Mireya Samper

My subject matter is poetic images of circle of life. Internal and external cosmos. There water and light, both metaphors for infinity and repetition, coalesce. I contemplate life’s water and light, their various embodiments, and their influence on the entirety of life and nature.
Water is dear to me, both as solid form and as a fluid. As a metaphor I use the ephemeral form of the drop in suspension in various ways: it is carved in stone, it appears as a floating form. I shape it, paint it, or induce it from other materials.
Thus the drop has a dual significance it symbolises both feelings, with dual meaning of circularity, source of water and its pluvial. The water drops relate to both time and eternity.
Furthermore, I use light, reflection of light, or allusions to it as a symbol of our inner self, of something higher, of peace, eternity and universal value.
A technique that I have developed, allows me to use light in a unique way, to make the paper works translucent. They are often in layers, and in that sense become three dimensional objects, resulting in deeper perception.
Eternity unfolds the universe. I hope to encourage people with my work to reflect and connect with their inner selves, as well as connect to the “external worlds” and the cosmos.
Mireya Samper is born in Iceland but she is an international artist, she graduated with DNSEP (Diplome National Supérieur d’Expression Plastique) from Ecole d’Art de Luminy, Marseille 1993 after she studied at the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts. As a creator of installations her work supersedes the identity as sculptor or painter, working parallel in two and three dimensions for museums or in-situ. With ease she creates poetical, minimal works that are either ephemeral or carved in stone. Pulling together prima matera into concepts of time and space her oeuvres create connections between the natural elements of water, light, wind, stone and consciousness.

Mireya Samper is born in Iceland but she is an international artist as her artworks testifies clearly, she graduated with DNSEP (Diplome National Supérieur d’Expression Plastique) from Ecole d’Art de Luminy, Marseille 1993 after she studied at the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts. As a creator of installations her work supersedes the identity as sculptor or painter, working parallel in two and three dimensions for museums or in-situ. With ease she creates poetical, minimal works that are either ephemeral or carved in stone. Pulling together prima matera into concepts of time and space her oeuvres create connections between the natural elements of water, light, wind, stone and consciousness.

Exhibitions & Art in public places & Curation
Solo exhibitions and outdoor works

2018 Vide et Plein, Los Angeles, USA.

Intrinsic, Ubud, Bali.
Lungi, Ísafjörður, Iceland.
2017 Emptiness is fullness, Tokyo, Japan.
Kjarni / Core, Strasbourg, France.
2016 Astlei Gallery, Sweden.
Perpetuidad, Modern Art Museum, Toluca, Mexico.
Eternity, Tokyo, Japan.
A Bright Field, Tokyo, Japan.
2015 Reflections, Akureyri Art Museum, Iceland.
North Consciousness, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Sources-power lines, Marija and Jurgis Slapelis House-Museum,Vilnius, Lithuania.
2014 Flow, Art Museum of Kópavogur Gerðarsafn, Iceland.
Vastness, Ano Ano Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.
Agnir í víðáttunni, Akureyri, Iceland.
Lagrima- Gender Stones, Teatermaskinen, Riddarhyttan, Sweden.
2013 Infinity- Poetic Image of Infinity, National Museum of Art, Lithuania.
Détail de l’immensité, Rodez, France.
Treasure, Ecomusée, Pont de Montvert, France.
2012 Morningmoon, Garður, Iceland.
2011 At the seaside, Akureyri, Iceland.
2010 Embraced by the winds, Garður, Iceland.
Heaven and earth, Garður, Iceland.
2009 Vættir, Akureyri, Iceland.
Amboð, Akureyri, Iceland.
2008 Prayer, Reykjavík, Iceland.
2007 Vestur/suður, Kópavogur, Iceland.
2006 Lagríma, Drangsnes, Iceland.
Our Nature, Reykjavík, Iceland.
2005 Water-worlds, Reykjavík, Iceland.
2004 Hugarástand - Manasthiti, Reykjavík, Iceland.
Silence of the Nature, Reykjavík, Iceland.
2003 Manasthiti, Mumbai, India.
1999 Samryskja – Fusion, Museum of Kópavogur, Iceland.

