Contemporary Art Reflecting the Conference Topics is Presented at the 15th YES Annual Meeting

Contemporary Art Reflecting the Conference Topics is Presented at the 15th YES Annual Meeting
14 September 2018

Yalta European Strategy (YES) and the PinchukArtCentre present contemporary art the 15th Annual Meeting of Yalta European Strategy (YES) – “The Next Generation of Everything”. The world's leading artists Andreas Gursky, Martin Kobe, Raquel Kogan, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Mariko Mori, Marc Quinn, and Vasyl Tsagolov offer an imagination for the future. Their works at the 15th YES Annual Meeting support debate on what lays ahead.

Yesterday, during the welcoming reception of the 15th YES Annual Meeting Victor Pinchuk, founder and member of the Board of Yalta European Strategy presented “Wave UFO” by Mariko Mori as a symbol for the future. It suggests a world connected beyond its own and people connected with each other. Mori explores ideas of cosmos through technology and spirituality. The work is an interactive experience that brings 3 persons together in the UFO. They will see images and hear sounds that are a direct result from their collective brain waves measured during their experience.

For the first time the main visual element for the YES Dining Hall is done with the support of an artist. A fragment from the large painting by Olafur Eliasson “Whenever the rainbow appears” is a reminder of the full spectrum of possibilities the future provides. The idea of the rainbow symbolizes hope and triggers our imagination, giving capacity to see beyond what is evident and direct. It is a celebration of diversity and creation, a celebration of what is to come: the next generation of everything. 

In an exlusive collaboration with 15th YES Annual Meeting Takashi Murakami created a new painting “Ukraine: War & Peace” (ウクライナ:戦争と平和), a diptych depicting flowers and skulls on the colors of the Ukrainian flag. One canvas, with skulls, shows the price Ukraine is paying for the ongoing war and its hard-fought independence. The other canvas, filled with flowers, shows hope and a bright future for a country that has all the potential to flourish.

These unique artistic collaborations highlight the 15 year long tradition of YES to bring art at the heart of political discussion. The active support of some of best artists globally equally shows the shared belief that Art is a change maker, provoking and influencing discussion.        

The art landscape of the conference also includes these works:

Evolution by Marc Quinn explores an idea of new life and through this new life an idea of new possibilities, hopes, and a future we have not yet imagined. This installation, comprising nine large sculptural components and one rock of unhewn marble, presents the human embryo throughout the stages of its development. Each sculpture represents one month in its gestation.

Cracked Egg by Jeff Koons is a meticulous and monumental painting of an open eggshell. The painting suggests the birth of something new. In the context of the forum one can imagine the birth of new ideas, a new life, a new generation. It suggests we know something is coming but at the moment we can only imagine what it will be. Perhaps the next generation of everything.

Untitled by Martin Kobe explores how the virtual realm takes over and merges into reality. On the canvas it seems those two worlds collide. Space, architecture, and time transform into one giving a sense of movement and progress. The painting brings our gaze to a near-science fiction world where construction and de-construction are in continuous flux. Where the old is systematically replaced by the new.

Kamiokande by Andreas Gursky is an image made inside a neutrino observatory that is located 1,000 m under Mount Ikeno in Japan. It was designed to detect high-energy neutrinos to search for proton decay, study solar and atmospheric neutrinos, and keep watch for supernovae in the Milky Way Galaxy. In the context of the conference, the work refers to our search for new technologies and science. Studying space offers us a different understanding of our world and generates potential new ideas that could revolutionize the world as we know it today.

Les Mees by Andreas Gursky is an image of a photovoltaic plant near Marseille in France. In this exceptional location, the panels become part of the landscape. It is an image that allows you to see the old world in the background, the mountains, and the modern world, the plant, up front. Les Mées, like Kamiokande, is looking at the stars, more specifically the sun that feeds the world today and is the source of the future's clean energy while depicting the impact this potentially has on nature.

Oneness by Mariko Mori suggests the idea of openness and overcoming the fear before unknown. The work is a metaphor of society’s attitude towards outcasts and calls to reach out and part from prejudice. In the context of the works in this exhibition, it directs our thoughts to space. To where we will explore the unknown and, with a mixture of joy and curiousness, welcome new ideas and realities.

Reflexao #2 by Raquel Kogan makes each visitor become a digital figure. Upon entering her immersive work, it seems as if one has entered a digital space and left the real world. The work plays upon how digital reality has gained real-world rights and relevance and how its deep impact has grown into the way we live our life and develop our skills. A human being, outside of the digital real, seems like a hard-to-imagine future.

