On 17 February, the visitors of the Sakhalin Regional Art Museum were the first to see the Power of Energies exhibition. This project was made possible due to joint efforts of the local art community, Sakhalin Energy, and Sakhalin Oblast Government.
Year before, Sakhalin artists attended Prigorodnoye production complex for a plein-air event. They were given a tour of the production area so they could take a deep dive into the complex operations. Inspired by a unique atmosphere of the high-tech production, the artists channeled their creativity to give life to this remarkable in its emotional impact project.
“This event is to celebrate contemporary art, and not just to admire, but also to demonstrate that the cultural life in our region is dynamically evolving. It is important for people on the island region to have a chance to implement their creativity, so exhibitions are of great importance for that. It is quite natural for us to combine our efforts with business and implement new, truly unique projects. Surely, the power of our creative energy will continue to amaze us,” Valery Limarenko, Governor of the Sakhalin Region, opened the exhibition.
The Power of Energies kicked off with a presentation of entries united by a common theme ─ the Prigorodnoye production complex. 18 February is the 14th year of the Sakhalin-2 project's largest production facility.
"The role of culture in shaping the image of the region is hard to overestimate. In many ways, it helps to preserve the region identity while helping to pass on traditional values and knowledge to younger generations, which includes the industrial legacy of the region. Projects like Power of Energies play an important educational role, both for the creative community and for all visitors to the exhibition, educating them about Russia's first LNG plant," Roman Dashkov, Sakhalin Energy's CEO, pointed out.
"In Tune with the Nature," "Gas Giant," "Human Energy," "Sakhalin. Prigorodnoye. Transfiguration", "Let it Burn"... ─ the exhibition brought together the works of 27 Sakhalin artists, who ‘integrated’ the engineering concept in their art. Various styles are represented (painting, graphics, digital graphics, ceramics, installation), as well as schools and even generations of amateurs and professionals. The central piece of the exhibition, the figure of the grandfather of Sakhalin, created by Sergey Splavinov, is surrounded by light columns, symbolising water, air, earth and fire. ‘Interacting’ with the four natural elements, the guardian of the Sakhalin people appears to be performing an enchanting ritual to bring prosperity to the island. The patterns of his clothes feature ancient indigenous ornaments intertwined with shapes of modern gas carriers and pipelines.
The paintings on display are not just a literal ‘photographic’ reflection of the interior of the production facility, but rather an artistic philosophical ‘inquiry’. An example of this is one of the most unorthodox interpretations in the painting "LNG" by Konstantin Kolupaev, where the plant has a human face and appears both as a recognisable and yet a fantastic ‘creature’. The graphics in the artist's pieces represent the natural gas processing cycle: vertical lines stand for the gaseous state of the substance, intricate weaves in the center represent the transformation process, and horizontal patterns are for the liquid, which the gas becomes after processing. Another ‘interpretation’ of the plant is presented by Natalia Kiryukhina. In her "Temple of Art and Science. Symphony of Creation," the pipes, tanks, and structures of the facility are transformed into musical instruments, with rivets and nuts appearing as musical symbols. All together, they make some kind of an ‘orchestra’, directed into harmonious tuning by a man.
All masterpieces are brought together with a touch of a ‘production atmosphere’. The LNG flare, the largest installation of the exhibition, is the centerpiece of this. Another feature is that the exhibition stands are covered in fabric featuring large-scale images of the paintings. This unconventional approach helps you feel immersed in the ‘artistic’ dimension, flavored with a tune ‘woven from the notes’ of the Sakhalin land: indigenous music, rumble of waves, squawks of seagulls, and the humming of the plant...
This 'Power of Energies' can be experienced at the exhibition through 17 March. For a month, the exhibition will include tours and lectures on the production complex and the Sakhalin-2 project at large.
18 February 2023