ARTIST STATEMENT

As an artist I have always been inspired by cultures from around the world with the intention and ambition to connect them and show the world as a unity without borders. Within my work, I search for new and different ways to apply ancient techniques and crafts to create contemporary art that connects the past with the present.

I was living and working in Bulgaria, Dominican Republic, Italy (Milan) and now holding residency in The Netherlands (Amsterdam). In my career so far, I  had numerous solo and group exhibitions in Paris, Amsterdam, Geneva, Shanghai, Milan, Toyota city, Chicago amongst others.
My work fuses traditional with the contemporary and The East with the West back together. Different Eras and communities in the world have in common that they all represent their local knowledge, customs and beauty in their own way. As they inspire me to make artistic research and work, I feel a responsibility to give something in return. Therefore, my work focuses on showing how cultures are connected by their effort of binding people, nature and artifacts together, making our planet a united place.
Using natural, recycled and upcycled materials (even from my previous projects), and applying ancient crafts is putting my work in a new context of sustainability and multidisciplinary art. For most of my projects I research and apply techniques from an era when our planet was still clean. Focusing on nature, framing nature, and reminding us that we are part of nature I am creating awareness on the importance to keep the planet clean.


Cultural appropriation statement

Cultural exchange and appreciation are core values for me as an artist. Learning to understand a culture that is different from your own is important to broaden the individual's perspective and connect with others. Developing the skill of cultural or cross-cultural competence is challenging, but worth the journey as it is an important way to provide an opportunity to share ideas, knowledge and cultural awareness.
If you aspire to appreciate instead of appropriate, you’re already on the right track. I want to remind people to be mindful, still- do not stop being curious, keep learning and appreciating other cultures. Do it properly, with guidance and mindfulness and you will be the change needed to uplift, strengthen and amplify the world around us. My goal is to share ideas with others in order to help others learn more about the world.


Valentin Bakardjiev





SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2023   El Camino - The Road at the Embassy of Mexico, with the support from the Embassy of Bulgaria,  Den Haag, the Netherlands
2023   El Aumento – The Expand - Rakursi Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
2023   INDIGO - The Mission gallery- State Institute for Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sofia, Bulgaria
2022   The Butterfly Effect- Journey, Art Gallery Serdica, Sofia, Bulgaria
2022   Le Grand Bleu- New Horizons, Contrast Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
2020   The Butterfly Effect, Gallery Amstel 41, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2019    Salon Presentation, Genèva, Switzerland
2018    Le Grand Bleu, Gallery Amstel 41, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2017     Amsterdam Denim Days- Le Grand Bleu, Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2009   The Nature, Barneveld, The Netherlands
2008   Galerie Sir Jacobs, Tegelen, The Netherlands
2008   Gallery Irida, Sofia, Bulgaria
2005   Gallery Bojadiev, Burgas, Bulgaria
2004
and 2005 Artegabriella gallery, Busto Arsizio, Milan, Italy
2001    Secrets Excellence - Dominican Republic
1999
and 2000 Gallery # 5 Chicago, USA
1997    Draka gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
1993
and 1995 Mai gallery, Sliven, Bulgaria

