Tina Hochkogler

A typical expression such as „it doesn’t matter“, „it is not relevant“, „it bears no relation“ is the point of departure for my series of portraits of old toy figures once produced in China. They found their way to us, intended to accompany us and become our friends of many years. They were also messengers who freed our minds to travel to distant lands. At some point, they are forgotten or rediscovered. They continue their lives without us. Parts of their story will always remain unknown to us: Their past lives and the ones they will go on to live. They sometimes end up in the trash. But sometimes these figures outlive us. „It doesn’t matter „ – it’s an irrelevant life. On my last trip to Beijing I noticed that vendors selling these products have an incredibly careful and respectful way of handling them, as if they were endowed with some special form of dignity. It’s conceivable that this gesture is not an expression of loving care but of business acumen. Either way, it’s about values, about mass-produced small things that are intended to acquire traits of individuality for someone. This portrait series shows that all toys acquire a patinated character. And I want to let them send home greeting cards from the places their migration has led them. Writing home from somewhere or even nowhere, they reveal parts of their stories, which, unlike our own, can span many biographies and generations. This narrative is inherently fictitious because, with every life and era they enter, they are cut off from their past and become the subject of new interpretations.