By Hasmik Manukyan
On April 3rd, Arthur Sakhkalyan’s 12-day photo exhibition “Visions of Paradise” opened in Bureaucrat Bookshop in Yerevan.
While attending the exhibition, my first inclination was to curiously attempt to find the paradise beyond the mystic scenes depicted in the photos. It was interesting to travel the unique world of the artist, who presents the reality of nature and creatures in peaceful, mystic colors and shapes. Every photo has an idea behind it. They really are visions between the known and unknown.
The exhibition is called Visions of Paradise because of the author’s long-standing belief that our perception of the world is of paramount importance. That is to say, our way of seeing things creates the world we live in to a certain extent. Just the act of seeing can make our everyday life a paradise, set on fire by the force that lights the stars, celebrating the mystical oneness of all things, or a hell, a purgatory that creates the sensation of waiting for a bus that never comes. Our choice of perception is not always easy, but it is always free.
“I started pursuing photography in 2003. Back then I was using the Russian Soviet 35 mm camera ‘Zenith’ and I was mainly shooting live rock bands. My degree is not connected to art, it’s in radio engineering, which I studied at the State Engineering University of Armenia from 1999 to 2005,” Sakhkalyan said. “I believe art is not something you can learn somewhere. Learning art does not make you an artist. Art is a state of consciousness. When you create art, you are sharing your consciousness with other people.”
Sakhkalyan believes the person who observes art is absorbing information from it. If it contains violence or unsatisfied desires, then it is possible to pass all these desires to the observer, which is not good at all, he says . What is important is to clean yourself and your mind, to be a pure source of inspiration. To deserve paradise, first of all you need to have a clear view, without any judgment or ideology.
Sakhkalyan exhibits his works in many international online photo galleries, blogs and journals, including Behance Network (The Creative Professional Network),Georgia & South Caucasus Blog and German rock band Zen Zebra’s concert exhibition “Peace in Nagorno-Karabagh” (2008), among others.
Between April 9 and 19, Shakhkalyan’s next photo exhibition entitled, “Give Me A Smile” will open at the “Espaces” Youth Training Center of the KASA Armenia. During the exhibition 20 portraits will be shown, all of which were completed between 2008 and 2011.