• Luiza Preda

The Hidden Romanian Land Art | De-Signs Towards the Sky, for Rain and Rainbow by Alexandru Chira

©Dan Botea

ALEXANDRU CHIRA (1947 - 2011)

I was living in Cluj-Napoca in 2017, when I found out about Alexandru Chira. It was the beginning of autumn but it was still feeling like summer. The crowded Cluj, intoxicated with cars and people, was melting.

Me and my boyfriend, Andrei, wanted to get out of the city for one day.

We found his website accidentally. (For more info about Alexandru Chira's art and life, please, click here.)

We got in our 96' Suzuki Vitara and headed to Alexandru Chira's birthplace, Tăuşeni.

When we arrived, his brother was there. He invited us in their house where they grew up and told us the story behind Chira's land-art project that we were about to see.

Inside the Artist's childhood home
"Because Tăuşeni is a remote location, people are rarely visiting it. "

Liviu Chira, the artist's brother

We found out that Alexandru Chira's home village suffered of yearlong drought. The new idols of mechanized agriculture (tractors, threshers etc.) proved inefficient when faced with the tough limits of nature.

The monument is placed near the origin of the only river in a village where (at the moment) it hadn’t been raining (except symbolically) for close to thirty years.

Extract from the description of the project by Alexandru Chira

The artist started to elaborate a sophisticated system - a series of staggering and symbolic installations of painted metal, wire, and concrete. Their task was "to bring rain and rainbow", to convey prosperity, and prevent deluge.

"When climbing this hill, don't forget to bring with you a cup of spring water and empty it out into The Mirror's Fountain. The spring water will meet the sky's water and together - the deepness of the Earth and of the sky - will born together the rainbow ladder, the awaited ascension"

Andrei pouring water into The Mirror's Fountain

Initiated in 1994, the monument from Tăuşeni was meant to be the beginning of a great project which aimed to prove that the marginalization complex in the Romanian culture is unfounded, that acculturation can also start from Romania towards Europe.

Alexandru Chira was on the opinion that enhancing the values of a country's traditions, one can turn any place into an important cultural center.

" The name of the land-art project is a spatial super-metaphor, De-Signs Towards the Sky, for Rain and Rainbow. The initial name was also metaphoric: Magic-poetic installation for remembrance, for the suggestion (or, in case of need, for the invocation) of the rain and rainbow.

Description of the project by Alexandru Chira

Later on, during the 1990s, already a university professor and an acclaimed artist, Chira succeeded in accomplishing his lifelong dream: the ensemble in Tauseni, the biggest one-man-monument in Transylvania, which absorbed all his energy and financial resources.

Maturing his art-agrarian fascination for decades, the romanian land artist deepened in the diverse branches of practical knowledge and spiritual speculation requested by such a bold plan.

The Sacred Image for Messages ( For Annunciations, Predictions and Story Tales )

Architecture, design, astronomy, history, magic, mysticism and shamanism conjoined in an effort to strengthen the material and immaterial assets of the project.

The Mirror with Memory

His works look equally dreamy, sparse, and alchemical. Drenched in spectral aestheticism, they evoke echoes ranging from Picabia to Adolf Wölfli, from Kandinsky to Joseph Cornell.

Most of his prior works (canvases, drawings or objects) are inspiring sketches or derivatives related to the monument.

"Periodically, the art pieces need to be repainted and some of them, restored. I am afraid that there will be a time when I won't be able to do this anymore. Time vanishes things if no one is taking care of them.

Liviu Chira

* If you have any idea on how to help this project to remain alive, please contact me or contact directly "AlChira" Foundation:

Phone nr. +40 722 515 954

Email :

* If you have something in mind regarding this project and you think I can help, please, don't hesitate to contact me.