TEDxTALK WasedaU Tokyo 2017

Founder, CEO and Artistic Director of the International Biennale Fresh Winds since 2010.

Group exhibitions

2019 *folding cosmos, Alvar Alto´s Maison Luis Carré Paris, France.
Tsukuba Art Museum, Tsukuba, Japan.
iBiennale, Honolulu, Hawai’i.
2018 53 Museum, Guangzhou, China.
Shinano Primitive Sense Art Festival, Nagano, Japan.
Marebito Artist in Residence, Omachi, Japan.
International women artists, Hat Yai, Thailand.
Wakimukudo atelier, Helsinki, Finnland.
Glimpse, Pondicherry, India.
2017 Western China International Art Biennale, China.
Vladimir Skoda et ses invités, Epinal, France.
Trolls in the Park, Tokyo, Japan.
Janina Monkute-Marks museum-gallery, Lithuania.
Esclauzels, Cahors Juin Jardin, France.
Cercle of things, Dusseldorf, Germany.
4 Europeans, Paris, France.
2016 The project space, NYC, USA.
Langkawi Art Biennale, Malaysia.
Arte de la Tierra, Land Art Festival, Paricutín, Mexico.
Cahors Juin Jardin, France.
New Mythology, Naxos, Greece.
Janina Monkute-Marks, Kedainiai, Lithuania.
2015 BunkART Studio NYK, Yokohama, Japan.
2015 Tsukuba International Artist in Residence, Tsukuba Art Center, Japan.
Bakırköy Belediyesi, İspirtohane Kültür Merkezi, Istanbul, Turkey.
Yalova Biennale, Raif Dinçkök Kültür Merkezi – RDKM, Yalova, Turkey.
Save the world, Verksmiðjan Hjalteyri, Iceland.
Nexus-Paper Works' Exhibition paper it dwells form, Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan.
Nexus, Kurogawa INN Museum Fukuoka, Japan.
Senses, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.
Paradigm shift Vol.65, Kid Ailack Art Hall, Tokyo, Japan.
2014 The Way of Drawing, Gallery MoMo Projects, Tokyo, Japan.
Creative 4, international art show in India, India.
Yokohama Triennale’s participant in Michael Landy Art Bin, Yokohama, Japan.
Art Islands in TOKYO, Oshima, Japan.
Land art in Rebild, Denmark.
Yalova group 2013, Vienna, Austria.
Yalova group 2013, Budapest, Hungary.
2013 Intersection, Paris, France.
Yalova Biennale, Turkey.
Le Pont, Pont de Montvert, France.
Undir berum himni, Reykjavík, Iceland.
2012 Equinox, Brazylija, Lithuania.
2010 Fresh Winds in Garður, curator, Garður, Iceland.
2009 Abiko International Open Air Exhibition, Japan.
2008   Times, Port Luis, Mauritius.
Ebb and Daybreak: Representation of Being, Music and Fine-Art, Salurinn, Kópavogur, Iceland.
2004 13001, Frioul, Marseille, France.
2003 International Mail Art Exhibition of Naxos, Naxos, Greece.
2002 Swarovski Crystal World, Innsbruck, Austria.
2001 M.K. Ciurlionis National Museum Kaunas, Lithuania.
On the Edge, International Symposium, Nida, Lithuania.
2000 Myth of Modern Times, Museo de l’Arte Contemporáneo de Santiago, Chile.
El Dia, Valparaiso, Chile.
Abiko Open Air Exhibition, Abiko, Japan.
International Kulturaustausch, Kameleon, Berlin, Germany.
1999 Portes Ouvertes, Genie de la Bastille, Pa

