In search of
In Montafon there are numerous artisans. Probably the youngest among them is the ambitious sculptor Victor Mangeng.
Name: Victor Mangeng
Place of residence: Schruns
Hobbies: Football, hiking, biking, music
With great attention to detail, in the "Vikiis wood workshop" he creates art made of natural wood. He revealed to us why it gives him joy to remain undefined.
What role does tradition and culture play for a young artist such as yourself?
Sculpture is one of the oldest crafts in the world. It permits an excellent representation of tradition and culture, especially when they are as varied as in the Montafon. Personally, however, I would only take the existing culture as a basis and, based on my works, put my own modern stamp on them. Thus reinterpreting the traditional craft.
What kinds of artwork are you doing specifically?
Currently that still depends heavily on the commission. Many coats of arms and signs, as well as unique furniture pieces and individual sculptures. It is always important to me that all my works are of high quality and that they bear my personal designation as a handicraft "Made in Montafon".
Most of your works are made of wood. How important is the issue of sustainability for you?
Sustainability plays a big role for me. My wood is preferably from the Montafon, or at least from Vorarlberg. I prefer to work with linden and pine, which are perfect for carving. With the other materials such as stone, clay or concrete, I make sure that they are as natural as possible. In addition, I buy my materials regionally and not via an online shop.
You are still very young. Where do you stand currently with your art?
I have been a freelance sculptor for two years. At the same time, I am completing an apprenticeship as a wood and stone sculptor in Tyrol. If all goes well, I will take the journeyman’s exam next year. Nevertheless, I would say that I am currently still in the experimental phase, looking for what suits me. I try out a lot, both realistic and naturalistic, as well as modern stylised representations. Hopefully I will then see what suits me more, and which direction to take in practice.
Where do you get your inspiration?
From everywhere. I usually get inspired while travelling. There, no matter the country, I always visit at least two or three local sculptors and carpenters, talk with them and observe them at work. In principle, I always have a sketchbook with me, in which I draw and write things down. Later on, I turn it into a more concrete design on paper, a clay model, or I start simultaneously
with the final material straightaway.
What makes your work so unique and exciting?
The great freedom to create various works of art and to live my creativity as I see fit. Of course, being independent is not always easy, but I am more than satisfied with what I have achieved so far. I never thought that my business would already be going so well after such a short time. I have several customers and partners who support me. For example, on a commission from the Montafon tourism office I was able to carve the welcome gift for the Spanish national team coach Vicente del Bosque from native basswood. Some new projects are already planned for next year. I hope they work out.
What else are you planning in the near future?
Generally I would like to collaborate more with peers and exchange ideas with them. But I try constantly to make contacts and expand my network of people interested in art. In addition to the networking, I am currently preparing, among other things, a year-round exhibition in the Skulpturapärkle in Liechtenstein (ash). In Montafon my next exhibition will be for the Schruns Kunstnacht in late October at Raiffeisen Bank. In addition, I have many more ideas and future plans. I am convinced that people will see and hear a lot more of me.
For more information visit victor-mangeng.at