Chronicles of Forgotten Wars

 

Chronicles of Forgotten Wars is on-going project and it consist of large scale fresco paintings on canvas and ink and watercolor drawings on the pages of Rhymes of a Red Cross Man, a book of war poems by Robert W. Service.

 

It started as a travel journal. I like to draw inside vintage books, so I took an old poetry book by Robert W. Service with me to London, planning to make some drawings of English gardens. One day, riding the train to Hampton Court Palace, I decided to find out what the book was about, and as I opened it, I discovered this passage: “Oh I called him all the night-time, as I walked the wood alone; And I listened and I listened, but I nivver heard a moan; Then I found him at the dawnin', when the sorry sky was red: I was lookin' for the livin', but I only found the dead.”Robert W. Service, a British-Canadian poet and writer, dedicated this book to his brother, killed in action in 1916. In his book he “found the dead”across three continents in all kinds of surroundings. My initial drawings represented images of magnificent flowers and European gardens contrasted with figures of soldiers fighting and dying. 

 

With time, however, this little book project grew in size and volume, and I started experimenting with much larger scale and different media. It also lost all romantic notions of European wars of long ago and transformed into meditation on men in the midst of a grisly fight with Nature where Nature is furiously fighting back. My images have also developed a much deeper antiwar statement:  the initial reason of war long forgotten, and the emptiness and absurdity of the violence is on full display.

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