Double landing and Weeding, Vasyl Tsagolov

Double landing and Weeding by Tsagolov are two paintings that introduce the world beings to the landing of Aliens. With a strong sense of humor and irony, rural life gets interrupted and partially taken over by the extraterrestrial lifeforms. Tsagolov depicts the entire scene with a wonderful naivety offering us a sense of balance where the existence of aliens become a natural part of our existence.

The official Twitter handle of the 15th YES Annual Meeting is @yes_ukraine, and participants and followers can include the hash tag: #YESUkraine2018

Partners of 15th YES Annual Meeting:

  • Arawak Energy
  • Hillmont Partners
  • lifecell
  • International Renaissance Foundation
  • Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF)

Media partners of 15th YES Annual Meeting:

  • Dzerkalo Tyzhnya (DT.UA)
  • European Pravda
  • ICTV
  • Novoye Vremya Strany (NV)
  • PRYAMIY Channel
  • Radio NV 
  • The Kyiv Post

Yalta European Strategy (YES) is a leading forum for discussing Ukraine’s European future and global context. YES fosters new ideas. It connects Ukraine to international partners, supports forces for change in the country, and builds networks of supporters for a new Ukraine worldwide.

For over a decade, YES has initiated dialog between leaders from Ukraine, the EU, the US, the Russian Federation, and beyond. Within Ukraine, it provides a platform for the government and opposition. It brings together leaders from politics, business, media, civil society and the expert community.

YES began in 2004, when Victor Pinchuk invited some 30 European leaders to debate the future of Ukraine and the EU at the first Annual Meeting.

YES Annual Meeting took place at the symbolic Livadia Palace in Yalta from 2004 to 2013. The location where Europe was divided in 1945 thus became the venue for uniting a wider Europe. After the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, the YES Annual Meeting moved to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

YES meetings have brought together heads of state and government such as Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Bill Clinton, Dalia Grybauskaitė, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Bronisław Komorowski, Mario Monti, Shimon Peres and Donald Trump. Among the speakers were also heads of international organizations like Kofi Annan, José Manuel Barroso, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Ronald Noble, James Wolfensohn, Lamberto Zannier and Robert Zoellick. Senior officials, such as Hillary Clinton, Valdis Dombrovskis, Robert Gates, Johannes Hahn, Chrystia Freeland, Victoria Nuland, Condoleezza Rice and Martin Schulz, have spoken at the meetings. In addition, thinkers and social leaders like Richard Branson, Richard Haass, Niall Ferguson, Arthur Laffer, Yurii Milner, Larry Summers, Nouriel Roubini and Strobe Talbott have been among the panelists. Presidents and Prime Ministers of Ukraine, as well as Ukraine’s political, business and social leaders, regularly speak at the meetings.

The YES board includes Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of Poland (1995-2005), Chairman of the YES Board; Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014), Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994); Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament (2002-2004), Member of the European Parliament (1989-2004); Stephane Fouks, Vice President of Havas Group, Executive Co-Chairman of Havas Worldwide; Wolfgang Ischinger, Ambassador, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Senior Professor, Hertie School of Governance; and Victor Pinchuk, Founder and Member of the Board, YES and Founder of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and EastOne group; Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Founder of Rasmussen Global, Secretary General of NATO (2009-2014), Prime Minister of Denmark (2001-2009).

Official site:

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation, an international, private and non-partisan philanthropic foundation based in Ukraine, was established in 2006 by businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk. It empowers the young generation to change their country and the world. To this end it implements projects and builds partnerships in Ukraine and worldwide. Since 2006, the Foundation has invested over 125 million USD to transform Ukraine.

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation’s projects include, among others: an all-Ukrainian network of neonatal centres Cradles of Hope; the largest private scholarship programme in Ukraine, Zavtra.UA; the WorldWideStudies scholarship programme for Ukrainian students studying abroad and the PinchukArtCentre, the most dynamic art centre in Ukraine and the region, which gives free-of-charge access to contemporary art to inspire new thinking. The Foundation supports the international network Yalta European Strategy (YES), a leading forum for discussing Ukraine’s European future and global context.

The foundation supports a crowdfunding platform to foster giving in Ukrainian society, the Philanthropic Marketplace. The Foundation is a member of the European Foundation Centre and the Ukrainian Grantmakers Forum. It cooperates with the Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institution, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, the Council on Foreign Relations, Amicus Europae Foundation and other nongovernmental organizations.

Official website:

Contacts for media-inquires:

E-mail: [email protected]

Tel.: +380 44 494 11 48

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Carl Bildt
Carl Bildt
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014); Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994), 15th YES Annual Meeting, 2018
«If you look at opinion polls throughout Europe, there has been a significant rise of public opinion support for the European Union. The reason for that is what I call PTB effect. The PTB is Putin, Trump and Brexit.»