Photo gallery: Empty streets of Cluj-Napoca become illustrators’ artwork

Oana Vasiliu 24/03/2020 | 18:35

“The city does not have empty streets, but full of responsibility. And color. #stayhome. A collaborative project in progress. We met together (each in his house) with our favourite illustrators from Cluj. We gave them our pictures with the empty city, they showed us how to actually see them. Over the next period, new illustrators color the city,” describes Komiti team their initiative that became viral a few days ago.

The empty streets of Cluj Napoca have now a very colourful perspective, thanks to an idea of the photo studio Komiti: they invited illustrators to decorate the city, using their photos. So far, illustrators Ciora Andreea, Andrea Stan, Pojum Edith, Lia Cucuianu, Alexandra Filimon, József Vass, Matei Iacob, Marius Mariș, Andra Karina Duca, Iulia Mitea, Zsili Zsilinszky, Rue Atelier, Tatiana Rozdovanu, Gabriela Nicolae, Andreea Ilisai, Bianca Mocan, Ana Coroi, Anita Jambor joined the project. Business Review talked to Gabriel Aldea, co-founder of Komiti media, who explained more about their initiative.

Komiti empty Cluj: as seen by illustrator Lia Cucuianu

How did you come up with the initiative?

The sheer feeling of uselessness started creeping on us as soon as we realised the gravity of the situation. This immediately lead to a spontaneous brainstorming on how we can help the community as well as convince them to stay indoors.

The message behind #stayhome is very easy to understand and it was already adopted by everyone who wants to make a difference. We decided to approach it in a creative way, by combining our competences with the expertise of illustrators.

We did not want to depict the city as a deserted post-apocalyptic scenery. We much rather wanted to use the photos that we took with the empty streets to show how colourful they truly are, how optimistic they feel, and to ultimately convey a more soothing feeling.

The project started the moment we had the idea; we did not give it too much thought. Right now, we believe that speed is more important than perfection. We initially wanted to develop it completely in-house, but then we became curious about what our fellow illustrators could create.

It spontaneously took off as a collaborative project, with immense potential and reach that could extend beyond our expectations. At the moment, we are very happy to receive such positive feedback and we are already thinking about what our next steps will be.

Komiti empty Cluj: as seen by illustrator Iulia Mitea

How did you find the artists to draw the city?

There is unbelievable creative synergy waiting to be uncovered through collaborative work. We know what each individual artist can do, and we also know that working together brings more value to all of us. Our personal experience pointed us in this direction — for three years now, we are witnessing what we can do together in Komiti, as a team.

We enjoy experimenting and working with other artists. Pushing ourselves further in order to find new ways to approach our creative work is one of our goals for 2020.

We follow various creative people whose work we appreciate, both from Cluj and from the rest of the country, photographers as well as visual artists. For this specific project, we got in touch with a few illustrators. We received their replies in an instant. A couple of days later, we gathered 5 illustrations. After 2 more days, we added 3 more illustrations. Today we published 11 more pieces of artwork and we recieved lots of messages from others that wish to join our project. Now we are impatiently waiting to publish new works very soon, probably next week.

Komiti empty Cluj: as seen by illustrator Edith Pojum

As artists yourselves, what do you miss most about your city these days?

What we miss the most are the events which were sprinkled around the city. Longing after our favourite places, we find ourselves suffering in isolation. We live for real life human interaction, we like to be there to capture all the moments and turn them into fond memories. However, we are staying indoors, channeling our creative energy to contribute as much as we can with positive messages through our projects.

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Oana Vasiliu | 27/11/2023 | 17:41
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