By the Bay
April 11 –
May 07, 2019

Prešernova ulica 10A
1000 Ljubljana
Piera Ravnikar
            The latest series by artist Jelena Bando is a critical reflection upon her recent stay in Vietnam. In particular, through a group of drawings and paintings, Jelena attempts to report her impressions of the most popular tourist location in Vietnam – Ha Long Bay. This place of marvelous beauty and unique presence, protected as the UNESCO World Heritage site, is located in northeast Vietnam and known for thousands of towering limestone islands topped by rainforest.

            In this series, Jelena addresses the reality of participating in one of the hundreds of tours and expeditions that invade this spectacular bay on a daily basis: a profound and unexpected delicacy of the destination invaded by a suffocating number of tourist boats, barges and kayaks. The inevitable sense of disappointment is present on both ends: as a tourist in search of a promised „natural paradise“ but participating in a rushed and crowded visit, and as a human being responsible for the preservation of natural beauty and wealth but witnessing unsustainability and destructive impact that mass tourism has on the environment and the local community. Her personal experience ignited a myriad of questions regarding the human relationship with nature upon which she based this series. This topic has been focus of Jelena’s artistic expression for several years, but this time she approached it from a somewhat different angle.Her works aim to deliver the very real delicacy with which entire Ha Long Bay radiates.
           Jelena Bando is an academic painter who graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb/Croatia in 2012. She has attended study visits and residencies in Germany (Wurzburg, Berlin), France (Paris) and in Kuberton (Istria, Croatia). She has exhibited in seventeen solo exhibitions in Croatia, Germany, Sweden, and France, and about thirty group exhibitions in the country and abroad. She has won two awards for drawing and graphic arts (SKC Gallery, Belgrade; 15th Biennial of Drawing, Belgrade). In 2013 she started the project 36 Mountains Festival that has grown into a renowned festival of illustration and drawing.