I just discovered the Yawanawa and Refik Anadol collaboration and it is stunning

As I'm exploring the art world more, I'm going deeper with some of my favorite artists to get a feel for all of the collections and collaborations they have been a part of. Last night I discovered a collection by Refik Anadol in collaboration with the Yawanawa, a tribe in the Amazon Rainforest.

Here's a quick overview of the collab:

Winds of Yawanawa is a collection of 1000 unique Data Paintings that harness weather data from the tribe’s village in the Amazon rainforest including wind speed, gusts, direction and temperature. This data then merges with the works of young Yawanawa artists, resulting in a mesmerizing play of traditional shapes and colors of data pigmentation.
The Winds of Yawanawa collection will bring the nuances of Yawanawa art to the digital world with the aim of preserving their rich culture.

And before I continue, let's look at a few pieces from the collection together. Note - these are all digital media so what you see below is just a frame from each piece. To view the art in its true form, please use the link below the art.

Link to Artwork on OpenSea
Link to Artwork on OpenSea
Link to Artwork on OpenSea

Did you click on the links below each piece? If not. Stop reading, scroll back up, and do it. This is not static art, it's dynamic, and while it's absolutely stunning as a single frame, seeing it in motion is truly seeing, and feeling, the gift that Rafik and the Yawanawa have shared with all of us.

So now let's talk about what I think makes this collection so special, beyond how beautiful and mesmerizing the individual pieces themselves are.

In many ways I see this collection as an incredible weaving of traditional and non-traditional art. On one side you have a tribe in the Amazon Rainforest, a group of people who have lived their lives in an incredibly traditional way for a long time. On the other side you have Refik, a pioneer in what many consider to be cutting edge, non-traditional art.

The fusing of these two worlds takes place with data. I think it's so interesting that Refik choose to connect these two art forms together through data unique to the Yawanawa tribe. In many ways, at least to me, this represents the blending of nature, something at the core of the Yawanawa's life, into the art in a way that not only gives what was once static art life, but also gives it deep meaning.

This photo of Refik and the Chief of the Yawanawa tribe says a lot. Chief Nixiwaka Yawanawá had this to say about the collaboration:

“This partnership that we are building with Refik is directly for our communities. It strengthens our village, it strengthens our culture, it strengthens our spirituality, it gives us strength to defend, to protect our forest. And shows us that we are not alone. That we have allies around the world. This empowers us. This project can serve as a model and an example for many indigenous peoples and for big companies, big artists, big actors, big celebrities of the world.” (Source - Artnet)

The proceeds from the sale of the art in this collection goes directly to the Instituto Nixiwaka, so along with helping to share the beautiful art and culture of the Yawanawa, Refik has also found an incredible way to give back.

And it's safe to say, the art world has responded. Currently the lowest price piece in the collection is listed for around $18,000 and over $100,000 in sales are taking place pretty much daily right now.

Click to view all sales activity for this collection

Thank you to Refik and the Yawanawa for sharing this stunning collection with the world. It really is something incredibly special.

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton