This year is quite special for us - we are celebrating our 25th anniversary

We have walked a long and uneven way as a company and we have never lost our faith in the power of grain.

Rice, beans and lentils are our unceasing inspiration and they teach us the secret of the eternal victory of life.

We invited seven Bulgarian visual artists to interpret the theme of the meaning and art of grain. We are pleased to offer you a limited edition of their special works to celebrate our big day with you.

Each work can be framed and displayed in your interior.

Mariana Mladenova
SUICO
These are not commissioned works in the literal sense, but an invitation for an abstract perception of the grain - a source of life or a simple bowl of a traditional dish. It was especially important to provide the authors with a lot of freedom for interpretation in order to obtain real poetry from grains.
We most often celebrate a business anniversary predictably and formally, we receive gifts that are important for companies, but the added value for the recipient is not that significant. However, there is so much human, intellectual and physical labor behind our 25 years of business and built values.

First of all, I tried to imagine how this project could have a deeper meaning, how it could move the public, make you want to hang it on your wall and look at it for a long time. And in addition, it needs to be a jubilee gift.
Ентусиазъм, творчески директор на проекта
Velina Mavrodinova
Valeriy Poshtarov
Maria Nalbantova
Yana Lozeva
Martin Atanasov
Simeon Levy
Ivan Bogdanov
The authors had to create a photographic work that includes one of the types of cereals that SUICO offers.

We are used to seeing these wonderful, perfect forms of rice grains, beans, lentils, chickpeas and many more as part of various dishes. We anticipate their taste when we see them, but in fact we give them a detailed look very rarely. We would never imagine that they could be the main object of creative interpretation. This very unusualness of the task determines the end result and makes the project so creative and inspiring.

The Art of Grain is an important project not only because it tests our ability to look at the ordinary in a different way, but also because it symbolizes the search for meaning and faith hidden in a small grain.
I can confidently say that in my work as a curator I have never received such an unusual and intriguing invitation as this one: together with seven leading contemporary photographers and visual artists I will stand before the amazing creative force of nature.

Nature, the creator of a variety of small, pearly, colorful and colorless grains, has become a challenge and inspiration for seven completely different photographic works.

"The Art of Grain" is an art project that set itself the task of exceeding the usual parameters of corporate advertising from the very start.

The authors participating in it were invited following a careful analysis of their work so far, the art they create, their personal interests and aesthetic understandings. We expected them all to react in their own way but in tune with their work so far.
curator
Vesela Nozharova
Boryana Pandova was among the first to accept the invitation to participate in "The Art of Grain" project. She hesitated for a long time whether to accept it or not because she had difficulties finding her own approach to the subject. However, once she discovered it, it exploded in a wonderful series of analog photo prints and a great conceptual text. She shamanizes on photographic paper, mixing rice, saffron and olive oil, materials typical of a Mediterranean dish.

Integrating a high dose of unpredictability in her photography, she talks about the unpredictability of the culinary process but also of life itself. As a result of this photographic experiment, a series of images with picturesque power was born.
The works of another author, Yana Lozeva are based on a similar photographic technique. She uses the photogram method. This involves direct illumination of objects placed on photographic paper. After treating the paper with chemicals, the outlines of the objects are clearly visible. In this case, these are chickpeas, quinoa, buckwheat and other grains that indulge in elegant compositions of elements reminiscent of a magical star map.
If the first two photographers build semi-abstract compositions from grains, Valery Poshtarov, famous for his documentary series, creates an intriguing plot composition. "Life Begins with a Game" looks at a group of children playing in the street with colorful beans. In the foreground there is a puddle reflecting the silhouettes of the children and a small floating paper boat. The photograph is black and white, with a very low camera point of view, and the beans act as its compositional and semantic center.
Another author from the selection relies on the individual audience understanding. He also works with beans. Ivan Bogdanov created a realistic, greatly enlarged model of a bean with a height of 160 cm. He made a photo session with this giant bean and selected a single frame. A human figure tossing the grain in the air against the gray sky. This unexpectedness of the situation and the feeling of fantasy are completely in line with the photography's stylistics. It is in sfumato, immersed in soft gray shades.
Another author, Martin Atanasov, also works with beans. He is an artist, photographer and illustrator who often uses the collage technique. Thus he creates an almost sculptural form, collaging various previously photographed beans. The shape resembles a naked body, because of the beige-pink color range, the softness of the shapes, coming from the specific bean curves.
The young Maria Nalbantova is among the leading names on the contemporary art scene. She is an artist, illustrator, but also relies on the camera in her work. Here she surprises us with an ingenious concept. In place of gold engagement rings, instead of a diamond she puts rice grains of different varieties. Looked closely, they shine like precious stones. We are amazed by the richness of shapes, textures and color shades created by nature in such a small grain of rice.
Last but not least, as part of this selection we placed the project of Simeon Levy "Hug / Mung". This is the only photograph presenting a grain from which the stems and leaves of the plant have already emerged. Two sprouted beans with tender stems and leaves, originating from the small mung bean, are entwined in an embrace. The photo is taken at high magnification so that every small hair on the surface of the shoots is visible.