Art in public places

Endless Source, Europos Parkos Vilnius, Lithuania.
Source – Pluvial, Landsvirkjun National Power Company of Iceland.
Gutta cavat lapidem, Northern Light inn, Iceland.
Eternal source, the city of Cahors, France.
Powerlines, U-Forum Museum, Tokyo, Japan.
Janina Monkute-Marks Museum, Kedainiai, Lithuania.
Dawn, Tsukuba Art center, Tsukuba, Japan.
Lagrima – Gender Stones, Teatermaskinen, Sweden.
Treasure, Ecomusée, Pont de Montvert, France.
Morningmoon, Garður, Iceland.
Capture the Light, Municipal offices, Garður, Iceland.
Embraced by the Winds, Garður, Iceland.
Lagríma, Drangsnes, Iceland.
Black vs Black and White vs White, M.K. Ciurlionis National Museum Kaunas, Lithuania.
Fusion, Swarovski Crystal World, Innsbruck, Austria.
The Silence in the Nature, Landsbanki Íslands, Iceland.
Glass Worlds, Grand Hótel Reykjavík, Iceland.

Curators work

Fresh Winds International Art Biennale 2010-2020, Iceland.
2020 Lines, international exhibition, Museum of Art Akureyri, Iceland.
2017 Open Arts project in Busan, S-Korea.
2016 5th. Land Art Festival Paricutín, Mexico.
2016 Open Arts project in Busan, S-Korea.
2014 Klaus Phiffer solo exhibition, Gallery Mjólkurbúðin Akureyri, Iceland.
2014 Klaus Phiffer solo exhibition, rue Keller Gallery, Paris, France.
Jón Proppéart writer, curator and philosopher 2015
Mireya Samper is born in Iceland but she is an international artist as her artworks testifies clearly. She studied art in Iceland and France, and has lived and worked around the world. Mireya works in a variety of materials depending on the idea they serve and the context.
Reflection 2015 – Akureyri Art Museum

In art we sometimes see that the more an artist concentrates on his or her materials, the higher the spirit of the work can soar. This applies to Mireya Samper’s recent work where she uses Japanese paper, Icelandic rocks worn smooth by the sea, coloured water and silver leaf. This choice of materials gives the art an almost metaphysical dimension and we sense the hardness of the rock, the lightness of the paper, the fluidity of the water and the clear shine of silver. Mireya ties them all together by using the same shape, a droplet, in many of them, drawing it in ink on the paper with a broad brush or carving it into the rocks and accentuating it with the silver leaf. There is a simple strength to this approach that is reminiscent of Japanese traditions and Mireya has sought inspiration there, particularly when it comes to her choice of materials and the installation of her work. This can perhaps be best seen in her works on paper and paper, indeed, place a large role in Japanese art and aesthetics. “Western paper turns away the light, while our paper seems to take it in, to envelop it gently, like the soft surface of a first snowfall. It gives off no sound when it is crumpled or folded, it is quiet and pliant to the touch, as the leaf of a tree.” This description is from a book by the Japanese writer Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows, where he attempted to explain the importance of aesthetics in his country. According to tradition, washi paper is made with fibres from the bark of certain trees, not from wood pulp which is most commonly used in the West and it really does seem to have a very different presence. It seems thin but is actually quite strong, it seems nearly transparent and it does seem to respond differently to the light so that the ink drawings on the surface come alive, as though lit from within. Mireya makes full use of these characteristics when she paints her simple shapes in ink and then hangs the paper in the space and lets the play of light and shadows bring it to life. Tanizaki also wrote about the shadows that he considered to be the key to understanding Japanese ideas about beauty. “The quality that we call beauty, however, must always grow from the realities of life, and our ancestors, forced to live in dark rooms, presently came to discover beauty in shadows, ultimately to guide shadows towards beauty’s end.” This thinking can be found in all of Mireya’s work and it guides her approach to her materials. It is no coincidence that she has also created many outdoor works where she uses nature directly, only adding the bare minimum necessary to express her idea in the environment. In this exhibition nature is also present in the materials used and because of this the works seem to open the door to an experience of beauty that lies beyond the man-made, in the material and in nature itself.

