...Tanja Pak obtained a BA degree in Industrial Design at The Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana in 1994 and, later, a Master's Degree in Ceramics and Glass at The Royal College of Art, London. She
was the recipient of a scholarship to Pilchuck Glass School
in 1999.At present, she
is a freelance artist in Ljubljana, Slovenia, working out of her
Click here to read an essay by Robin Rice about Tanja Pak
and her CGCA Fellowship experience.
It's about a whole attitude," explains Tanja Pak
, a fall 2001 Resident Fellow at the Creative Glass Center of America
.The Slovenian glass artist conscientiously maintains an impeccable level of quality in her
heavy schedule of international installations, exhibitions, and industrial design commissions.
But not everything can be planned.Pak
didn't plan to be a glass blower like her
grandfather and uncles in the glass-making town of Rogaska Slatina.She
didn't even want to be a glass designer like her
father, although she
felt the pull of her
family's creativity.As a student, she
chose the broad field of industrial design--deliberately avoiding a concentration on glass.Nevertheless, blood or tradition won out.Although it took nearly a decade of studying industrial design in the city of Ljubljana, Pak ultimately recognized that glass was destined to be central to her work as designer and artist.
After additional study at the Royal College of Art
in London, a leading institution for today's young artists, Pak
returned to Slovenia to realize her
own functional designs in factory production and to incorporate glass in ambitious multi media installations typically with an architectural orientation.Pak
is the first artist to use cast glass as a large scale sculptural art material in Slovenia, an irony, she
points out, since commercial glass production has been a major source of trade in Slovenia since sophisticated techniques of glass blowing were introduced by 17th century Venetians.
In 1998 Pak
first important group of large scale installations in medieval Ljubljana Castle.Her
role as artist is largely conceptual and administrative, as she
orchestrates the work of a variety of specialists.At the castle, Pak incorporated
sound and lighting in works like Voyage, a row of glass rings traversing a 30 meter barrel vault and pierced by a blue laser beam which she
describes as "a non material axis."At around $400 an hour, "the laser was very expensive," she
says, "but I wanted blue and nothing else."For Pak
, a certain kind of turquoise or, in glass, a copper blue has a magical quality."It breathes," she
says."I wouldn't use the word ‘spiritual' but it's different than any other color."She
finds the darker cobalt blue, a much more common color in glass, "heavy and closed.It's just not glass anymore."
While Voyage represented an "infinite journey," Always, a spiraling lighted column of three-sided flat cast crystal units, recapitulated the visitor's journey, and perhaps life's journey as well, while providing a static point at the end of the visitors' movement through the exhibition.
"The exhibition is a path," Pak
said, referring to all her