Yahel Chirinian, an “artiste superbe,” French born, part Tunisian-Jew, part Armenian and the rest of her WHOLLY Indian in soul and spirit, where she lives, imagines and creates at her adopted abode –GOA. A pro on the exhibition circuit — Bombay, Los Angeles, London, Milan, Delhi, Qatar, Tokyo, Brussels, Europe, Abu Dhabi – in the last 10 years since starting Monsoon Heritage in Goa, Yahel continues to create installations and sculptures that balance fine art with pop iconography. She shares her journey with Think Geek Media.com

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Your journey as an artist living in Goa?
Intense. Challenging. Nourishing. Studious.

Why Goa of all the places in the country and world?
There is an amazing generosity in Goa like nowhere else I know in the world. The people make the place. I’ve met the most incredible and unexpected people here. Also for the quality of the light in Goa. Everyday is different, every day truly amazing. The best magic of all is the magic that is real. I am interested in working straight with that power.

The evolution of your work ever since Goa happened to you?
Well, am in Goa for almost half of my life now. The energies certainly have influenced my work a lot, not only as an artist also as a person.
I started creating installation works wanting to bring the light of day into an environment. I don’t want to make a mark on the surface of the Earth. I wanted to employ sunlight, moonlight and starlight to empower a work of art. Instead of competing with the sunset, I want to use it, to take it in. I want the spaces entered to be an expression in light of what was outside. I form an interior space to be sensitive to that which occurred in the space outside–a sensing space. What more magical and ideal place than Goa for this.
Similarly, my work is not so much about my seeing, as it is about your seeing. There is no one between you and your experience. It is a non-vicarious art. My art is about your seeing. I want to create an atmosphere. I am interested in those ideas that extend us out and change the reality of the sense of territory that we as humans have.
I have no models in art. I created my own style, my own way. Goa lets me that space and place like nowhere else in the world.

Who is your ideal client?
I don’t seek clients. They usually know how to found me.
Clients and collectors of my work are contemporary. +35 years old, believing in themselves with their own business and probably enjoy small chills in their second home around the world. Most of them move in art-related fields, they are worldly-wise, and up-to-date with trends, architecture, music, art, design and technology. They are concerned by environment and social issues. They are aware of how connected we all are and want to do the world a better place.
They enjoy Fashion, but hate to be branded as fashion victims, if not “Sensibly Fashionable.”
Price is not a factor, they search for the best, the exclusive, the unique that share their style and beliefs.
They are open-minded, chic, international, sophisticated, innovative, trend setters and simply cool…men and women who work hard, play hard, are responsible and grateful.
Monsoon Heritage Studio is not a showroom place, not a gallery. It is an attitude.

How do you position Goa vis a vis the places you have travelled and come from?
Goa is real. The nature, the people. I am only interested in what is real. Real people, real feelings, that’s all. I’ve always tried to explore the place where art, entropy, and emotion fuse. In today’s world it is necessary to find new ways to convey meaning and create experiences. Goa opens enough thinking space to re-imagine all sorts of parallel new art worlds. A kind of counter-place that is outside other places, but that also includes them. Goa’s complexity creates a gap in which invention or change can happen. A position of elsewhere.

Goa is elemental and has been there since the beginning. It is a place to contend with the chaos of the world, to confront nothingness, and understand one’s scale. The cycles of life supersede all else. A place to create a new aesthetic, a kind of reverse garden, a symbolic image of the universe.

How do you assimilate yourself as an artist and your work with local Goans?
Goan are amazing. There is a profound gentleness in the people here. I learned a lot also and enlarged my perspective while discussing with Mario and Lucio Miranda, Remo, Charles Correa, Dattaraj Salgaoncar are only few of them.
I can say that after all these years, Goa definitely added its colors to my vision of life and who I am today. I’m a really lucky person. I work at it, but I’m lucky. There are lots of people who can’t say that. They’ve been terribly unlucky, and I haven’t. I’ve not married, I haven’t got children, whatever. But I’ve got lots of things in my life. I like my life in amazingly generous Goa. The birds, the sea and the amazing Indian friends I have here. It’s funny, you couldn’t be sitting here and be miserable. You would have to be a complete twit.

Five qualities that define your work and your positioning as an artist?
New environment. New landscape. Space. Light. Perception.
I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets has a deeper meaning or not. But at the very least it is clear that we humans who live on this Earth face the task of making it a little more happy, gentle and beautiful. Live! Embrace life and live everyday with passion while being grateful. All of this because the world belongs to those who love and dare to go after their dreams.
We are all looking for something of extraordinary importance whose nature we have forgotten. Through my work I am just putting light and sparkles on the memoir of those who have lost their memory. And because life is really too short to be insignificant.

Famous homes where your work can be found.
Deepika Padukone, Yash and Avanti Birla, Simone Singh and Fahad Samaar, Nina Manuel, Park Hotel, Taj Hotels are few of them in India.

Ethel da Costa
Fashion & Lifestyle Journalist, Founder-CEO, Think Geek Media

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