A Work Week With Katja Loher - Multi-Disciplinary Artist
Just what does a being a multi-disciplinary artist mean and what do they do? And most importantly, how is Katja Loher involved with the famed The House Collective? Read on to find out.
Today, I am focused on The Bee Aware Movement. I’m engaged with the ecological concerns of our planet, treating themes such as endangered flora and fauna, air pollution, waste management, climate change and the fundamentally unsustainable relationship between man and nature. With my work, I seek to sensitize viewers to the beauty but also the vulnerability of nature.
My current exhibitions with The House Collective “Seeds of Life” are inspired by the over-arching concept that is inspired by the Chinese theory of the Five Elements. Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water form a universal order underlying all things in our world. Its ancient patterns of creation and destruction have great relevance to the environmental questions affecting us all today.
My creations urge viewers to shrink down to the level of insects, not only to empathize with these tiny but monumentally important creatures, which are vanishing at an alarming rate, but also to better comprehend the challenging situation in which we are placing ourselves.
The first thing I do in the morning is practice. My practice keeps evolving. Right now I’m starting with a short meditation that came to me over the last months, which connects and protects me to get ready for the day. It is part of my daily yoga practice. I prepare myself for an inspiring day of creation. With my video-sculptures and installations I aim to stimulate dreams, imagination and humour and to inspire people to look at answers from another viewpoint.
I start the work day by meeting with Feng Shui Master Thierry Chow in Hong Kong, to discuss the site-specific exhibition at The Upper House, in regards to the energy flow of the elements in the architecture. As part of our collaboration, we stage her in places that relate to the five elements in Hong Kong and the scenes become part of the videos displayed in the exhibition.
On an average day, I usually meet collaborators from around the word in person or on calls, to create the dreams to be manifested. The projects I create, are the product of a collaborative process between my team. Many of my current projects are flourishing from partnerships with artists from different medias and cultures. The collaboration manifests within my dream-like yet apocalyptic tales, that suggest "Saving the Planet" can only be achieved by joining forces in collective action.
The choreography is inspired by the somatic, sonar-type communication found in ant colonies, bee hives, or schools of fish, and further challenges of mankind’s hubristic nature over animals. With the choreographed dance in a bird’s eye view I create kaleidoscopic patterns that are fascinating and relaxing to watch.
My lunch is usually spent somewhere and nowhere. I am travelling to Shanghai to meet the fashion designer collective, Dirty Pineapple, to plan our collaboration for the next exhibition of The House Collective Art Programme, opening in early September at the Middle House, Shanghai. We are collaborating on limited edition outfits on the five elements, which will be presented in a performance at the opening. From there the journey continues to The Temple House in Chengdu to plan the fourth and last exhibition of Seeds of Life. I will meet with ink painter collective Jiu Zhang, to plan our collaboration and to feature them in my videos as well. I look forward to holding tea ceremonies, eating delicious food, visiting temples and – of course - the pandas.
I am at a nomadic period of my path right now, constantly traveling and I therefore rarely have any routine. It depends in which country and culture I am, and which elements and people are surrounding me, I let my days unfold naturally.
Post-lunch, I like to continue working on my projects. Depending on the stage of the running projects, the work process can range from many mediums and collaborations: Planning, concept, costume design, composition and choreography, video shootings from a bird’s eye view and drone shootings in nature, glass blowing, sculpting with wood and other materials, editing the videos or installing the exhibitions.
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