Ink cowboy - Karpuchina Gallery

"In the summer of 2021 in Beijing, besides Jiri Cernicky and my wife, I was persuaded to realize the performance "Ink Cowboy" by a long-time friend, curator, and performer Shu Yang. At that time, I no longer found this wild idea as unacceptable as I had three years earlier. Instead, in an atmosphere marked by the pandemic of covid, and the international political crisis, its wild humor and Dadaist drive became appealing.The completely irrational association of the cowboy, or rather a western hero with Chinese ink painting suddenly began to seem like an ironic and quite apt expression of my own complex and contradictory cultural identity. At the same time, it occurred to me that such a form of crazy travesty could express my situation more succinctly than sentimental and verbose analyses and interpretations."

- Jiri Straka

"A silhouette of a man with a hat galloping alone across the prairie. Thus, this picture is as far from Chinese reality as the idea of a European painter painting in Chinese. Both, however, come together in the ink creations of Jiří Straka, who conjures the Wild West in ink on large paper formats. The Czech painter loves traditional Chinese art, into which he infuses Western themes, creating a positive tension that enriches both distant cultural entities. To the benefit of both the West and the East."

- Martin Dostal

Jiri Straka is an artist who has long been deeply involved in the study and practice of the traditional Chinese painting technique of ink painting. He studied it at the Academy in Beijing and works in it mostly in monochrome colors, often in large formats. He also does not shy away from "live painting" in the form of happenings, combining Western modern art with the tradition of Chinese painting. He lives and works alternately in Prague and Beijing with his wife A Qin. He has exhibited in prestigious galleries, such as the 798 Art district in Beijing, Today Art Museum, and Times Art Museum; while domestic institutions include Gallery Rudolfinum, the Vaclav Spala Gallery, and Museum Kampa. Finally, he has taken part in the Shanghai Expo.

- curator Martin Dostal