By Dana Tudose Tianu

In early October, I saw Kira Hagi’s exhibition at Galeria Alexandra’s in Bucharest. I didn’t know very much about her at the time, but I knew she had just starred in a movie launched on October 1st: Between Pain and Amen (Intre Chin si Amin), directed by Toma Enache. It’s better, I think, that I am not a great soccer fan, although I admire Gheorghe Hagi, because I looked at Kira’s paintings without any reference, in my mind, to her famous father. Her paintings stir strong emotions. I saw pain, I saw hardship, but I also saw such a powerful connection between the collective past and the present moment. I could see that Kira found great inspiration in her own family’s past, which is not free of painful stories. She says, herself, that her great-grandfather’s and grandfather’s stories helped her prepare for her part in the movie. I could sense her emotional roots coming through in her paintings, too.  Kira was born in Barcelona, in 1996. She lives in Bucharest but feels at home wherever her work and projects take her. She studied Arts at the International British School of Bucharest and graduated CIE Advanced level Art & Design in 2014, under the mentorship of professor Jane Broadhurst (Head of Art Department). In 2014, she received a scholarship from the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles and three years later got her bachelor’s in Acting for Film. Currently, she is rehearsing for a play about Princess Martha Bibescu, which will run at the Nottara Theatre in Bucharest.  

I interviewed Kira for our OZB readers, thinking that she exudes emotional authenticity and that she is the sort of person who simply must wear her heart on her sleeve – thanks, in no small part,  to her family and the way she was brought up. 

What is the key emotion that inspires you to paint, and what do you feel you are offering to the world through your art?

To me, painting is freedom. When I paint, I feel I can let intuition run the show and follow my own rules. Anything inspires me, anything I feel, anything I live. I am inspired by people and their ideas. The state I’m in when I start to paint is also very important. What do I offer to the world? A part of my experiences, of my shyness, of my obsessions and my creativity. 

Are you trying, through your art, to mediate, to create a bridge between the past and the present?

Not intentionally. But I had the opportunity and the luck to work on projects (editor’s note: the movie Between pain and Amen) that made me take this bridge. Family, culture and the community in which I was raised made me who I am today. My paintings, not just my acting, are a little fragment born out of these experiences, too. 

What did acting in the newly-released movie, Between Pain and Amen (Intre Chin si Amin) mean to you? 

It was a movie that was hard to make. It was an unforgettable experience, which helped me mature and realize that the time we live right now is one of great opportunities, when compared to the times my grandfather and great-grandfather lived. My grandfather’s story is close to the one in the movie, because his father was a political prisoner and died in Aiud. 

Who guided you or inspired your throughout the choices you made in your career and studies?

I get attached to people I have a lot to learn from. My mentors are people who are happy with the professions they chose. Who patiently guide me and who are able to see in me what I often times fail to see in myself. These are people who have been in my life for quite some time – family members, close friends, directors, professors, fellow actors…

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