In an interview we did with Berenice Díaz, founder of Totemiq, we learned how this dynamic arts collective is changing the face of modern Cusqueñan art and why the collaboration with X.O Art House, our new guest accommodations property in a Cusco, was a natural fit.
MLP: What was the inspiration behind forming Totémiq?
BD: I founded the collective in 2016 in response to various factors, primarily in a global context within the framework of new trends and ways of ‘understanding… and creating art’, but mainly in a multicultural and patrimonial environment par excellence which, through different points of view and objectives, has led to a new movement in Cusqueñan art specifically.
As an artist, I am personally driven by my mestizo origins, and in this collective I found a like-minded group interested in honoring both history and traditional Peruvian art techniques, but through the eyes of a modern-day creator.
What Totémiq proposes is an artistic collaboration in its purest form—each piece passes through the hands of multiple artists of different disciplines, which results in conceptual works of high aesthetic value.
MLP: Fascinating! Was it also informed by a shared evolution based on an increased global interest in both traditional and contemporary Peruvian Art?
BD: The result was an evolution borne from the original intended creative process: to present new media techniques in a cultural context. [For example], we can use electronic devices to subtly incorporate cultural images and elements into paintings, sculptures, and murals…to create compelling, contemporary multi-media works that still speak to their respective cultural origins.
MLP: Please tell us about the collaboration between Totemiq y X.O Art House.
The collaboration between Totémiq and X.O Art House was inspired by MLP’s vision of creating guest accommodation properties that offer not only an exceptional product, but a unique and experiential one as well. In this case, X.O Art House offers high-end lodging within a ‘living’ art gallery, a space where sleeping is secondary to the unique cultural experience of surrounding yourself with Totémiq’s art, connecting with the local artists who contributed to these pieces, and observing first-hand how they reinterpret and incorporate traditional art techniques like ceramics, embroidery, and [gold- and] silver-leaf into their [work]. Further, guests have access to an even more enriching visit by seeing Cusco through the artists’ eyes; they have a wealth of knowledge and are happy to map out visits to off-the-beaten-path museums, galleries, art studios, shops, cafes, [and more].
MLP: Thank you so much Berenice!
X.O Art House is located in San Blas, Cusco’s flourishing arts quarter, and within a short walking distance to the Plaza de Armas, the city’s main square.