Young Blood at Art Safari 2023: meet the young artist Adrijan Oncu

An art work can send a love message. An art work can be a manifest. And, because Romanian contemporary art is so vivid and trending, I wanted to see (and to understand) more of it. Art is a tool that helps express yourself. Therefore, this series is about the young artists presented in Young Blood 2.0 section, at Art Safari 2023. Today, an interview with the young artist Adrijan Oncu. 

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  • Adrijan Oncu is one of over 50 artists presented in „Young Blood 2.0. What is new in art?”, curator Mihai Zgondoiu. @adrianoncu
  • Art Safari 2023 will have a 3 parts. The 11th editions, the first one, is on  going between 10 of February – 14 of May, at Palatul Dacia-România (Muzeul Municipiului București), Lipscani Street 18-20. Tickets on

The 3 major themes that you constantly capture in your works are… Why? 

Art is a tool that helps me express myself, and photography, which is the closest form to our reality, has a special power. No matter where we come from, photography speaks all languages. My work tackles issues that I stumble upon almost every day and puts them in the spotlight.

Environmental pollution is a global problem that is inextricably linked with rapid industrialization and urbanization, increasing gradually and causing a serious impact on life on Earth. Gender inequality weakens women in many areas such as health, education, and business life. “I raise up my voice – not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.” – Malala Yousafzai 

I’m part of the LGBT+ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and the plus includes other groups) which often prefers to remain invisible, hiding its identity, due to homophobia, transphobia. My work is my way of fighting for a better, more tolerant world.

Your art work that we should pay attention at Art Safari 2023 is…

“Digital Roots” interrogates some essential issues of contemporary life, highlighting the increasing presence of technology in human life and observing that people constantly oscillate between reality and virtual world, thus becoming increasingly alienated. The work proposes to observe the balance between people, art, technology and nature. The photo reportage follows this project designed as personal exhibition on The White Night of the Art Galleries in collaboration with the two artists from DIGITAL:CANVAS, Livia Mateiaș and 13m10j (Marius Jurca).

“If Nothing Else Matters” emphasizes awareness and self-acceptance, beyond prejudice and lack of understanding towards something different. I did my Coming Out through my undergraduate thesis in 2017. Coming Out refers to publicly confessing one’s sexual orientation. It was the first time I came out as gay. But this project can be about each of us, our insecurities which we all have and the effort we make to overcome them. In my case it reveals a Drag Queen persona, it’s about attitude and freedom. Coordinator: University Professor Dr. Stelian Acea.

About you, as an artist, we should know that…

Since my childhood I draw a lot, and along the way this passion passed from pencil to photography. The word photography originates from two Greek words: phōs which translates to light and graphics which translates to draw. Literally it can be translated as drawing with light. I finished the Faculty of Arts and Design in the photo-video field (Photography – video computer image processing) and then a master’s degree in the same field at the West University of Timișoara. I’m currently in the last year of my doctoral studies in Visual Arts. Still I didn’t abandoned drawing, making sketches is something I practice before any project, it helps me to realise the work step by step. Photography represents my voice, yet I also find myself into art installations and performance art. I work as a graphic designer.

Romanian contemporary art is worth investing in it because… 

Romania has a lot of amazing artists who are very little known to the general public. We often don’t realize the true value and power of a work of art, therefor we should pay more attention to contemporary artists and support them. Each piece of art is completely unique, as there can never be more than one original copy. Contemporary artists are often at the cutting edge of their field, creating works that are both innovative and visually stunning. Contemporary art is inspiring and thought-provoking because it often challenges traditional ideas and norms. Artists are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is considered acceptable or normal in art, which can lead to some truly innovative and fascinating works of art. I’m extremely happy that Timișoara is one of the European Capital of Culture this year, it’s a dream come true. We have a good chance to draw the world’s attention to us, representing Romania in better light it surely deserves.