For the 60th Venice Biennale, the Republic of Armenia presents Echo, a multi-dimensional multi-media installation project by Paris-based Armenian artist Nina Khemchyan.


The Armenian Pavilion invites a dialogue with the title of the Venice Biennale 2024, Foreigners Everywhere, featuring Nina Khemchyan, an Armenian female artist living in France. Although based in Europe, her oeuvre is deeply rooted in Armenian medieval heritage, endangered today, transcending geographical and temporal boundaries to address universal themes of identity, memory, and belonging.


Eternal Echoes: A Journey Through Sin and Spirit

The project Echo features two major installations—two profound components related to and fulfilling one another: Echo and Seven Deadly Sins.



This central component of the National Pavilion comprises eleven blue ceramic spheres: sculptures in clay. Each of these spheres is adorned with golden incrustations, representing a specific selection of Armenian sharakans, eleven chants of repentance, written by Mesrop Mashtots (4–5th century AD): the inventor of the Armenian alphabet, philosopher, theologian, priest, and poet. Although Nina had been immersed in Mashtots’ work, a unique encounter renewed the artist’s vision: the enigmatic voice of the singer Hasmik Baghdasaryan-Dolukhanyan who had been performing Mashtots’ sharakans, written in the 5th century. This physical installation is supplemented by an a capella performance of the hymns by Hasmik Baghdasaryan-Dolukhanyan: an artistic fusion of physical sculpture and music, blending the tangible and auditory to represent Armenian sacred music in a new and evocative way.


Seven Deadly Sins

The Armenian National Pavilion is fulfilled with the project Seven Deadly Sins by Nina Khemchyan: a 50-meter single-piece paper roll artwork. It is divided into seven distinct parts, each representing one of the sins. The choice of black ink on white paper not only provides a stark, graphic quality but also symbolizes the polarity of morality and immorality inherent in the concept of sins. Each episode is rich in symbolism and detailed imagery, crafted with graphic, grotesque visuals that are both captivating and thought-provoking. The seven unique scenes compose a story, animated by a particular rhythm and built around singular naked characters, as we stand naked in front of our sins, says the artist.


These two projects, Echo and Seven Deadly Sins, enhance and intensify each other, intertwining the themes of human sinfulness with the quest for spiritual redemption, which is essential and vital. In one case, sins are depicted as visual texts filled with imagery, whereas in the other, literal texts (the sharakans) are transformed into visual codes on the spheres. The whole exhibition turns into intersemiotic concept, where images are translated into texts and vice versa.

Nina Khemchyan (b. 1964, Yerevan) is a Paris-based Armenian artist. A graduate from the department of Industrial Design at the Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Fine Arts, Nina has actively been working and presenting her works at varied galleries in Armenia since the early 1990s. Moving to France, she continued her education at the National School of Applied Arts and Crafts in Paris in 1996-1998. For more than 30 years Nina has worked as a sculptor and graphic artist.

Related Topics