Hajime Should Be Everyone New Motto
Hajime is the Japanese word for ‘beginning’ and Giotto Calendoli wanted to make clear that his very first exhibition also means a new beginning for him. A whole new Giotto who welcomes us at MIART Gallery, where the exhibition takes place. We are in Milan, and outside it’s raining, and it’s cold as if we didn’t already enter the spring. Inside the exhibition it’s almost like being carried to a different time and place. Everything is bright: Giotto’s works, people’s dressed, their cheerful chit-chatting. The source of it is Giotto himself who spreads happiness and energy. As soon as he approaches us, we forget how cold it’s outside. He greets people as if everyone is his long-time friend. Giotto dresses just like an influencer you expect to be dress like: tied hair, long grey coat, and a wide red slack. On his feet, a pair of Dr. Martens, transformed and adjusted according to his personal sense of fashion. However, he’s not an influencer, or at least he says that he’s not only that.
“ This exhibition is a new me ”
he says with a wide smile.
He learned how to accept labels without being forced into having a specific attitude nor manners.
“ To survive, we learn how to accept labels, because to people it’s important to label others, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I like them… I see myself more as a creator. However, if I’m able to reach people, transmit something important and influence them, then yes, we can say that I’m also an influencer”.
Giotto leads us to start the exhibition. People use to say that art doesn’t need to be explained nor understood, but it’s supposed to make you feel something. Giotto shows one work at a time and lets some seconds pass while his works deep meaning insinuate itself under your skin until you start feeling that something, only then he begins to talk again.
“ I choose ‘Hajime’ not only because it means ‘beginning’, a new start and a new me, but also because it’s the Japanese word for it and Japan is where my new path started ”.
While discovering a new country Giotto was also able to find a new self. Far from home, he found a new one in Japan even with all the differences he faced in society.
“ You can’t possibly describe Japan society with one word. Because it’s a… Simple society, but there’s nothing more complicated than simplicity ”.
Allover the exhibition you can see and feel how much the tried to represent Japan minimalism who enchanted him, the one he can’t wait to come back to, maybe to start a whole new project and discovering a whole new self.
“ I am a new me every day. This is my first exhibition, my beginning, in the future there’ll be new beginnings. Now I want to focus on this moment right here. Now it’s Hajime’s time.”
He dreams of pursuing freedom from social expectations. A life where there are no constrictions who force you in assigned roles. The freedom which is hidden outside of the society’s cage.
“ I’m not the Giotto I’ll be tomorrow. We should learn from our past mistakes but, most important, we should learn to forgive ourselves and how to do so ”.
We stop walking in front of a white canvas, on the above Giotto wrote ‘forgive yourself’, the bottom is all burned and a piece is missing.
“ If we don’t do that, we end up hating ourselves, and hate can burn, can destroy us as humans and if we destroy us there’s no new beginning, just absence ”.
While we leave we feel a very different absence, from the one we experienced inside the exhibition. We want to go back and experience it all over again, but it’s in this moment that we realize how powerful is the message Giotto shared with us: do not stop, do not come back, instead always keep moving and keep looking for your own ‘Hajime’.