Belu-Simion Fainaru – kathmandu triennale

Artist Profile

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Artwork Description

Bhadgaunle Topi for Nothingness, 2017

Belu Simion Fainaru generates meaning and ideas by juxtaposing different daily elements he finds around him. Stones are one of the elements that is often used by the artist. In the Patan Museum the artist inserted a typical Nepali hat in a stone. The hat as a symbol becomes suddenly an endless void, a place of nothingness.

Coins 1,2, 3, 4, 5

The artist arrived in Kathmandu with empty pockets only having some Israeli and Rumanian coins in his pockets. These coins represent the complex identity of the artist, born in Cluj-Napoca but living in Haifa. From an idea of dialogue the artist inserts these shiny coins in 5 different in stone carved sculptures of deities and religious imagery. With this intervention the artist does not intend to critique the local religion, but tries with respect for all different cultural identities make an image that talks the language of encounter. 1 of these sculptures is shown at the Nepal Art Council, the reaming 4 at Patan Museum.

Black Milk, 2016 A flower that smiles, evoking a smile that flowers, 2016

By using everyday objects and combining these in an unexpected juxtaposition Belu Simion Fainaru opens up possibilities of reading and understanding the world we live in. Vernacular elements are connected with elements of a spiritual order. The banal and vulgar are transformed into elements of beauty and surprise. In ‘Black Milk’ the artist formed a rectangular shape with white chinabone eating plates and pots in different forms. Every form has been filled with black burned oil. The form the work takes is a direct critical reference to the land art artist Richard Long, the way it is filled in makes us think on the dependency of the world on oil.


Belu-Simion Fainaru (born 1959 in Bucharest, Romania) lives and works in Haifa, Israel and Antwerp, Belgium. He holds a B.A. degree in Art and Philosophy from Haifa University and a M.F.A. in Art and Design from University of Chicago, USA.

Further studies include Domus Academy Milan, Italy and the Bruxelles Royal Academy of Art, Belgium. He is a professor at the Department of Architecture at the WIZO Academy, Haifa, Israel since 1984 and guest lecturer at universities in Belgium and Japan.

Fainaru is founder and, since 2010, director and curator of the Mediterranean Biennale of Contemporary Art, Israel.

In 2015, he founded AMOCA - the Arab Museum Of Contemporary Art in Sakhnin, the first type of its kind in Israel, based on communities who live in conflict, promoting co-existence between Arab and Jewish communities, opening gates for art that is inclusive and collaborative.

Belu-Simion Fainaru‘s works are included in public collections such as: S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Haifa Museum, Tel Aviv Museum, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Wilhelm-Lehmbruck-Museum, Duisburg.

Art prizes include: Minister of Culture Prize for Visual Art, Israel (2014), Ianculovici Cultural Prize, Romania (2006), Museum of Haifa Art Prize (2000), Jaffin Prize, American-Israel Culture Foundation, Tel Aviv (1998), Art Award, Klein Plastik, Hilden (1994), City of Haifa Young Artist Prize, City of Haifa, Haifa Art Foundation (1994), Nachum Gutman Prize, Israel (1994), First Prize Sculpture Competition, Levi and Fortuna Askenazi Sculpture Garden, Tel-Aviv University (1992).