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At the 60th Venice International Art Biennale, Armenia presents itself with the multimedia project Echo

The Armenian Pavilion at the 2024 Venice Biennale was officially opened to the public on April 18.

Present at the official opening ceremony were Daniel Danielyan, the Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Armenia, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Armenia to Italy Tsovinar Hambardzumyan, the Honorary Consul of Armenia in Venice Sargis Sarukhanyan, sponsors of the pavilion, Vigen Badalyan, executive director of the Cafesjian Museum Foundation, and Vigen Badalyan, founder of the Fastex company.

Deputy Minister Daniel Danielyan welcomed the attendees and emphasized the importance of Armenia’s participation in the Venice Biennale. “This platform is one of the cultural arteries of Europe, where interesting projects are presented. Artist Nina Khemchyan’s work is not only about the spiritual, but also about cosmic, human nature and perception of the world. Nina Khemchyan invites us to reflect on the past, present and future.”

Conceptualized by Paris-based Armenian artist Nina Khemchyan, the Echo Exhibition at the National Pavilion of the Republic of Armenia combines medieval Armenian heritage with universal spiritual principles, reconsidered in the realm of the present. It contains two main works of art that are closely linked. Influenced by Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet and an important cultural figure, Khemchyan’s work reflects a deep commitment to his legacy.

A crucial element is her encounter with singer Hasmik Baghdasaryan-Dolukhanyan, whose renditions of fifth-century Mashtots’ sharakans (sacred chants of repentance) inspired the creation of eleven blue ceramic spheres, each decorated with gold crusts bearing the lyrics of these chants. These spheres, in addition to Baghdasaryan-Dolukhanyan’s a cappella performance, blend sculpture with music and transform words into visual codes.

The exhibition also includes Khemchyan’s Seven Deadly Sins, a 50-meter scroll of paper divided into segments representing each sin, using black ink on white paper to symbolize the moral division. This work invites meditative reflection and complements the Echo Project in exploring themes of human sin and spiritual redemption, which are especially vital and vital today.