• Misha Capnist

"My Life Journey": The Beauty of the Hybrid

They are preparing an exhibition, KriB and Tuwa, scheduled for next May in Stockholm.


A choral work, by two, I would like to say by three, because Tuwa is one of those fascinating creatures who experience the transition to the visual recognition of something that is invisible, and that are the mind, feelings, heart, emotions. And just visually KriB and Tuwa interpret, translate "My Life Journey", with four canvases that in body painting portray Tuwa's physicality with an exceptional result in which contrasts blend, with an almost graphic reference to Ying and Yang and deep symmetry, creating the image of an abstract figure, almost reminiscent of a cephalopod with astonished and sweet eyes, when instead, the figure shows anatomical male and female components, creating with the use of color the imprint of a fantastic figure, in which the soft and at the same time virile features of Hermaphrodite merge:


Hermaphroditus asleep. Greek marble, Roman copy from the Imperial Era (2nd century CE) after a Greek original, now at the Louvre, Paris (purchased in 1807). The mattress (Carrara marble) was sculpted in 1619 by Gianlorenzo Bernini, commissioned by Cardinal Scipion Borghese. Photo by Pierre-Yves Beaudouin, Copyright: CC-BY-SA


Hermaphroditus asleep. Greek marble, Roman copy from the Imperial Era (2nd century CE) after a Greek original, now at the Louvre, Paris (purchased in 1807). The mattress (Carrara marble) was sculpted in 1619 by Gianlorenzo Bernini, commissioned by Cardinal Scipion Borghese. Photo by Ferbr1, from Wikimedia Commons


The son of Aphrodite and Hermes, classically a symbol of androgyny and effeminacy, portrayed in Greco-Roman art as a female figure endowed with male genitalia. Theophrastus suggests there may also be a link between Hermaphrodite and the institution of marriage; the association seems to have been that, embodying both masculine and more purely feminine qualities, he symbolized the union of men and women in his capacity as a sacred event.



Photo: Fredrik Karlsson © All rights reserved Krister Björklund / Tuwa Svedberg


Photo: Fredrik Karlsson © All rights reserved Krister Björklund / Tuwa Svedberg


Photo: Fredrik Karlsson © All rights reserved Krister Björklund / Tuwa Svedberg



Photo: Fredrik Karlsson © All rights reserved Krister Björklund / Tuwa Svedberg


The surprise of the eyes that scan the canvas and read these two elements of the human is so delightful and unexpected that it leaves no room for moral judgments, but transports us into an ecstatic moment of meditation cradled by the knowledge that between KriB and Tuwa there is a bond that transcends art, and of which Tuwa herself speaks in these lines written in her own hand, and cited in an interview an interview by Alfred Jansson:


“[...] It was not until I met Krister (KriB) that I felt safe and relaxed, with him I felt accepted.


Even then it took about a year or so, until I got the courage to reveal my deep dark secret, I am a woman born in a man's body. [...] Finally, someone to be able to talk to. Finally, through his love and understanding all the feelings of loneliness and of not fitting in, and knowing why were revealed… To finally be able to say I am a woman in the wrong body out loud. The relief is indescribable. To know I have a fantastic partner, who really supports me, the man who became my life partner and my great love.


On our journey which is not complete, we learned it does not matter your origin, religion, career or social status, […] KriB, The Artist who has struggled along side of me up close and personal, has made a series of body paintings on canvas shown here. The paintings mark the halfway point of our journey. Tuwa is Krister’s inspiration.”


And taken up by KriB and Tuwa themselves in the same interview:


Krister and Tuwa, what has it been like working with this, as a couple?


It has at times been a tough challenge to work professionally together, when at the same time living in a partner relationship. From the beginning, both have had their own picture of what they want the result to look like and finding a common path to what feels genuine for both has probably been the biggest challenge. At the same time, it has been useful for both of us, to work with something so personal, intimate and revealing, it has made us stronger both individually but also as a couple. We have processed the journey mentally during the time we worked with the artseries and it has brought us even closer to each other.


How did you come to the conclusion that you wanted to do this?


Tuwa: I have been thinking for a long time about sharing my background and my journey. For a while I was completely into a blog, but realized that a blog, takes a lot of time and requires you to make several blog posts a week, to keep it interesting and alive. Being able to put into words my journey has been a great way for me to process all the thoughts and feelings that are constantly there.


KriB: In parallel with Tuwa's reflections, I have had reflections on how I from an artist's perspective could portray Tuwa's journey. It has been important to me that it should be personal, intimate and honest, in an aesthetically pleasing way. So together with Tuwa, I have discussed how the paintings should be designed.


How did the project affect your trip to Tuwa?


Tuwa: For me, it has been tough… to write about growing up and not having the support and understanding I then needed to be able to be who I was born to be. What followed then obviously stirred up all the emotions again. Sharing what I have exposed myself to in countless temporary sexual relationships has really hurt… Now that I see the result of the project, I am so happy and satisfied that I have done this. I am confident and much stronger and I really hope that I can give support and courage to others in similar situations.


KriB & Tuwa: Our idea is to continue to describe the trip / trips. It is partly Tuwa’s journey towards living with the body she would have been born in. Then it is our joint journey as partners. So definitely there will be a sequel to this series. Right now we are most looking forward to exhibiting. The premiere exhibition will be at Galleri Engleson, Storkyrkobrinken 10 in the Old Town Stockholm 22–27 May


Well: if you are around, just go and let me know!


(The original paintings are not for sale, but Krib and Tuwa we have produced Giclée prints in a limited edition, signed, numbered, delivered with a certificate of authenticity).



Tuwa and Krib, photo: Fredrik Karlsson © All rights reserved Krister Björklund / Tuwa Svedberg