‘Until we are reunited we shall be lonely at heart’ is the title of this work that consists of seven photographic portraits of actors playing in The Jade Hairpin, a 16th century Chinese Opera. Amsterdam-based photographer Sylvester Lindemulder became fascinated with this ancient form of theatre, known as KunQu Theatre, when the Northern Kunqu Opera performed at the Holland Festival. “Everything about this abstract theatre form is so different from our western visual and musical language. It makes you wonder if it is even from the same planet,” Lindemulder explains. “But underlying the story of the young Taoist nun there is a universal theme: the struggle in choosing between divine and worldly love. This mix of alienation and recognition reminds me that, even though we may seem separated from each other by cultural differences, we are nevertheless all still part of the same emotional drama.”
The title ‘Until we are reunited we shall be lonely at heart’ is the last sentence of the opera, and in Chinese consists of exactly seven characters: ? ? ? ? ? ? ?. Each portrait is unique, bearing the calligraphy of one of the characters, so that together they form the title of the work. In October, this unique work of art that consists of seven parts will be shown for the first and only time at the Affordable Art Fair in Amsterdam. An element of the sale will be a letter from the artist Sylvester Lindemulder in which he asks future owners to bring all 7 parts back together in 25 years’ time, thus making the sentence and the artwork complete.