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Published in «Meditated Vandalism» 

Exhibition Catalog

«Gen Atem, Meditated Vandalism,

Solo Show at Kolly Gallery 2014»

Essay by Julien Kolly, Gallery owner

Zurich Switzerland, 2014

Meditated Vandalism

He meditates. He vandalises. Zurich artist Gen Atem reaches out further than using only a spray can – versatile and skilled he is extending into performance, video, calligraphy, conceptual art and music. He has collaborated with important legends from the graffiti movement since the eighties, and has exhibited all around the world.

Meditation lead to him becoming a Buddhist monk for seven years and he believes inspiration comes not only from the outside, but also very much from the inside. In his work, Gen Atem questions both form and its emptiness, and thereby the identity of any phenomenon. The matter of identity is very much a core-element of Buddhist philosophy, and is also fundamental to hip-hop culture.

In his recent art works, people portrayed in black and white are being attacked by bombs of bright paint. What may be perceived as an act of destruction emerges as the creation of a new identity. To participate in Gen Atem’s work, look deeply into the phenomenon of the interior and the exterior, and most of all, let your own perception play its part.

Julien Kolly