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Russian Artist, Ukrainian in Bali Work on Message of Unity


Russian artist Pokras Lampas and Ukrainian Alex Shtefan stand with one of nine of Pokras' calligraphy artwork on top of Alex's getaway homes in Bali, Indonesia on March 16, 2022. (REUTERS/Sultan Anshori)
Russian Artist and Ukrainian in Bali Work Together on Message of Unity
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A Russian artist and a Ukrainian owner of a holiday home complex on the Indonesian resort island of Bali have come together in a special way.

They are promoting peace and unity through a large piece of art.

The piece of art is made up of a kind of writing called calligraphy. Calligraphy is a beautiful way of writing that often uses a special writing tool.

The piece of calligraphy is written on the tops of nine buildings. It is 960 square meters. And it spells out “United World” in six languages: Russian, Ukrainian, English, Chinese, French, and Indonesian.

View from above of Russian Pokras Lampas' calligraphy artworks on the tops of Ukrainian Alex Shtefan's getaway homes in Bali, Indonesia on March 5, 2022. (Dmitry Moiseev/Handout via REUTERS)
View from above of Russian Pokras Lampas' calligraphy artworks on the tops of Ukrainian Alex Shtefan's getaway homes in Bali, Indonesia on March 5, 2022. (Dmitry Moiseev/Handout via REUTERS)

"This work is not a political statement, it's a cultural statement, it's a social statement, about people and the way ... we can unite together to create a future in harmony," Russian calligraphy artist Pokras Lampas told Reuters.

Lampas is 30 years old and has been in Bali since December. He said the idea was developed with a group of Ukrainian friends before the war started. But now, the work has taken on even more meaning.

Lampas describes his style as “Calligrafuturism.” He says it is part modern calligraphy and part street art. He spent three weeks creating the work.

Alex Shtefan is the Ukrainian running the holiday home, or villas, complex. He says the artwork follows his values and sends an important message.

"We can show in our villas to the world our idea that (the) world needs to be united," said Shtefan. He has been living in Indonesia for six years and is 35 years old.

Both men said they were angered by the war in Ukraine.

"If we can find a way to stop it and find a peaceful way to negotiate, we need to make it now," Lampas said. Even though the two countries have their own cultures, "Russia and Ukraine always was like a brother, we are always ... close, we always help each other and even we look similar," said Shtefan.

"We cannot believe that it's happened," Shtefan said, adding that he was worried for the safety of loved ones back home.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February in a military offensive it describes as a "special military operation."

I’m Faith Pirlo.

Sultan Anshori reported this story for Reuters. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English.

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Words in This Story

harmony – n. a situation in which people are peaceful and agree with each other, or when things seem right or suitable together

villa – n. a house, usually in the countryside or near the sea, especially in southern Europe, and often one that people can rent for a vacation

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