TOTEM COLLECTIVE x Gedvile Bunikyte Artist Collaboration
This Autumn, TOTEM COLLECTIVE had a chance to collaborate with a very unique artist in Hong Kong – Gedvile Bunikyte, and created a collection of beautifully hand-painted TOTEM Patches and clutches. Each of them being completely unique, all the pieces were true to the artist’s artistic practice and ideologies, and presented a perfect example of wearable art of our time and age.
An artist who embodies knowledge, cognition and total awareness, Gedvile Bunikyte is one who devotes her life to crack the code of logos, nature and being. The Lithuanian born artist currently resides in Hong Kong with her husband who is also one of the most renown DJs in the region. The creative duo moved back to his hometown after living in Vienna, London, Berlin and more, and are now injecting an array of fresh artistic energy into the city.
Gedvile Bunikyte’s works are minimalistic and yet astonishing due to the abstraction and conceptualisation that, if to put into words, would be difficult to articulate and understand. The geometric shapes and lines, the seemingly orderly construction lies beneath a deeper, abstract search for philosophical meanings of life and emotions.
Not just an artist, Gedvile is also a philosophy writer, yoga instructor and physical trainer. She is definitely the definition of a modern day “slasher” who champions the dream of multi-achieving. By merging different methodologies of artistic and self expression, she is also the perfect embodiment of the interconnecting fundamentals of everything we do. Connecting physical, spiritual ideas and expressing them through different mediums, Gedvile represents a modern image of an global-minded omnipresent artist today.
We spoke with the Gedvile Bunikyte about this very special collaboration, her inspirations and ideas behind her gorgeous artworks, as well as what is like being a Lithuanian artist in Hong Kong now.
The Gedvile Bunikyte x TOTEM COLLECTIVE Artist Collaboration. Available at KAPOK Hong Kong
1. You mentioned before that your artwork always relates to philosophy, as a philosophy writer yourself, what are the connections specifically?
I am always curious to learn how things work, how they connect, evolve. I love to dive deep whatever it is and wherever I might be. I am terrible at small talk, within two minutes of meeting a new person we usually already engaged in some sort of conversation that involves discussing things that are bigger than our daily lives and worries, it could be existential questions, quantum physics theories or deep truths of our own personal and intimate journeys. I might not even ask your name hahah, it can be intense for some, for me it's a way of life. I really do think, one has to live and love deep or not do it at all. My work is a guiding system to me of how I relate to the world, to universe and how I live my life, essentially its a kind of map, a study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, essence of reality and existence. It predominantly deals with philosophy to do with non physical plane in it's pure form. It really comes down to how can I distill thoughts into their purest form. The images and symbols are not specifically tied to anything of what we know of this world, so they are pure, like new a born, not contaminated by knowledge that is reductive, it is a seeking of wisdom, a connection to divine reason and creative order.
2. The geometry shapes and lines combined with the seemingly free brushes of paint in your works sometimes reminds me of ancient Chinese ink painting. The way you use certain lines and shapes to depict abstract objects looks a bit like how they used to draw mountains, rivers and water. Have you been told that before? What are the elements of influence for your way of painting?
Yes, I have been told that before. I also draw mountains, and rivers and archetypes energies and planes and experiences of multi dimensional realities. All cultures, all old wisdom traditions and religions had similar expressions and notations of the world (s) of existence. I don't know how and where that came from specifically. It's definitely an aesthetic I am naturally drawn to, whether it's Chinese ink painting, old Lithuanian pagan folkloric imagery, Mayan Art, Sumerian Art, Indigenous Australian Art, Cave paintings, religious iconography and so on I can relate to it all and any human attempt to honour nature and nature of life itself. I don't look for influences or inspirations specifically, but I do believe that there are some inherent codes, rhythms and shapes within our DNA that we all share on a level that is deep, primal, instinctual.
3. Also being a physical trainer and yoga instructor, how do these different ways of expression or methodology to train and express inner cognition and awareness interconnect?
On all levels, its all connected. I believe in logos, in codes, in rituals. Body is wise. We awaken patterns and ancestral wisdom by training the body on physical, energetical, emotional and spiritual levels. I am a student of many physical disciplines, yoga and martial arts. Yes, it makes you strong physically which is very practical, I can carry all the heavy stuff, no problem! But it also teaches you courage, compassion, discipline, honour and appreciation and respect of life itself. It strengthens your body that’s true, but most importantly, it strengthens your character, I think these are all essentials for an artist.
4. What is it like living in HK being an artist compared to London, Vilnius, Berlin or Vienna
I love Hong Kong. I love the people here. There are other easier things to do in life than being an artist, being an artist is not easy anywhere, haha. All of the cities have different challenges and offer different opportunities. Hong Kong is a very unique and special city; it amplifies things in you. In Hong Kong, it is a first time in my life where I am part of a community, I found my tribe here. I have a group of friends that are truly wonderful people, we are all so different from each other, doing different things in life, different occupations, but we made this circle of love and support for each other, its truly beautiful. I never belonged to a group before, but I was ready when I moved to Hong Kong. I think grew and evolved to a point where I could nurture other people and accept their nurturing towards me.
5. What did you think about the TOTEM COLLECTIVE brand approach and what were the inspirations behind the paintings you did for the patches? Is there a synergy of some sort you feel being able to turn those art pieces into wearable daily objects?
You guys are all hotties, thats why I said yes! Haha! I love that you care and that you have this sense of community, involving creative people around you. I like the fact that I had an opportunity to translate my work into something practical and for the audiences that might not necessarily be into similar aspects of thought processes as me but nevertheless I hope they might feel intrigued by the images on some level.