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Art Traveling: Travel the world with a saw in your backpack

Khabarovsk sculptor Vadim Paulin went on a creative tour in three countries

This summer and autumn masters are waiting for international competitions in Germany, Finland and Turkey. In most cases, the gold and silver finalist of world competitions, who in Khabarovsk is known as the author of “Flies with a Five-Thousand-Day Bills”, will be the only master from Russia. Vadim Paulin told EastRussia how to fall in love with foreign organizers and travel for free, whether it is worth fighting vandalism and what surprised the most in the “import” mentality for 12 competitive years.

Art Traveling: Travel the world with a saw in your backpack
Photo: Baba Yaga. Vadim Polina's work in a sand sculpture competition in Portugal, 2019
Since July 17, Vadim Polin has already cut off all the excess from hard as a rock chestnut at the 26-th International Symposium of Wooden Sculpture in Turkish Gölcük (26th International Degirmendere Zuhtu Muridoglu Wooden Sculpture Symposium, Gölcük). There is nobody to talk in Russian to the master: this year local sculptors participate in the Symposium, there are also Italians and Iranians. All sculpt on the free theme. Khabarovsk resident saw a weighty hare in a log, who managed to escape from the matrix.

Photo: "Two Worlds". Work on 26 International Wooden Sculpture Symposium,Golcuk, Turkey.

“My work is called“ Two Worlds ”. Today’s world is so immersed in digital reality that we learn more about actual reality from digital reality, ”explains the sculptor. “For example, if you type“ hare ”on the Internet, the screen will not have that wild hare that I saw in my childhood. But at the same time, if I want to make a sculpture of a hare, then I am guided by digital technologies: I look at anatomy, animal hair, and add dynamics. Unlike contests, where masters carve out sculptures to race, trying to impress the jury, and the award in the final goes to three, sculptors work more thoughtfully at the Symposia, and all participants get paid, ”adds Vadim Polin.

The host party pays the road, food and accommodation of the sculptors. Their works will remain on the streets of Golcuk as a decoration of the urban environment. Vadim's next goal is Finland. From 7 to 13 in August, a week of Arctic art (Arctic Art Week 2019, Kakslauttanen) will be held in Kakslauttanen in three areas: painting, wood paneling and sculpture. 20 sculptors from 12 countries will take part in the competition. Masters will be issued on the trunk length 180 cm, allowed to use glue and nails - within reasonable limits.

“In Finland, I will make a crow-traveler. This is probably my prototype, one essence of a crow, another flies out of it, and the third. I invented a sculpture with a height of 3 meters, it will be difficult to saw a log and make installation. Each cut will be part of the sculpture, ”says Vadim. “In general, on this trip I have a complicated logistics: I am going to Turkey, from Turkey I am flying to Moscow, from Moscow to Murmansk, from Murmansk by international taxi to Kakslauttanen, and from there by plane to the German city of Rostock.”

The birth of Baikal 2008, 1 place with Ivan. festival Baikal nerpa.jpg
Photo: "The Birth of Baikal". The work of Vadim Polin, Ivan Loktyukhin and Lyubov Mamaevskaya at the "Crystal Seal-2008" competition, XNUMXst place

In Germany, Vadim Polin will work in tandem with Ivan Loktyukhin, an ex-Khabarovsk resident who has moved to the Murmansk region. They will go to the ice sculpture competition in Rostock for the fifth time. Russia in Germany will be represented by another master - Vladimir Barsukov. Also Khabarovsk.

“In Germany we will have the theme of“ Asia ”, we are Asians. 20 sculptors will present this trend, and everyone will have their own Asia: Asia of Thailand, Asia of Japan, and so on. We will make the Nanai three-world world: a man sailing between worlds, between reality and sleep. There will be a seven, a stylized Nanay on it, a boat floating in the air from the lower world to the upper one, ”shared our interlocutor.

In all cases, the carver won the “vouchers” abroad by sending his sketches in response to an invitation to participate. The bigger the event, the harder the selection: there is a 30 and 100 people in place.

In February and March, the 2020 creative duo set their sights on the most prestigious ice festival, Ice Alaska. Vadim Polin and Ivan Loktyukhin have already taken silver there. Also in their piggy bank is “gold” at the Russian Cup in Perm in 2016, and the first places of several European ice competitions, for example, in Helsinki in 2016. The most fruitful for awards for the masters working in 4 hands was the 2008 year, when Vadim and Ivan for the year took the 5 first places in Russian competitions.

in the darkness of Alaska 2017 sculpture dream spirit.jpg

Photo: "Sleep of the Spirit". The work of Vadim Polina, Ivan Loktyukhin, Eduard Ponomarenko and Sergey Zaplatin at the festival “Ice Alaska-2017”, II place. 

