In the Spotlight: The Artist Ioannis Stathoyiannis

The team of Mingei Project visited the solo exhibition of the artist Ioannis Stathoyiannis. This exhibition was held last Summer (July 2021) in Heraklion city and stood out for two main reasons; both the concept of the idea and the space, where was hosted, were particularly innovative and impressive.

The concept of the Exhibition

The basic idea of the exhibition consists of presenting in public 84 artistic cushions from the “Is & Zhu Stathoyiannis collection” and highlighting the thematic dialoque developed between the digital artistic drawing by Ioannis Stathoyiannis (fabric printed) and the artworks of the visual artists participating in the exhibition.

The place of the Exhibition

It´s also worth noticing that experts and public are called to face a new challenge, since Ioannis Stathoyiannis´s exhibition hosted in one by definition non-museum use space, the Olympic Hotel. This situation highlights one of the groundbreaking trends of Postmodernism, and in particular, that which mentions signs-spaces of the wider urban environment as possible places of presentation cultural material, thus creating conditions of collective historical memory.

View of the 2nd thematic unit of the exhibition

The Exhibition and the Artist

Memories, feelings and testimonies compose the identity of the ‘Is & Zhu Stathoyiannis pillows. The digital artistic drawing of Ioannis Stathoyiannis (fabric printed) escapes the decorative spirit of applied arts, or even the spirit of social census or distancing. The digital drawing of Stathoyiannis, endowed with an experiential. Symbolic and conceptual dimension, takes art to the level of concepts, ideas and even emotions that leave their material imprint on the fabric, used as a kind of canvas and a field of artistic expression.
Based on his personal interest in fabrics and textiles, his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Design, Fine and Digital Arts) Universities of Central Lancashire & Wolver Hampton) guided by his memories and travel experiences in Europe, Asia, and America, thanks to his teaching experience in China (Raffles Education Corp. Singapore) and his depth knowledge of Chinese culture and mythology, Stathoyiannis “deals” in his artworks with concepts, such as Place, Presence, Being, Identity, Crisis by expressing his thoughts, and concerns for social issues such as racism, immigration,etc. In his digital drawing, nature plays a symbolic role. There are many references to the Cretan mythology symbols.

The digital pillow

The Collaboration with the Artists

In the framework of Ioannis Stathoyiannis´s personal exhibition an open invitation was sent to artists desiring to participate, using the fabric as the basic material of their artworks. The artists were thus invited to a conceptual interaction and to a synergy of high emotional intensity with Stathoyiannis´s digital drawing. In this exhibition, the particularity of expression and the variety of genres have been sought, according to the common objective of composing and exhibiting an artistic universe in dialogue. Works of painting and sculpture, artistic installations and constructions, animated sketches, works that combine textiles, drawing printed on fabric, fashion design, art photography, and poems make up an artistic universe of 21 plus 8 artists in conversation, dividing to four different thematic units in the exhibition.

Written by Argyro Petraki (FORTH), photography and video by Theodoros Evdemon (FORTH)