Katja Pal Sept 2009 & April 2011
KOPI with KATJA PAL by Shih Yun
SY: How long have you been painting/drawing/etc? How has been your experience as an artist in Slovenia?
KP: To be honest this is one of the hardest question you can ask, and the answer to it might sound a bit stereotypic; as far as I remember I never been, or let’s put it this way: anything that does not contain a need for creative thinking, is bores me. Drawing, painting, assembling things has always been part of my everyday life.
Since 2007, I have been working on my MFA in Fine Arts (Painting), so it is hard for me to consider myself as a practicing artist in Slovenia. I have been active in organizing artists colony in Lendava, my home town for the past three years. Each year, we invite up to 12 artists internationally for a period of 10 days to create new works. This is also how I met SY.
SY: What inspires you? And do you use that inspiration directly to create a piece of art or do you channel towards something you are already working on?
KP: It’s hard to trace a painting back to its roots, to find one’s direct thought or inspiration that has govern its creation. If I look back, I could say that my recent work is a result of interests I carried around even as a child. Back then, I spent a lot of time making up new games or toys we could play with or simply to change the old rules of common plays. This element of playfulness somehow got stuck with me or my works even today.
SY: Are there any historical or contemporary artists that you specifically admire at this point in time?
KP: I don’t have a specific artist that I admire…there are many art and artists around that I appreciate though… I admire simple things that work (works that “hit” you directly). And from this point of view, I am a fan of so called minimalist beauty.
SY: How would you describe the your works, in one word.
SY: Why do you like painting? Everyone else is doing video and installation these days...
KP: I suppose I’m a beauty seeker. Painting is an aesthetic means. While other so called new media expose other kind of experiences. They usually have a secret agenda…a message, a story, to share… I could even say that I belong to those old-fashioned artists, who still believe in the power of its medium.
SY: Is there a purpose to your art?
KP: I kind of despise painting that has a certain purpose. I think we have enough other media that is much more suitable for this kind of moralizing. My view on art, or my personal work is much more naïve. And in a way just a big joke.
SY: Would you give us a preview of your upcoming exhibition, ' Reflections' @instinc? How does this new series of works relate to your past works you did in Slovenia? Are you exploring the same idea or experimenting with something totally new?
KP: What is similar about my past paintings and this new series is that they are about the relationship between a painting and its beholder, and questions,” What happens when we look at a painting? “My past works invite viewer to physically interact with the works, whereas my new works invites viewer to interact (only) mentally.
SY: What's the best thing about being an artist?
KP: We are joking around this question with friends, saying that the best thing about being an artist is that you can do what ever you like. The society seems to be more tolerant to artists…
SY: What's the worst thing about being an artist?
KP: But the negative side of this is that, they do not take us seriously.
SY: What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you ever imagine being an artist?
KP: I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was a kid. But as soon as I understood that artists exist, I wanted to be one of them and this stayed with me till now…
SY: One word to describe your experience here in Singapore so far.
KP: Humid ;)
SY: Any other thing you want to say that is not mentioned?
KP: One more of those stereotype answers: thank you for the given opportunity and the wild river of inspiration! (but I really mean it)