Sheroanawë Hakihiiwë is a Yanomami artist from Pori Pori, a community located in the Alto Orinoco, in the Venezuelan Amazon. His work introduces diverse ways of knowing physical and intangible worlds from the point of view of Yanomami ontology that are marginalised by the dominant global intellectual apparatus. Moreover, he actively responds to established artistic movements, mainly abstract expressionism, in that he incorporates Yanomami forms into the repertoire of global contemporary art.
Shitikari – Starscape 2019
Print on cotton
The sky is big and the stars are in order. At night, when there are clouds, only some stars can be seen through the open spaces left by the clouds. When there are no clouds, however, you can see all the stars. We do not have names for each and every one of the stars, we call all of them Shitikari. Sheroanawë Hakihiiwë
In this quote Sheroanawë refers to the cotton fabric he has used to create this artwork which, like the clouds, is ephemeral and diaphanous. The star constellations in this work are bounded by a series of squares emphasising Yanomami ancestral cosmological order.
In Yanomami cosmology, a giant cosmic snake covered in spots encapsulates the universe: its past, present, and future. These designs, though abstract and schematic, are maps of lived and spiritual worlds, as well as an evocative expression of the individual experience of looking at the night sky and, in this way, renews traditional Yanomami designs.
Huwe Moshi – Transformation Snake 2019
Acrylic paint on paper
This painting is part of a series inspired in the powers of transformation of the coral snake. According to Yanomami cosmovision, trained humans and some animals are capable of transforming and traveling through spiritual dimension. In this painting, the simple colours of the coral snake—black, red, and white—transmute into abstract forms, becoming geometrical shapes as well as diagonal, vertical and horizontal lines that represent the animal’s movements during the journey.
The lack of realism in the depiction of this figure evokes the dream states associated with transformation ceremonies during which one can exist outside of the ordinary limitations of space-time.