ABOUT INTERACT BUDDHA PARTY
The concept of re-design materializes in Azenha’s work through larger scale toys, themselves shaped by a texture of small toys, resulting in an aesthetic experience that takes us back to the imagination of childhood. This time, António Azenha bases his sculptures on the lunar calendar, the Chinese horoscope complements our solar horoscope. Initially appearing as three-dimensional wire structures that gave rise, in 2018, to the exhibition “Buddha Party”, Azenha’s sculptures are filled with toys and are now embodied in the animalistic Asian imagination: the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Serpent, the Horse, the Goat, the Rooster, the Monkey, the Dog and the Pig.
Toys in this aspect are important because their placement in the various sculptures also conveys other types of messages. In all sculptures there are details to be discovered. I’ll give you an example, the bull is covered with dolls’ bodies, where the muscles, legs and arms , etc., give greater expression, there is a game present, a new game. There are several legends that explain the emergence of signs, one of them is precisely the one about the Buddha, who invites the animals of the forest to a party, and according to their arrival it attributes the signs we know today. Interaction is a message that the spectator can interact with the sculptures themselves, there are toys that can be activated, some give sound, others move, etc. (António Azenha)
António Azenha was born in Angola, in 1964, but grew up between Figueira da Foz and Coimbra. With a degree in Painting and a Master’s Degree in Aesthetic Communication, he began exhibiting in the 1980s, participating in various festivals and exhibitions with works of drawing, painting, happening, performance, video and sculpture. In 2009/10, created the work entitled “O meu peão, deles e nosso”, beginning a work marked by children’s imagination and collective generational iconography, which culminated in the exhibition “Toys Replay”. In 2016/17 starts the “Yellow Bricks” exhibition at the Municipal House of Culture of Coimbra, whose basic concept is the reuse and redesign of toys on a larger scale. More recently, he presents the exhibition “Interact Buddha Party”, an artistic installation based on ancient Chinese stories and legends. Between 2019 and 2020 he presents the individual and collective exhibitions “Labirint(eus)” at 22 SCUC, “Oceanfalls” at the Water Museum and at the Science Museum of the University of Coimbra, “My feminine side” at the Dionísio Pinheiro Foundation and “Perfeita Libação-Art transforming” at the Anadia Wine Museum.