How to "hook" the organizers to start inviting them to all-Russian and international competitions? Vadim's recipe for novice sculptors is to show more zeal at low-budget or free city events, do not hesitate to promote your work on social networks, and not be “wooden”. Sooner or later they will notice. Professional education and skills - Vadim graduated from the Faculty of DPI of the Khabarovsk College of Arts and worked in the sculpture workshop - help to fill his hand and also increase the chances of "getting into the cage".

"ICEERS" PLANETS have nothing to share "
Over the 12 years, Vadim Polin traveled to 10 countries. He says Khabarovsk is a famous city in terms of sculpture in the world. The image of one of the ice capitals of Russia, Khabarovsk, has earned international ice competitions. In addition, the figures of wood and ice - the usual decoration for local parks and squares.

“To take a random international ice festival in Russia, there will be, let's say, 12 teams, including 3 foreign, and 2 from Khabarovsk. Or Germany, where sculptors from all over the world came to, and there a couple of people will certainly come from Khabarovsk! ”- shares the art-guest performer. “And they are treated like a sculptor, and not like a Russian, a Mongol, or a black one. We have a saying in our environment: cities, countries change, and the muzzles, forgive, are the same. There are not so many travel sculptors and everyone knows each other. I slowly learn English, the minimum necessary, how to find my way, and I already know how to ask for my salary, ”the master smiles.

The sculptor of each country has his own handwriting, Vadim Pauline notes. And although in recent years much has changed, it is still possible to unravel some national features in the creation.

“Before, Russians were easy to recognize by realism. For example, we made a fabulous story, but it was realistic. Europeans have always tried to create some kind of abstraction. The Americans went into action, but they are famous for it and now, the main thing is not what the sculpture is about, but how, on what does it stand, why does it not fall ?! Wow effect is important. An American can also work closely with a photo and make it exactly as in the photo, and this is also cool, ”the author shares.

“We have our own cultural codes, there is a place for fun,” adds Vadim. "For example, the sculpture" Mosquito abducting a reindeer. " I did it in Yar-Sale, it is near Salekhard. There are huge mosquitoes, and little deer, really, they have deer, like dogs! ”

Sculpture abduction of a deer by the northern chamber in Yakutia. Vadim Polin.jpg
Photo: "Mosquito abducting a reindeer." Vadim Polina's workno contest, Yar-sal. 

The fact that the inhabitants of the frosty countries are the best ice craftsmen is a delusion, the sculptor is sure. For example, in warm Thailand and Cambodia, ice sculpture is taught in the institutes by the chefs: this skill is required for a beautiful table setting. This practice is in some American universities, because among the participants it is often possible to meet those who are equally adept at sawing and ladle.

“There is such a story about climate and difference of perception. Once at the Russian Cup in Perm masters from Thailand worked. The temperature on the street was -3 degrees the whole festival, thaw. Generally impossible to work! The ice is flowing, not glued, we walk in rubber boots, sweaty feet. We finished the sculptures, they have not the same color, in general, namuchalis. And here these Thais give Russian interviews: “You know, it was very cold, but we suffered and worked,” recalls the sculptor.

The peculiarity of Russia - in raw materials for future sculptures. It is customary in our country not to waste time on trifles and to install large ice blocks 2х2 m, while in other countries they are crushed to lifting pieces. The finished sculpture, like a puzzle, is glued into a homogeneous whole of the fragments on "liquid ice" (water in the slang of ice sculptors - East Russia). Abroad, the entire competitive ice is artificial, most often food, cocktail ice that is frozen in refrigerators. In Russia, it is customary to cut ice from natural bodies of water. In air bubbles, blades of grass and small fish have their own charm, but, according to the masters, it is more difficult to work with such material.

Vandalism, with which street artists and sculptors of all countries are familiar to different degrees, is easier to warn than to write out fines, the sculptor believes.

“The master must take into account where he works, with which contingent. If he does a tender, beautiful and graceful job in a dysfunctional area, it is in vain. The man-spectator does not think, they say, behold, I am a vandal, I will go and I shall obgazu, no! Man reaches for art. Out of pure love, he tries to climb and take a picture so that everyone can see it. And the author must create a work that can withstand the curiosity of a person! My colleague Ivan Loktyukhin had a tactic from the very beginning: the bottom of the figure is not killed, strong, and some kind of openwork mulk is put up. Specially corners were hewn so that it was impossible to climb. In Khabarovsk, a lot of such work, Mucha-tsokotuha on this principle is made. You can climb on it, stand up, make a selfie, and by the fly itself a healthy person will not climb, ”said Vadim Paulin.