Ásdís Ólafsdóttir, art historian 2012
Mireya Samper’s work for the exhibition Myth of Modern Times in Chile in 2000 is characteristic of her subjects and methods. White cotton strips hang from the ceiling, forming a spiral that visitors can walk into, leading them to the middle of the work where they are surrounded by white under a strong light. The strips are covered with acrylic plastic layer, the outer ones completely, then less and less as you go further in. The plastic represents the outside world and its pollution; the guests’ path in the spiral is a journey towards their own essence, the purity within them. This is where environmental concern and spiritual quest come together in a powerful and simple installation.

Mireya works in a variety of materials depending on the idea that they serve and external circumstances. She has created numerous site-specific installations around the world, such as pieces of acrylic and spices associated with the Khasi religion in India, a silver bamboo forest and floating leaves in Japan, the infinity sign in paper in a Lithuanian forest, coloured sand beside a temple on an island in Southern France, an installation of flowers, living light and coloured water in an old jail in Mauritius, and sculpted sea stones in Drangsnes and Garður in Iceland. Behind these works lies a clear concept developed in local materials. Samper’s drawings are often more spontaneous, executed with intuition, in flow. All these works have in common certain themes that run like recurrent threads throughout her œuvre.

Delicacy and transparency characterize many of Mireya Samper’s works, especially the Fusion series, where two pieces of paper are superimposed. Yet there is great strength in these installations, in her way of framing the pieces and occupying the space, capturing the viewer’s attention and leading him towards, and sometimes into, the work. Good examples of this is the Samryskja spiral she did for her solo exhibition in Kópavogur Art Museum in Iceland in 1999 and her exhibition Manasthithi: A State of Mind in India in 2003.

The artist delights in dissolving and shifting accepted boundaries between painting and sculpture, two- dimensional and three-dimensional works. One of her sculptures is only a few centimetres thick, while her paintings are frequently made on paper that has a certain thickness and a living surface, in up to 10 cm thick frames that hang in the space and can be moved around like a sculpture, or simply stand on the floor. Transparency also lets the space flow and blurs the line between the different pieces. Mireya Samper has said that she wants to express “the fusion of the outer and the inner world”. Just as man is part of the great universe and at the same time owns his inner, personal life, Mireya’s works are parts of the environment, of a geographical, social and cultural context, and at the same time have their intimate expression, their nuances and character.

Mireya Samper cares about nature and is environ-mentally minded, as is subtly evident in many of her works. She also cares about man and his fate, as can be seen in pieces she has produced in two former prisons in Chile and Mauritius. There, her works have a kind of healing effect, in memory of suffering and in respect for life.

Water, in various forms, is one of Mireya’s favorite subjects. She has put coloured water in clear plastic bags, as a symbol of joy and vitality. The drop form appears in various ways: carved in rocks, as floating sculptures or hanging baskets of flowers in memory of prisoners. For Mireya this form is mainly associated with tears, these “offsprings of thoughts.“ Water drops also relate to time and the infinite. In her exhibition Water Worlds in Reykjavik in 2005 she showed big paper works with a marble sculpture in which two drops surrounded by water generate the the symbol for infinity ∞.

Infinity is a representation of the universe and Mireya’s works exhort us to meditation and internal inspection, while being related at the same time to the “outer world“ and the cosmic. In her installation on Frioul Island in France she
1990-93 Ecole d’Art de Luminy, Marseille, France.
1993 DNSEP, Diplome National Supérieur d’Expression Plastique.
1992 Four months at the stone department in Academia di Bologna, Italia.
1991 DNAP, Diplome National d’Art Plastique.
1987-90 The Art and Craft School of Iceland.
1986 French, Faculté de lettres Paul Valery, Montpellier, France.
1985 AA College of Akureyri, Iceland.
maybe the void
Maybe the void paper, pigments, oil and wax, installation 400x500x150cm
Mireya Samper, Papier, Mixed Media
Endless sources, different versions
sea stones, silver leaf and iron rods - outside 400x400x44cm 2016 France and 2018 Lithuania Europas Parkos Vilnius permanent collection - on wall 300x300x25cm 2014 Iceland permanent collection
Mireya Samper, Stein, Metall

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