Nikolai Winter

The visit of the Terracotta Army in Xi'An, China, inspired Nikolai Winter especially in realizing his newest project. The Mausoleum "Qin Shihuangdis" is an ancient tomb dating from 210 BC and was built for the first Chinese emperor. It contains more than 7000 Terracotta Warriors and is therefore one of the largest tombs in the world. Masses of this kind are like magnets and fascinate us. At the same time they can seem scary and even confining. When visiting the Terracotta Army in Xi'An these feelings appear to the visitor: admiration, amazement, but also respect, distress and fear.

Inspired by the famous Terracotta Army, the project "Abhaya" was created with the idea to affect a variety of hands on the viewer. In the past years Nikolai Winter concentrated on dealing with single hands in versatile ways. The topic of this project is the effect created by a group of hands.

Therfore the "hand - army" builds the center of the exhibition.

The idea for the design of the hand, the artist found in an ancient Tibetan Buddha hand. The hand is modeled after the Abhaya mudra, a symbol of fearlessness and the displacement of anxiety. The mudra, spiritual gesture of the hand, thus builds the link to the Terracotta Army.

The aim was to highlight the beauty of the shape with a modern, minimalist implementation of this Mudra. During the process of modeling it was necessary to proceed cautiously within the minimal representation and the aura of each hand. The result was a hand which can act as a “component” of a larger entity, an element of the mass, but also as a single object. The arrangement of the hands and thus the effect on the viewer is the real core of the exhibition.