Girls with horns

Prestige Magazine Hong Kong - Art Culture, November 2005

by Victoria Ip

On the eve of ther first Hong Kong exhibition, Dorina Mocan, one of Sweden’s most popular artists, talks to Victoria IP about the fine line between dreams and reality.

When Romanian born Dorina Mocan was just a child, she experienced the thrill of drawing for the first time. Painting became her life soon after, and she has made art larger than life. "I feel like the diligent little girl inside me, who is obsessed with painting, is finally getting rewarded", she said.

"Secret Garden", Mocan´s first Hong Kong exhibition, is a spiritual journey into the unfathomable, a search for answers to the enigmatic. It encourages us to find our inner gardens, where, says Mocan, there are no secrets. "Being an artist, you can only hide a few secrets from those who can decipher the messages behind your work. Your inner garden is no longer a secret for people who know the way in and choose to accompany you."

European themes feature strongly in "Secret Garden" which sees Mocan blurring the boundary between reality and folk tales. The exhibition´s most prominent motif is the pairing of extravagantly curved horns with a young girl. The horn, a symbol of masculinity, grants her spiritual power and teases traditional gender roles, given that power is not usually equated with young girls.

To Mocan, dream and reality always overlap. She believes that her paintings represent new chapters in her life. They might also be viewed as dreams that materialize into reality. "One might say that what we love and yearn for will come to us in the end," she said.

Asked which artist most influences her, she said, "his name is Anonymous. Sometimes I come across wonderful paintings created with so much love, when I visit a museum or flip through the pages of an art book. But I am disappointed that I don´t know the name of the artist. In fact, nobody does. Yet I can feel him and the presence of his works, and they, these anonymous artists, will reveal their identities to us in the hazy passage of time."

Mocan´s art has influenced many in recent years, including the king and queen of Sweden, who bought one of her paintings as a birthday gift for their daughter, the Crown Princess Victoria.