Foreword of the Ambassador - exhibition of Ms. Zdena Šafka Řeháková (embassyart艺馆)
Zdena Šafka Řeháková and her world of images
For a long time, I was contemplating about how best – in the most interesting, most celebratory way – to conclude the two-year cycle of „embassyart艺馆“ in its current form. How to bring to a dignified end this series of 16 very different but always original and never repetitive cultural events at the Embassy and in its surroundings. What else to offer to the supporters of the Embassy and the art-lovers who have grown accustomed to coming to us to experience beauty, invention, provocation as well as harmony. It should be something that would close an imaginary circle. That would connect all the currents into one calm river. That will come and become a natural part of the blossoming Beijing spring. I was thinking. And then some friends from Prague, who sensed the direction of my thoughts, placed on my horizon a mosaic of paintings by Zdena Šafka Řeháková. I think they knew very well what would happen. The paintings came closer and spoke to me. About things that are commonplace, about things that are self-evident, about things and feelings that encircle the world like meridians and that therefore are understood by all people around the world.
Until now, I’ve only known Zdena Šafka Řeháková through her paintings. But even so, I think that her ambition is not as much to influence the world as it is to open windows into its interior, open wells, open souls. Her testimony is pure, full of light and colours. The sad and nostalgic is always just a question of shades. The atmosphere that she creates immediately drags us into the image, into the act. We become a part of the moment, we enter the images of the people and things portrayed and together with them feel the warmth of touches, the pleasant coolness offered by the surface of the pond or the smell of a field of ripened wheat through which we are cycling on a hot day. Just like our lives happen between the reality and our dreams and we are not always able to tell reliably which phase we are currently experiencing, her paintings also leisurely cross over the border of these two spaces. It is not rare for us to be accompanied by angels intending to protect us, to lead us into safety from dangerous situations, to uplift us. It is not rare for us to voluntarily enter a thick rainbow-collared fog in order to come out of it full of new colourful energy.
Zdena Šafka Řeháková seeks balance. She attempts to fasten, anchor, stabilize the lens of her perception, to find certainty in an unsteady environment. Colours are a means of balancing. Zdena Šafka is an artist that amply uses different materials and techniques to express her thoughts, to capture the uniqueness of a moment. However, at the same time she is an artist who recasts the lyrics of words into visual sensations. Her paintings are poetry on canvas, on paper, on cloth. I think that, considering the long Chinese tradition of poets and painters being one and the same, her art will be well-understood in the Middle Kingdom. Zdena Šafka lets us uncover charming coves, recesses, bays, everything that bit into mountains, land, mass and created and a safe haven, harbour towards which we run when the skies thunder above us. She does not organize a rushed escape from the chaos of the world. Rather, she offers a road, a stream to be followed in order for the soul to wake up. Zdena Šafka Řeháková seeks balance. She brings calmness.
In Beijing, 14 April 2012
Catalogue for download (PDF, 4,3 MB)