Tue, Oct 04, 2011 - Page 13 News List

Human ashes feature in paintings of Czech artist
骨灰作畫 藝術家亡靈活現

People are shown visiting Czech artist Roman Tyc’s “Grave Robber” exhibition at the Dvorak Sec Contemporary art gallery in Prague last Tuesday.

Photos: AFP

An exhibition of paintings containing human ashes by controversial Czech artist Roman Tyc has raised eyebrows after opening last Tuesday in a gallery in Prague’s historic city center.

“When you’re six and your mum dies, you see her as a metal urn and know her only from photographs for the rest of your life, you believe there’s a way to free her from the can,” reads an introduction to the exhibition, written by Tyc.

“It’s Tyc’s personal testimony. His mum died when he was six, and he’s trying to cope with her death,” Edmund Cucka, director at the Dvorak Sec Contemporary art gallery, told AFP at the opening of the exhibition, dubbed “Grave Robber.”

The 37-year-old Tyc created 19 portraits, using the gray ashes to create silhouette faces contrasting against a black background.

“The portraits are clean, there’s nothing shocking,” said Cucka, adding human ashes had been used as material by artists on Czech soil in the 1960s.

Cucka said the portraits “are not specific people like actors or something. They are people he chose — he was interested in their stories.”

The artist, who claims that excess ashes from funeral homes end up in waste dumps, was not present at the opening of the exhibition.

The gallery said the paintings were not for sale, and that it had asked the artist to scatter the ashes in a dignified place with all due piety after the exhibition.

Tyc is a member of the Ztohoven group of controversial artists who gained fame in 2007 after pirating a public television broadcast and superimposing images of a nuclear explosion on footage of a beauty spot. (AFP)




1. raise eyebrows idiom

引人側目 (yin3 ren2 ce4 mu4)

例: The comedian’s racy jokes raised quite a few eyebrows in the ultra-conservative audience.


2. dub v.

稱為 (cheng1 wei2)

例: Today thousands of people across the nation gathered at rallies dubbed “Save America’s Postal Service” to urge the US Postal Service to continue its six-day-a-week postal service.


3. excess adj.

多出的 (duo1 chu1 de5)

例: Some of the excess revenue should be invested in renewable energy.










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