The Art of Grain is an important project not only because it tests our ability to look at the ordinary in a different way, but also because it symbolizes the search for meaning and faith hidden in a small grain.
Artworks
Her education passed through the art of theater and it was meeting theater that led her to her love of photography and video. In the visual handwriting of her works, she retains the feeling of playfulness and live experience typical of the performing arts.

Experiments from the laboratory for crazy photo recipes:
"I set myself the task of finding the intersection between grain, cooking and photography with a seemingly easy recipe from the influencers' cuisine.
Rice is probably the most affordable food in the world. However, I believe cooking is alchemy, in the best cases - improvisation with an unpredictable end result. 1:0 for rice.

Either way, it's not about culinary records. We are talking about lumen-chemigrams.
Lumen Chemigrame
Boryana Pandova
The lumen-chemigram is a lens-less photographic technique, where the image is achieved through various ingredients, photographic chemistry and objects placed on the photo paper itself, directly under the influence of sunlight. In this case, these objects are rice grains.

The chemigram results are expressive and always unique - just like my cooking, but at least you are not expected to eat them, except maybe with your eyes. In my experiments I used rice, turmeric, paprika and oil, which communicate with the photographic materials.

I had to stop before photography and cooking merged into an unpredicted cookbook of cooking recipes gone wild."
Author working in the field of documentary photography. He creates long-term projects exploring man in his context.
"Art helps me forget myself and flow into life like a river into the ocean."
Life Begins with a Game
Valeriy Poshtarov
The grains merge into the stars of the earth's mosaic, where the paper boat of children's dreams floats - bold but fragile. Grains die to give life.
An artist who works in the field of contemporary visual arts. She experiments with various media and techniques such as drawing, collage, photography, found objects, installation and video. She received the BASE 2020 contemporary art award.
Rice Engagement Rings
Maria Nalbantova
"One of the main food crops on earth is rice and its numerous varieties feed a large part of the world's population.

There is no diamond on the engagement ring, but a grain of rice. It embodies the issue of value, sharing and the importance of the tiniest thing."
Freelance photographer, whose interests are focused on portraiture and personal documentaries. She is one of the most recognizable names in contemporary Bulgarian photography.
Cosmic Semolina
Yana Lozeva
"My first association when I was presented the project was of a "building material", so I didn't want to photograph the grains from the outside, but to "get" into them in some way, to show them as magical and meaningful.

The photo gave me the opportunity to present this analog "contact" between physical objects, photographic paper and light, to create images through tactile play in the dark in my laboratory."
Visual artist working in the field of photo books. He studied photography at the Prague Film Academy (FAMU). Over the recent years he has participated in and developed various independent and collaborative projects related to photography, books and visual anthropology.
Forms
Martin Atanasov
"For the past five years, the main form of my photographic research has been the use of collage as a visual language. I am looking for the moment when the collage acquires a three-dimensional form, creating a credible but completely new artistic image. A new reality is being born. Upon accepting the invitation, I decided to create a photographic game using the grain's texture and shape."
As part of the Bliss tandem, he was one of the famous fashion photographers in Bulgaria.
As part of his independent work he often works on influential art projects. He has the ability to convey thoughts, sounds and aromas through photography.
Hug | Mung
Valeriy Simeon Levy
"Life does not arise by itself. It may take two people, it may need a seed and water. We learn most about ourselves not when we think about who we are, but when we look at our relationships with others.

The Hug / Mung photography emerged as a reaction to the division between us that we so stubbornly nurture. I will be happy if the viewer feels warmth and security. Confidence that we are given to be a part of something exquisite, and all worries are the fruit of our mind."
Director and co-writer of original animated films, who has a major interest in art photography. In tandem with Vesela Dancheva, he is one of the founders of the "Compote Collective" animation studio. He is a lecturer at NBU.
Something Small
Ivan Bogdanov
"Breaking away from reality, I try to reach what is actually real.

In animated cinema, real often gives way to the unreal in order to achieve some kind of sense of truth. In this case, I approach specific photography as I would approach a short animated story.

Reversing the scale of the grain and the human figure, I am not trying to make a reference to the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, but rather to provoke the observer to feel some fascination with the surreal."
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