A look back on our first full year

Well team, welcome to the new year. We hope you had wonderful holidays full of family, friends, and fermented grapes and pomegranates to welcome in 2016. We have so much to look forward to this year, but before we start planning for the days ahead, we want to give out a huge congratulations to everyone for making 2015 a phenomenal introductory year.Fichier 07-12-2015 13 40 23

Our most attended event this far

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Wall painting by Noumeda Carbone at ANKAPital. Event location and wine courtesy of ArmAs. Photo Credits: Khashayar Zand.

It all started in April with our opening night for “ANKAPital”, which featured 15 artists from four different countries working across more than 5 different mediums. The night before the event, installation was behind schedule, but thanks to you we pulled through and had our most successful event to that date.

Over 500 people attended the opening night, and it was exciting to see such a young crowd of local artists, socialites and hipsters all arriving to enjoy the exhibit.

We left with a feeling of accomplishment, but our resident artist Noumeda Carbone left a little more behind. If you have a free moment, you can go look at her mural, which still decorates Victory Park. What a way to kick off our first full year!

The 1st Augmented-Reality mural in Armenia

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Mural by artist LUSKA augmented by the technology of ARLOOPA.

“The Scale of Life” was a little more low key, but no less successful. Held in September, seven different artists showed us their visions inspired by mythological water creatures within the unfinished penthouse apartment of the Yerevan Residence building atop Cascade.

Opening night featured a full experience of the senses pairing fish tastings prepared by DZOOK Pop-Up Restaurant with wine courtesy of Karas Wines. With the festivities and exhibits all punctuated by a live electronic music performance by special guest Joseph Zakarian, this night was one to remember. The event also marked the first augmented reality art piece in Armenia, thanks to a collaboration between HAYP artist Luska and one of our partners, ARLOOPA.  

During the days following, we had more attractions, including an open lecture about pagan Armenia during the Urartean period and a stirring solo theatre performance. The solo act by Aram Atamian was so well received, that we even decided on an encore production.

This video contains adult content for sexual images.

Closing out “The Scale of Life” was a contemporary dance show and audio installation, all on the rooftop of the gallery with a sunset backdrop of Yerevan and Ararat itself.

But we would be remiss without mentioning that this exhibit would have been a shadow of itself without the dedicated extended network of volunteers who helped with everything from translation, to documentation, to simply lending equipment.

Thank you everyone for helping HAYP go above and beyond in our mission!

A moving exhibition… on a train

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Acoustic concert at “In Motion”. Photo credits: Raffi Berberian

In October, HAYP4.0 decided to mix things up in terms of location… What better way for a progressive art installation to move forward than to literally move forward. Thanks to the generous support of APAGA Technologies, “In Motion” took place on the train bound for Armenia’s historic culture capital: Gyumri.

Regular passengers were surprised to find the train had become a mobile gallery featuring three different exhibits across three different cars in the soviet-era train that makes regular runs between Armenia’s two largest cities. One of the train carts featured a photo exhibition that was co-curated by our partner Tumo Center for Creative Technology.

Whether it was contemporary dance, acoustic concert music, operatic vocal presentations, or performance art, there was something for regular travelers and art enthusiasts alike.

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“The Nest” – Art installation at “IN MOTION”. Credits: HAYP

In one of the train wagons, 1000 paper cranes were hung from the ceiling to symbolize hope, luck, and health through the story of Sadako Sasaki; a Japanese girl who was diagnosed with cancer resulting from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. This young woman attempted to make 1000 cranes in the hope of recovery, and In Motion took a lesson from this story to convey a message of tranquility and peace.

Spicing things up

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Opening night at “Enter Through the Smoke Shop”. Credits: Miklouho Maclay

The time leading up to the holidays is a time to relax and slow down, but not for our HAYP Team! Just four days after “In Motion”, we kicked off our fifth exhibit, and our last of 2015.

“Enter through the Smoke Shop” was a solo artist exhibition, and featured graphic work from Samvel “Saga” Saghatelian’s series “Political and Personal Protest Signs.” Some of the work was minimalistic, some was complex, but the message of the pieces was clear: “be provoked.”

Closing out our 2015 schedule meant having a subdued, more mature, event, and hosting the event in the back room of Yerevan’s first electronic cigarette shop – Misty Fumes – was a perfect way to accomplish that.

The exhibit later played as a backdrop to an open mic night, co-organized with EVN Community Theatre, where local artists and everyday poets were able to have a cloistered audience experience their inner most thoughts.

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Open mic at “Enter Through the Smoke Shop”. Credits: HAYP

Looking forward to 2016

2015 was our year of accomplishments and our proving ground. We gained media attention, even garnering the attention of Armenia’s first television channel H1 for an interview on their morning program “Aravot Luso” and an interview on the Public Radio of Armenia. We were successful in our bid to become an NGO as of December, but last year was just a start.

This year is looking busier than ever. This March will host an all-women’s exhibition to address the importance of women’s rights, sexual identity and more. In May, we’re presenting an exhibit in a local prison, and August will play home to an art & music festival by Lake Sevan.

We had our first full year team, and it wasn’t always easy, but we could not have been more dedicated, enthusiastic, or successful in making HAYP what it set out to become. HAYP is now on the stage, and our performance is just beginning.

Gabriel Ouzounian

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