Snowflake Perm 1 place on the Cup of Russia. 2014.jpg
Photo: "Native land". Rabot Vadim Polina and Ivan Loktyukhin at the "Cup of Russia" in Perm, 2011 g, I a place
In addition to immersion in the cultural environment, each trip replenishes the luggage of everyday life impressions of the Khabarovsk sculptor. Almost always there is a day of sightseeing and free evenings. It would be time - one could become a travel blogger, broadcast what was remembered abroad, says Vadim Polin. We assume a start:

“Portugal really liked the simplicity and hospitality of the people, after a couple of weeks you become your board, and the language barrier is not a hindrance. We communicated in broken English.

In America, my favorite city is Los Angeles, although, I confess, I have been to America 5 times, but I still do not understand this country. For me, America is new every time, ”Pauline continues. “For example, in Russia they ask: how much is your work worth? You answer: well, let's think, figure out how much it costs. And in America, if you did not immediately name the price tag, it is perceived as incompetence. You must say clearly, and the person will already decide whether he needs it or not. Besides, there are long distances, and people are used to thinking in cars. They say how many minutes by car, but no one will say in kilometers. Once we needed to go to the store, we called, asked, take us. We drove, purchased and came back. And only in the 5th year, we learned that the store is located 15 minutes on foot! For them, it's not that it's unusual to walk, they couldn't even explain the way. When we asked why to go, they replied: "It's too far!" Walking is considered indecent. An acquaintance from Russia once went on foot, and the baker said to her: "Please, do not disgrace me, I will bring you bread home!"

When I first came to Chinese Harbin, I was surprised a lot, ”the master continues. “For example, a different attitude to food. In our country, a portion is imposed on a person, such as to eat at a time, and in China it is considered decent to fail, and such tables are huge. Eat so much physically impossible. In personal contact with the Chinese, it is very difficult to get the truth, for example, in the question, does my sculpture suit you or not? In China, everyone will tell you that you have a good sculpture, and everything, you will not understand your faults. The relationship between a man and a woman is incomprehensible to us there. For example, in a restaurant you cannot invite a girl to dance to a slow dance - it’s basically impossible, they won’t understand you.

In Germany, people are trapped in the norms of social behavior, ”Vadim switches to Europe. “Ecology of the environment, for example. It is dark all the time, the light is dim, it is dim everywhere in hotels, you cannot read a book in the evening, you have to do it during the day. You can not turn on the light bulb, the store simply can not buy the one that shines brightly. In crowded places, even children do not cry. The child opens his mouth, his tears flow, but he cries in a whisper. This is a rule of social behavior, it is impossible to make noise. If you go somewhere in the village, there is a dead silence. If you make noise, you have leverage, this is the police, and the society itself. Everyone will be chicking. On the one hand, it’s good that there is no rubbish on the streets, this is not the police with a machine gun running after people, people themselves are watching where someone threw the candy wrapper. If you are past an urn, a 5 person will come up to you and say that you should go to an urn, and they will not calm down until you correct it. Once I had to go on foot, and I got lost and walked along the road, and each car slowed down neatly, honked, and drove on. It turned out that I was walking in the wrong place, and people did not care. Then he realized that in 20 meters there is a footpath.

Abroad, the higher the salary, the higher the prices in the stores, ”remarks the Khabarovsk sculptor. “The highest wages are in Norway. Once we arrived at the ice competition, we were settled in the apartment of an ordinary private house. We plunged on Wednesday. I went to the store, I had 100 NOK. Went, walked, and came out with one pack of noodles in a soft package. More than anything did not dare to spend! The ratio to our prices was 1: 10. The same goes for housing. Norway asked: "What is your plot?" And I have a plot in Khabarovsk 22 weave. They looked strange and answered: “In principle, such land cannot be bought for any money!” - although there is a small population density, and the houses are far from each other. The funny thing is that they have large windows, but they do not hang curtains, because they have not taken to look through the windows. My aphorism was born: they do not hang curtains so that passersby do not look in the windows. Their bedrooms are mainly on the second floor. There are apartment buildings, but more private. In Norway there is a law that you can put up a tent on any land for one night, this is left from the time of the Vikings. You can travel comfortably with a tent and a bicycle. I also have a habit of swimming in any pond where there is no ice. And Norwegians have such a thing, do not ask what you want to do and why. Somehow we sit, we have lunch, and next is the fjords, the deep sea. I say I want to swim. Immediately to me: “Now!” In all seriousness, the waiter comes, gives a towel. And we are in a cafe! I went, bathed, dried, gave. It is their tolerance: if a person does something, and does not step on your heels, does not harm, you do not climb into his soul with questions. It seems to me a great tradition.

nutcracker 2019 Moscow gorky park decoration.jpg
Photo: The Nutcracker. Registration Gorky Park in Moscow, 2019

I think people are the same everywhere, around the globe, but society and its norms are different, ”sums up the sculptor. “From each trip I return a little different person and look at everything with new eyes. No longer as a Khabarovsk citizen, but as a man of the world. ”

All photos in the material provided by Vadim Polin.  
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