Acquisition project coordinated by Americas curator Mona Suhrbier: Commission and purchase of four large acrylic paintings

Peruvian artist Roldán Pinedo (born in 1971), assisted by his son Harry Pinedo, has created four paintings that were commissioned especially for the Weltkulturen Museum: four mighty rainforest trees, each solitary and magnificent with vibrantly coloured backgrounds. With these works, Pinedo is presenting an Indigenous perspective on the rainforest as an ecosystem. His trees incorporate the vital forces of nature in their very essence, functioning as helping spirits of the shamans. The museum requested that Pinedo should include details of how the trees are generally used: furniture and other objects are made from the wood of the cashinbo and the huangana caspi, while cedar and the copaiba tree produce medicines.

Roldán Pinedo is of Indigenous Shipibo heritage and comes from the rural lowland region around San Francisco de Yarinacocha. His name in Shipibo is Shoyan Shëca, which means ‘restless mouse’. In 1997 he accepted an invitation to travel to Lima, where a team of painters from various parts of Peru were assembled. Since then he has been living and working in the city. Pinedo lets his own personal experiences from using ayahuasca, a psychoactive brew, flow into his visionary painting, visualising Indigenous notions of spirits and spiritual entities such as the animals and plants of the rainforest. For the process he uses natural paints that he has manufactured himself as well as acrylic paint. The idea for the acquisition came from a Facebook post by Harry Pinedo which referred to Roldán Pinedo’s 2020 solo exhibition “Solo árboles” (Only Trees) at Centro Cultural Inca Garcilaso in Lima.

Americas curator Mona Suhrbier chose this artist because his works correspond to objects and drawings that are already in the collection. His oeuvre represents contemporary Indigenous Shipibo cultural production. The paintings will be shown in an exhibition that is being planned for 2022.

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