Art in Conversation
with Mari Calai

ABOUT THE ARTIST
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Mari is a skilled artist. She is soft like a feather, strong like bamboo, and transparent like air. The variety of her work has a depth like a black pearl that shines in a variety of colors. She jumps out into the world through her work like a black pearl that glitters when you open its shell.

When I saw her first collection, 'Adagio', I strongly felt the seriousness of the photographer looking at the object and the artist's sense of embodying another world in the frame. She rarely sprawls her story freely across the two areas . It's not an easy journey, but she won't stop.

In her second collection, 'DOR', Mari was challenged by creating her own new frame. The black and white photos, which look calm, touch the viewer's emotions like good old songs that are heard again. I can't explain it, but it's an unique emotion that I can feel.

Mari is an untrimmed gem that has not been refined because she is an artist constantly developing, yet her work keeps on shining.

I am Yoo Beylnam, a Korean photographer. I am honored to write this article for Mari,  my story about her work is truly a tribute to an artist. 

MARI CALAI
Visual Artist | USA

Artist Statement

When I create my hope is to provide the world with art that challenges viewers to think beyond what is immediately perceptible. Each of my photos or paintings tells a story as I approach my craft with a life-long learning lens. I am European but have lived in Korea, and now reside on the East Coast of the United States. I have an inherent curiosity about life and cultures that I utilize in my art.

My travels and time spent in various settings inform my process. While many of my images appear to be on the darker, moodier side, there is always a layer beneath that may tell a different story.


EXHIBITIONS

2019 ADAGIO - Solo photo exhibition at Namib Gallery, Seoul, South Korea

2019 ADAGIO -Solo photo exhibition at Dwight International School, Seoul, S. Korea

2019 Brancusi canvas on oil- Painting Group Exhibition at Yongsan International Art Exhibition, Seoul, S. Korea

2019 Solo Paintings Exhibition at Conrad Seoul, S. Korea

2020 Coexistence: The Discourse of Tradition and the Present- Group Exhibition with In Lucem,Seoul, S. Korea

2020 The Lonely Tree of Jeju Island: Group Exhibition at Dominion Camera, Falls Church, VA.

2020 Transylvanian Woman- Group exhibition at The Art League Gallery, Torpedo Art Center Alexandria, VA, U.S

2021 After Edward Hopper: Themes of Solitude and isolation; Sunday Dress and The Space Between us (Gelatin Silver Prints) and escape and Alone Together (Oil paintings) at Del Ray Artisans, Alexandria VA, U.S.

2021 Line by Line Exhibition: Incontri (Archival print) at The Art League Gallery, Torpedo Art Center, Alexandria, VA, U.S.


PUBLICATIONS

Published interview with Korea Times, Seoul S. Korea 2020

Published in Dong-A Ilbo, Seoul, S. Korea, 2020

Interview on Korea.net in Seoul, S. Korea, 2020

Blog F64, Bucharest, Romania, 2020

The 16th 2019 Yongsan International Art Festival, Seoul, S. Korea 2019

Photo Art Magazine, Seoul, S. Korea 2019

Dialog textil - Published interview with Razvan Valceanu, Bucharest, Romania 2018

Published in: Save Family Photos, United with Love, Your Perfect Wedding Photographer, The Black Tie Bride, Artfully Wed, La Blouse Roumanie, Washington DC, USA 2017

Honorable Mention in the International Black and White Child Photography Competition/ Fine Art category, USA 2015

Interview with MyWed on wedding photography industry and how to sustain your style while staying in business, 2015


ACTIVITIES

Certified professional photographer from The New York Institute of Photography

Photography Award Winner at Fearless Photographers , USA 2016

Member of The International Society of Professional Photographers

Member of Frames Magazine


STUDIES

Printing Techniques, Edinburgh College of Art, 2020

Master's Degree, International Relations, Troy University, US, 2020

Bachelor’s Degree, Faculty of Commerce and Tourism, Bucharest, Romania, 2000

The New York Institute of Photography, US, 2017

Bachelor’s Degree, Business Administration, Austin Peay University,  US , 2010