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Pearla Pigao

Weaving Voices
1 HOVEDBILDE Pearla Pigao Future Delay Helsinki Contemporary 2019 Photo Jussi Tiainen

In the summer of 2024, we have the pleasure of presenting solo exhibitions by two generations of artists who work with sound as a focal point: Pearla Pigao (born in 1984) and Maia Urstad (born in 1954). The artists process sound in very different ways and place the viewer in different positions as listener. Pigao explores sound in hyper-sensitive installations with textiles and water that react to the presence and movement of the visitor.

Sound is filtered through craft as form and driving force.

Pearla Pigao

About the exhibition

For Kunstnernes Hus, Pearla Pigao has created an installation that reacts to the presence and movement of visitors through the skylit exhibition hall. The exhibition explores the human voice as material for a series of new textile works. Voices are translated into binary digital compositions, which are in turn hand-woven. By weaving steel wires into the cotton, the textiles become antennas for interaction, forming an electric field with the observer's body. This generates various sound patterns in the space.

Pigao is interested in the voice as a personal and transcendent tool that creates connections from one body to another. The composition, which includes the artist's own voice, is composed of eight parts–each based on a chord that sets the musical tone. When moving around the textiles, the chords are activated and interact with each other in a textile choir of sorts.

The exhibition also includes wood-carved sculptures with water, where the water surface, like the textile works, becomes an instrument that is activated by the touch of the visitor. The interaction between the various works spreads as a rolling sound through the room. It is enhanced by a monumental light panel that translates the sound into light pixels in an ever-changing pattern in sync with the movements of the visitors.

Pigao often incorporates performative elements into her installations and collaborates with musicians and dancers. During the exhibition period at Kunstnernes Hus, she presents a performance that is specifically developed for Weaving Voices, where a group of dancers carries copper wires on their bodies. The sound composition is created through the dancers' touch of each other's skin surfaces.

In Pigao's creative universe, bodies are not only observers but also actors who create - both individually and collectively - through proximity, movement, and interaction.

The composition is created in collaboration with Sigurd Thomassen. The technical part of the work is designed and created in collaboration with electronics developer Henrik Waarum. The performance is developed in collaboration with Trine Lise Moe, and the participating dancers are Fredrik Petrov, Natanya Helena Kjølås, Even Eileraas and Trine Lise Moe.

About the artist

Pearla Pigao (b. 1984, Lillesand) is educated at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Department of Medium- and Material-based Art. She has participated in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally, including at the National Museum of Art, Helsinki Art Museum, Atelier Nord, Den Frie, Danish Design Museum, Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum, Gallery F15, Gallery Soft, Gallery Format, Helsinki Contemporary, Atelier Nord, Glasslåven, Kunsthall Charlottenborg, and Designmuseum Denmark. Her interactive installations have resulted in several awards, including Sparebank Sør's Audience Award at the Sørlandet Art Museum, the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts Student Prize, and the Art and Craft Award from the Fund for Art and Design Students. Pigao lives and works in Oslo.

Portrett Pearla Pigao fotoav Karine Klepp

Supported by

The exhibition is supported by Kulturrådet, Oslo Kommune and Fond for utøvende kunstnere.

Kunstnernes Hus' summer exhibitions are kindly supported by Sparebankstiftelsen DNB.

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