Who Am I ?
1: Who am I?
If only I knew. I’m a visual artist on the constant quest to find out.
2: What do you do and what project are you currently working on?
I am an artist, photographer, and currently working on my first video project. The first 30 years of my life were engulfed by music. I was a singer and performer in opera from a very early age, which has left its indelible mark on my soul and subsequently my journey as a visual artist. When I decided to leave the music behind, photography came to me like a long lost love. It rescued me from an enormous creative hole and in no time I realized that I could continue my music on canvas.
So that is what I do today; my perception of sound, which has always been experienced mainly in the moments of silence, has translated into my predominantly minimalist work and is now in the final editing stages of my first video installation piece, “The Challenge of Silence. Inexorable…Irresistible.” For the first time, I am combining the two creative forces of my life–the exploration of empty space vs. silence. It’s a beautiful artistic process as well as a sort of homecoming for me.
3: Where are you from and where are you going?
I was born and raised in a northern city, Bremen, in Germany. I was the kid who wanted to change the world. Interestingly, that desire has never left me. Only, today, hopefully having learned a few things, I am constantly moving toward a deeper understanding of my and my fellow’s existence, knowing that my best shot at making a difference is through touching others with my creative work.
4: Who is your biggest hero?
My partner, who has not stopped loving me, having seen the very worst of me.
5: What book is your bible?
The great poet Rainer Maria Rilke‘s life work. My meditation books which I read before meditating, which in turn never fails to set me up for a good day.
6: What are some things you love? And some things you hate?
I adore nature in all its forms, above all the sea.
I don’t believe in hate, but I do have a big problem with the homogenization of all societies happening to us through globalization.
7: What is your raison d’être?
8: What is your favorite color?
It all depends on the mood. White, slate grey, black, orange, red and green.
9: Who is your favorite comic book superhero?
I never read comics. And now I feel like I have missed out on something.
10: What is your favorite NYC hot spot?
The Red Hook harbor watching the ships coming and going.
11: What turns you on?
Communication, honesty, change, androgyny.
12: What would the last question of this questionnaire be if you were the one asking?
Have you allowed yourself a moment of silence today?
Heike Buelau grew up in Bremen, Germany, where she was trained as a classical singer from an early age. After starting her career in Europe, she moved to New York City in the mid 90’s, hoping to expand her professional ambitions beyond the fairly restrictive confines of classical music. However, while performing Opera, she found herself more and more frequently drawn to photography, as a welcome outlet for her vision.
Today, she lives and works in NYC, where her artistic interests lie predominantly in the endless opportunities available within the most ordinary subject matter, deconstructed, created afresh, transformed at every moment by the simple magic of light. The camera as the paintbrush, endlessly pursuing the possibility of creating new realities.
Her response to a visually over-saturated world that leaves little room for individual imagination is the somewhat minimalist approach to her subject matter, and the driving force in her work is a profound belief in the transformative power of abstraction and its potential to liberate the mind.
Shortly after dedicating the majority of her time to photography Heike Buelau was a recipient of the prestigious International Photography Award’s honor awards for her series “My Song in Color” and “My Song in B&W”.
Buelau has had Solo as well as Group Exhibitions in New York, Genova, Milano, and will be exhibiting in Dubai, UAE in October 2012.
Questions by PMc Magazine
Edited by Meaghan Coffey
Photography by Francesca Galliani
Design by Jillian Mercado
Contact Jillian Mercado if you’re interested in becoming a “Who Am I?”
Heike Buelau, 2011, Photography by Francesca Galliani