One Million – Item 2361 by Uli Aigner is based on a large colour pencil drawing by the artist. As part of her porcelain project ONE MILLION, she had this made into a large vessel in Jingdezhen, China, the ancient “world capital of porcelain” and painted it, working together with a porcelain painter.
The universal subject of a sunset alludes to the harrowing experience of the suicide of a loved one. On the vessel’s body there is a depiction of a sunset in north-western Canada, the last before months without sunlight. At the top edge, the artist introduces an alternative depiction of the universe: the theory, supported by a mathematical formula, that the universe is a hologram. Aigner addresses both a physical presence in a real environment and a hypothetical model – two ways through which people can relate to the world.
This exploration of light and shadow, of brightness and darkness in the cycle of life also appears in Carlo Innocenzo Carlone’s frescoes. These address the recurring alternation between day and night. Light is personified by Apollo as the leader of the Muses and has positive connotations, for it illuminates and exposes vices and drives them away.
In the knowledge of the vast number of suicides worldwide, in this work Aigner is alluding to those who chose to leave us and paying tribute to those who “are still here in spite of everything”.