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2023 - 2024    EARTH SPEAK: Giving Voice to Paper- International Biennial for Paper Fibre Art - National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute, Nantou, and Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan
2023    The POWER - Alina Art Foundationin Paratissima, Turin, Italy
2023    Bulgarian Triennial of Mini Textile, Sofia Pres Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
2023    Letters for Future II- The Future Space for Sustainability and Science, Karlsruhe, Germany
2023    Finding Natural Beauty in North- Treehouse NDSM,  Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2023    7th Riga International Triennial of Textile and Fibre Art, Tradition & Innovation, theme QUO VADIS?, Museum of Decorative Arts and Design and the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE, Riga, Latvia
2022    EAST WEST- Bulgarian/German art project- BIENNALE- SPAF, Finesse Gallery-Sofia, Bulgaria
2022    GNA, Biennale, Green Renaissance Project/Wisdom of Homo Symbious- Palbok Art Factory, Jeonju, South Korea
2022    Paper Biennale- Transition "The Cube Universe" Museum Rijswijk, The Netherlands
2022    Geumgang Nature Art Pre-Biennale, Nature Art Cube Exhibition, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea
2022    10th Annual Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival (RAKFAF), Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates
2021     Shanghai international Paper Art Biennale, Feasts on Paper, Fengxian Museum, Shanghai, China
2021     IAPMA Paper Art Exhibition “APPROACH”, Toyotashi Mingei-kan, FC Museum, Toyota city, Japan
2021     Geumgang Nature Art Pre-Biennale, Nature Art Cube Exhibition, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea
2021     XXIV Mini Textiles Salon, Centro Argentino de Arte Textil- CAAT, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2021     SPAF- Amateras, National Pallas of Culture, Sofia, Bulgaria
2018     Art Paris Art Fair, Le Grand Palais, Paris France
2018     Affordable Art Fair, Kromhouthal, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2011      Masters of Luxury, RAI, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2008
and 2011 Open Art Fair, Utrecht, The Netherlands
2005    Sala del Bramante, Rome, Italy
2005     Premio Open Art, Rome, Italy
2002     The textile art in Bulgaria, Union of Bulgarian Artists gallery Sofia, Bulgaria
1998      International Symposium for Plastic Arts - Via Pontica - Iasna Poliana, Bulgaria
1998      The Balcony Gallery, Burgas, Bulgaria
1997      National Palace of Culture - Bulgarian illustration, Sofia, Bulgaria
1995      Pals gallery, Varna, Bulgaria
1995      Draka gallery, Sofia Bulgaria
1992      Akrabov gallery, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
1992, 93, 94
and 1995 Vitosha gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
1992      Opus gallery, Varna, Bulgaria
1990, 91, 92, 94
and 1995 Union of Bulgarian Artists-UBA “Shipka 6” gallery The Spring & the Autumn Salon
1989      Sirak Skitnik gallery, Sliven, Bulgaria

AWARDS

2021  Winner SPAF- Amateras, the best Bulgarian artist, Le Grand Bleu, National Palace of Culture, Sofia, Bulgaria
2014  Winner BASGrafiekPrijs, the best graphic art with the silkscreen 'Directions of Life'  Utrecht , The Netherlands
2011   Second prize, Contest 'Silver' for the 25th Anniversary of Business Art Service -
Utrecht , The Netherlands
2004 Golden Medal - Fine Art Competition after the name of C. Frigerio in Corsico, Italy


SELECTED PUBLICATIONS, CONSULTANCIES, LECTURES, AND JURY SERVICE


2023  Publication by the Union of Bulgarian Artists for my exhibition 'El Aumento - The Expand' at the Rakursi Art Gallery. Text by the curator Mila Angelova, Sofia, Bulgaria (link)
2023  Consultant for Heather Kohlmeier’s (UW-Madison SoHE) research and publication on history of indigo and paper art for Hand Papermaking Magazine, The Language of Color, USA
2023  IAPMA bulletin-issue #62- Confluence- *LGB- The Cube Universe
2022, 23
and 2024 - juror at APEXART , 291 Church Street, New York, United States
2022  Insights of an Eco Artist, Interview (link), online magazine
2022  Foundacion Tortilla de Maíz Mexicana, Online publication (link) -The Butterfly Effect- Xalapa, Mexico
2022  IAPMA bulletin-issue #61- Fredom- *Le Grand Bleu
2021   Indigo Shade Map - (link) - Indigo
2021   lecture ”VII International Scientific and Practical Conference " Socio-cultural Trends in them Development of Modern Design and Art" , Kherson National Technical University, Ukraine
2021   IAPMA bulletin- issue #60- Power- *Le Grand Bleu
2020  Bluebee Magazine-issue #5- Hyacinth- *The Butterfly Effect, London, United Kingdom
2019   lecture, V International Scientific and Practical Conference " Innovative cultural and artistic aspects in the modern world" , Kherson National Technical University -Ukraine
2018  Amsterdam Newspaper- april 5/2: publication- interview- Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2017   Denim Freaks- Online magazine (link) - Le Grand Bleu
2013   Capolavoro di uomo, masterpiece of man- Washington DC, USA
2013   Book cover of the Bulgarian translation of “Damned strong love” by Dr. Lutz van Dijk
2011    25 years Business Art Service- Utrecht, The Netherlands
2005  Sala del Bramante, Premio OpenArt- Roma, Italy
2002  The Textile Art in Bulgaria- Sofia, Bulgaria

COURSES AND EDUCATION

2020- New York University-J.M. Tisch, NYU Hospitality and Tourism Industry Essentials
2017-  Amsterdam Museum Academy – Hospitality 2
1989- Dimitar Dobrovitch High School of Arts - Sliven Bulgaria

ART MEMBERSHIPS

2020-present IAPMA - International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists
2004-present The group of C. Frigerio, Corsico, Italy
1995- present The Union of Bulgarian Artists
1989- present The group of Sliven artists Bulgaria

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