Hortensia Mi Kafchin – Self Fulfilling Prophecy

Hortensia Mi Kafchin’s art is a universe filled with the magic of fantasies. She dreams. She often says that she “is her art,” understanding that her creative endeavors keep her alive. She adapts to the hostile gender norms environment by dreaming and taking long journeys into the imagination, which she records in thousands of drawings. Paintings, sculptures, video pieces, and installations are formed from the diary-like sketches of this river of ideas, which are often inspired by her own life experience. Hortensia was born in 1986 in Galați, a small city in the southern part of Roumania, on the Danube river. She remembers doing her first drawing when she was 4 years old. It was a half-dark, half-light human figure with a religious appearance. Her family was so impressed by her talent that they enrolled her in drawing lessons. She began studying art at a young age and attended Galați Art High School and Cluj-Napoca Art University. She was a gifted artist who was recognized at a young age for her hard work. She works in various media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and video and installation. In Romania, she exhibited at the Visual Art Museums in Galați and Cluj-Napoca, the Național Museum of Contemporary art in Bucharest and many galleries or independent spaces. As part of the Paintbrush Factory artistic community, where she had the studio from 2009, she organized a small but bold artist-run space, together with the artists Maria Balea and George Crângașu: Superliquidato (SPRLQDT). When she moved to Berlin and began her transition, she was nearly 30 years old. She continues to work and live in Berlin while fighting severe body dysmorphic disorder. She had two personal exhibitions in Berlin up till now, both of which focused on her body transformation.

“Self Fulfilling Prophecy” (2016) is the title of the first personal exhibition she had in Berlin, gathering paintings done during the first year of transition. The exhibition took place at Judin Gallery and was followed by a second one, last year “Death is not a piece of cake” (2020)

The complexity of transition [into a female or a machine, a reptile, a mushroom, a goddess] is one of the main subjects in her work. She often dreams of her femininity, which she has cultivated with effort, insecure medication, and pain, doing an ode to her hair [exorcising a trauma of hair loss]. Rarely, she embraces herself with love, joy, and humor but she also turns her gaze to the monstrous, the heaviness of being outside the cisheteronormative beauty at other times.

She images possible futures or searches for queer historical ancestors. She remembers her childhood, filled with violent moments, and addresses domestic violence while mourning her pain. Her images can often be read in trans-feminist keys and seen as advocates for a more compassionate society. She is inspired by everything around her, from video games to lego, internet culture, science, chemistry, medicine. Her artistic practice is the transformation of dreams into works that often touch taboo subjects, such as queer desire, body transformation, gender troubles. I see roots in Surrealism’s taste for irrationality, sexuality and provocation. Internet, music, video games, spirituality, neuroscience, biology, ecology, and lego are only some of the interests that inspire her imagination. 

From the personal issues of the body, she moves into larger philosophical concerns, reflecting on the meaning of time, the human consciousness, death, the pluralistic conviviality of the natural world and the destruction of it. 

Hortensia Mi Kafchin –