Steppes of Dreamers: Ukraine opened its Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale05.06.2009

Download Press-Release The PinchukArtCentre and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine presented the Steppes of Dreamers art-project at the 53rd Venice Biennale. This Ukrainian exhibition became a major contribution to this year's Venice Biennale entitled Making Worlds. The exhibition was created by Illya Chichkan (Ukraine) and Mihara Yasuhiro (Japan). Miharo Yasuhiro's partner artist in the project became Ogata Kinichi, who helped Miharo to implement his ideas.

The project emphasises the process of creation and expands the boundaries of art and collaboration. The Commissioner is Peter Doroshenko, PinchukArtCentre's artistic director. The curator of the Ukrainian Pavilion is Wladimir Klitschko. The partner of the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 53d Venice Biennale is the international brand Nemiroff.

The official opening of the Ukrainian Pavilion located in the Palazzo Papadopoli took place on 4 June. The ceremony was attended by over a hundred artists, art critics, experts, gallery owners, art collectors and journalists including Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Aexander Avdeev, artists Illia and Emilia Kabakov, President of Alfa-Bank Peter Aven, entrepreneur and art collector, owner of the Regina Gallery Vladimir Ovcharenko and others.

The same night, following the official opening of the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, over 500 representatives of the global art society were present at the dedicated reception party. Among the guests who viewed the exhibition and joined the party was the top-model Naomi Campbell, one of the leading fashion-designers Mark Jacobs, architect Zurab Tsereteli, the Council of Europe's Goodwill Ambassador Bianca Jagger, artists Jeff Koons and Entony Gormley, who took part in the exhibition projects of the PinchukArtCentre, one of the participants of the PinchukArtCentre's project "A Poem About An Inland Sea" at the 52nd Venice Biennale Boris Mykhailov, founder of the White Cube gallery network Jay Jopling. At the party Vitali Klitschko came instead his brother Wladimir, who was the curator of the Ukrainian Pavilion exposition and could not make it.

The reception party on the eve of 4 June started with the show of the Ukrainian band "DahaBraha" and went on till late night hours. At about 10pm Verka Serduchka started her performance with her 2007 Eurovision song Lasha Thumbai. In the backyard of the Palazzo Papadopoli the party guests had a chance to enjoy dishes of Ukraininan cuisine, which became a custom at the Ukrainian Pavilion in Venice.

Victor Pinchuk, businessman and philanthropist: 'PinchukArtCentre appreciates the new opportunity to help the international team of artists representing Ukraine at the Venice Biennale. Every Biennale is a new challenge that advances you more and more. And there is always space for advancement, since the steppes of exploration are infinite.'

Peter Doroshenko, Commissioner of the Ukrainian Pavilion: 'Ukraine has always been an interconnecting point for cultural, social and economic routes that extend from West to East. Illya Chichkan at one point in his life was a fashion designer and then later became an artist. Mihara Yasuhiro started out as an artist and then became a fashion designer.
Wladimir Klitschko, the world champion boxer, has been appointed curator for the exhibition. Their varied backgrounds will create an important dialogue around identity and roles issues in society today.'

Using various visual elements, Illya Chichkan and Mihara Yasuhiro put the spectator of the in the position of realizing the transitory nature of perception by emphasizing the process of consciousness. We enter these physical spaces. We recognize the elements around us. We take for granted certain situations. To awaken within the dream is our purpose now. When we are awake within the dream, life dramas come to an end and a more wondrous dream arises.

Working with the Ukrainian and Japanese artists, the PinchukArtCentre positions its commitment to bridge national identity and international challenges. Officially representing Ukraine for the second time at the Venice Biennale has been a part of the global competence and a long term strategy of the PinchukArtCentre, the young but seminal art institution which supports, develops and promotes the Ukrainian art-scene.

Background information:

Ukrainian Pavilion
Palazzo Papadopoli
San Polo, 1364
30125 Venice, Italy

Organising Institutions:
Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine

Partners: International Brand: Nemiroff – Partner of the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 53d Venice Biennale

Website of the 53 Venice Biennale


Illya Chichkan was born in 1967 in Kyiv. Illya Chichkan can be regarded as one of the founders of the Ukrainian art movement New Wave, formed in the early 1990s and is one of the most internationally exhibited artists living in Ukraine. Chichkan has taken part in various exhibitions, including: Reflection, PinchukArtCentre (Kyiv, 2007); Manifesta 5, San-Sebastian (Spain, 2004); and the Sao Paulo International Biennale (Brazil, 1996). Official website:

Mihara Yasuhiro was born in 1972 in Nagasaki, Japan. As a student at Tama Art University, he started developing designs for his own footwear brand, opening his first boutique in 1998. In 2001, in collaboration with Puma, Mihara launched a special footwear collection PUMA by Miharayasuhiro. For the past few years, Yasuhiro has been active in both women’s and men’s clothing shows in both Milan and Paris.

Kinichi Ogata
1970: Born in Sendai, Japan
1996: Starts his career as a freelance designer
1998: Sets up 'OGATA' company and sells original furniture / store design and construction
2004: Exhibition ' Tokyo Designers Block'
2007: Design for SOSU MIHARAYASUHIRO Hong Kong Store
2008: Exhibition 'Maison&OBJET' in Paris

Original music created for the exhibition by Fuyuki Yamakawa (Tokyo, Japan)

PinchukArtCentre is one of the largest centres for contemporary art in the Eastern Europe, opening in September 2006. The PinchukArtCentre organises exhibitions by leading international and Ukrainian artists and supports various other cultural art initiatives. At the present time, the art centre has the major exhibition, Damien Hirst: Requiem up until 20 September 2009. In October 2009, the centre will open major exhibition of short-listed artists in association with the PinchukArtCentre Prize and a focused exhibition about Ukrainian contemporary art. In 2007, the PinchukArtCentre organised the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale entitled - Poem about an Inland Sea.

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation
Established in 2006 by businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation is one of the largest private philanthropic organizations in Ukraine. The Foundation develops and implements social projects aimed at modernising Ukraine and nurturing a new generation of Ukrainian leaders.

Nemiroff is a socially responsible company which puts a high value to its social and charity programs realization. It constantly comes forward as an organizer and sponsor of various international projects in the areas of sport, culture, fashion, etc.

For information, images or interviews please contact Dennis Kazvan, head of the press-office of the PinchukArtCentre

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