Based in Hong Kong
We are so lucky to interview remarkable Gedvile Bunikyte about her journey with art, ways of experiencing it, nature of the inspiration, some tips for those who are just starting, and many more.
A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you into art?
G: Since I was very young, I was looking for ways to relate to something that was beyond the concepts and understanding I had at that time. On an intuitive level, I could perceive there was a space that was bigger than me, and when I was in it, I had this inner knowing that there was something more, and it led me to be interested in art. I felt it was like a gateway to something bigger, sort of a spiritual experience. It led me to explore my own spirituality and I think I was looking for that. It was bypassing my mind, connecting two pieces. It was bypassing my rational mind, my conditioning, and reaching into the deeper parts of me.
A: What inspires you the most? In daily life, for example?
G: For a long time, everyday life was something that for me felt like a distraction from being able to work or to be inspired. Today for me everything is inspiration. You can’t divide life, we chose to judge or label some aspects of life as less, but it’s not true, all life is perfect, all is inspiration. All is creation in action. Stillness, silence, nature, poetry, love makes me feel connected to myself and life.
A: Do you have any specific rituals while working(creating)?
G: I love rituals. I think that anything can be a ritual. I try to live my life more and more in a way where every action becomes a ritual. For me, a ritual is just really focusing your energy and intention on something quite specific, making it become something that is no longer random but intentional. I want to dedicate myself properly to everything: talking to a person, to eating, to making art. It elevates an activity; brings a reverence and sacredness in your everyday way of living. Creates the space that helps us become more connected and present.
This allows you to participate more personally, not with just a concept of something or an image of it; you do it in a more embodied way. You're actually participating with your body, with your feeling; you feel the sensation of the experience. So yes, I try to do mundane activities as a ritual. Even when I eat or drink I dedicate the energy to the higher power. I also do more specific rituals, for creativity or for whatever reasons I might have to do a ritual; to evoke certain energy. I pray daily to connect to love, to become a channel for love, to be of benefit to all sentient beings and benevolent energies.
A: What would you recommend to someone who's new to art (rather artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?
G: Don’t be intimidated by art. I think the biggest reason people don’t want to enter art is that they have a fear of not understanding it. There’s no prerequisite to participating in art. And not understanding something can be very liberating and beautiful, just discovering new spaces and things that you may not understand. Participate in whatever way you feel the biggest connection, and I think the best way to connect to anything is to get to know yourself better.
By knowing yourself better, you will connect to art, people, things, ideas that are relevant to you. You don't have to like all of it as well. People sometimes feel this pressure to like something. But it’s okay not to like things, it's okay not to relate to things, it's okay to love things that people don't like. I think if you come from a place of internal, genuine connection, then you can't go wrong.
Instead of trying to chase certain trends, trying to fit in with a certain group of people - go deep within yourself and then if something is speaking to you, something you're connected to, then that's amazing! “Why is this red triangle making me feel a certain way?”: well, who cares? Do you feel good? Do you feel like you want to be a better person? If you feel any way about something, that's a relationship already.
A: Your top 3 favorite adjectives related to art?
G: Being in presence of art always inspires this magical feeling, so - magical. Powerful… And omnificent.
A: The best angle to look at art is from …?
G: In a headstand, upside down (laughing).
But really, the space is very important. Being present in the art space is a ritual. Space is something whose parameters or physicality will hold certain energy.
I can tell you what not to do. I think openings are crazy. It’s impossible to connect with art there. There are so many different people’s energies, conversations, alcohol, and food, so many different stimulations… and you’re asking someone to connect to the art pieces with so much going on? That’s physically impossible. You’re not there, you’re not really present in a setting like that. So I would say don't look at art at openings. Look at it when you can connect with it and feel present within yourself.
A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is: ? Is there even a phrase like that?
G: Don’t start saying something just because it's trendy; be truthful. I think that a perfect phrase brings out what’s truthful for you. Is there a certain emotion you’re feeling? A certain artist you like? Something that inspires you? Something that caused a transformation in you? Maybe you’re searching for something specific. A good way to start talking about art is to start in a place of not knowing, not understanding. Not in a dismissive way; in an open way. I think you can find a genuine connection in any space if you’re truthful. You can always find someone to talk to and just be human. Not trying to be something specific, just seeing what’s in front of you and connecting with the person next to you. And become sensitive to the space. You don't have to tell people anything, like what you know, what you owe and that kind of thing. Just breathe, drop into yourself, open your heart and connect. Then, whatever comes is going to be the most perfect thing for you to start a conversation and have the best state of receptivity between you and the art. Don't try and be smart. Just be truthful, and then it will be the best art conversation you'll have in your life. I swear it'll change your life.
A: Must-read books to talk about art (or do we even need them)?
G: We need books. It’s not a prerequisite to be able to connect to art and enjoy it, but it definitely helps. But read books from artists, not from critics.
Like Kandinsky’s writings - Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Agnes Martin’s, Itel Adnan’s writings, Sufi poetry, Letters To A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, which is advice to a young poet, although it's applicable to anybody. You don't have to be a poet to read about how to live an authentic, creative life. Any books that would open new ways of seeing and deepening your relationship with yourself will be helpful in relating to art as well.
A: If you could change one thing in the art world - what would it be?
G: Less cynicism, less drugs, less fear. More love, more truthfulness, and more connectivity and care.
A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art)
G: I’ve just spoken to a friend of mine recently and he said that: "whatever elevates you ultimately unites you”. We're living this life of separation and binary concepts and so on, and through elevation, we gain this sense of unity, with the divine, with your own soul.
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