous exhibitions enriches the narrative, providing a chronicle of the artist's journey, and intertwining it with the different epochs of the building's existence. The metaphorical and physical portals showcased in the exhibition act as passages leading in diverse directions, prompting contemplation on life's choices and various encounters.

Niya Tsenkova

Niya Tsenkova (1999) is a multidisciplinary artist from Sofia, Bulgaria. She has been exploring the diversity of materials and experimental approaches towards producing work over the past years. After graduating from a Fine Arts bachelor program at The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, her practice focused on the interaction between ceramics and metal. Niya took her classically oriented skills and translated them into developing her own visual language, where she works with the contrast between the organic nature of clay sculpture and the contemporary aesthetics of metal constructions. Use of negative spaces, intuitive work and separate objects forming a whole are crucial aspects in her methodology. She draws inspiration from various sources, including icons, idols, religious art, and relics; while questioning their relevance and place in the modern world. The aesthetics of religious art from the past and visual circulation of ideas it has provided is another curiosity of hers, The artist examines Cultural Heritage and its social perceptions in the context of contemporary society focusing on their visual interaction.

The exhibition is realised with the support of the National Culture Fund.


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