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Fernando Sinaga. The Book of Destinies and Changes

  • Exhibition
  • 30 October 2021 - 7 March 2022

Fall at MAO begins in the name of contemporary art: the Museum will host the exhibition The Book of Destinies and Changes, by Fernando Sinaga, a Spanish artist born in 1951 and represented by the Aural gallery in Alicante and Madrid, who this year will also take part in Artissima.

The exhibition is a site-specific project in which some recurrent themes in Sinaga’s practice are related to the Museum’s context so as to highlight the divinatory virtuality of contemporary artistic processes between the East and the West.

In fact, at MAO the installation interacts with two important volumes: a printed copy of the Chinese classic The Book of Changes (I Ching / Yijing) from the mid-1800s, kept in the Library of the Università La Sapienza in Rome, and a facsimile of The Book of Destinies from the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice. This latter publication is a precious reproduction of the work by the same title written by Lorenzo Spirito in 1482.
Sinaga’s art tackles a theme present in all cultures, from all ages and places: the attempt to imagine and predict the future. A future that, however, remains mysterious and gradually becomes less intelligible.

In the exhibition The Book of Destinies and Changes, in which all the restlessness already present in previous exhibitions like On Prediction (2003) and in works such as Oscillum (2009–2010) resurfaces, the artist offers new food for thought regarding his work in the context of a present time characterized by uncertainty: we find ourselves surrounded by questions left unanswered, in the flow of constantly unfolding transformation, on a tightrope between hope and disorientation.

Sinaga’s work evokes an enigmatic and incomprehensible past, of ancient inquisitional prohibitions from the 16th century, when divinatory writings and acts were forbidden, in that only God can know the future; the installation also forces us to reflect on present times: despite statistics and calculated predictions, we are not able to tell for sure where we are headed and what the future holds.

Bereft of a future vision and abandoned to uncertain destiny, the exhibition The Book of Destinies and Changes performs a poetic operation, creating a divinatory space where the oracle traditions of East and West intertwine and offer prophesy in an attempt to give order to a time of discontinuity and disappearance. A system of probability and prediction, of the magical and the supernatural takes shape in the fluid imagination of the Spanish artist.

The exhibition is made possible through the support of Acción Cultural Española, thanks to the Programme for the Internationalisation of Spanish Culture (PICE).




Fernando Sinaga (Saragozza, 1951) lives and works in Salamanca, Spain. His artistic training initially began in Saragozza and continued when he studied Fine Arts in Barcelona. In 1976, he completed his studies at the Fine Arts High School in Madrid and won the Fine Arts General Management award. In 1983, due to his interest in Goethe, he was granted a scholarship by the Fonds für freie Erziehung in Zurich to continue research on the theory of color. In 1984, he won another fellowship to study Public Sculpture in the US. Upon returning home, he began teaching at the School of Fine Arts in Salamanca, the city where he currently resides.

Sinaga has exhibited in various galleries and museums in Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, and the US. In 1989, he took part in the XX Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil. He also represented Spain in the Spanish Pavilion at the Hannover Expo (2000), and his work Corpo Diamantino was shown in the exhibition Art in Spain, 1997–2002, Works from the Contemporary Art Collection of the Patio Herreriano at the Manege Exhibition Hall in Moscow (2002). In 2005, he was included in the exhibition Elevage de poussière and Other Optical Labyrinths at The Annex (New York), and in 2010 he participated in El sterminating angel at the Palais de Beaux Arts, Brussels. His exhibition Ideas K at MUSAC in León (2011) was also presented at CACGM in Braganza and at MACA in Alicante in 2013. That same year his work was included in Minimal Resistance. Between Late Modernism and Globalization: Artistic Practices in the 1980s and 1990s at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. He won the Fundación Valparaiso de Almería award, the Villa de Madrid award for best sculpture exhibition in 2001, and the Aragón Goya 2010 prize, assigned by the Gobierno de Aragon for his exceptional lifetime achievement.