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Feature Articles

July 2011

701 Center for Contemporary Arts in Columbia, SC, Offers Works by Diana Farfán

701 Center for Contemporary Arts in Columbia, SC, is presenting the exhibit, Diana Farfán – The Toy Republic and The Dream Life of Broken Toys, on view through July 31, 2011.

The Toy Republic installation consists of works Farfán created while in residence at 701 CCA. The Dream Life of Broken Toys is Farfán’s MFA thesis work.

Farfán is known for her surrealistic ceramic toys, marionettes, puppets and dolls. Her pieces illustrate her observations about our ambivalent human condition – manipulated, fragile, impotent, vulnerable and isolated – countered by the ability to find hope.

The Toy Republic, Farfán explains, is “my perception of the world as a child, when I imagined a three-tiered hierarchy of social order. In my vision, there were rulers who issued commands from high altars, dutiful servants sitting in oversized chairs who enforced those orders and, at the bottom of society, the vulnerable masses constantly searching for the place where they belong. This is a portrait of an imaginary nation.” She welcomes the public to participate in the life of her nation, picturing themselves as one of the characters and thinking about their role in society, their influence on the people around them and the impact of power on all of us.

The idea for The Dream Life of Broken Toys began when a young boy showed Farfán an old toy plane he had repaired and referred to it as “a powerful sky-flier.” Farfán says of the occasion: “That day I realized that a broken toy is not necessarily an obstacle to play; rather, it is possibility for creativity, for imagining new ways of playing.” She continues: “The years have passed swiftly, but still this single memory persists for me. If only it was possible to turn back time and rebuild toys, not only theirs but also my own, then the lives and dreams of many, many toys might be renewed.”

Born in Bogatá, Colombia, Diana Farfán received her BFA at the National University of Colombia and her MFA in Ceramics at the University of South Carolina. Her 2D and 3D works have been shown and received awards in a number of exhibitions in places that include Colombia, the United States and Taiwan.

701 CCA is a non-profit visual arts center that promotes understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of contemporary art, the creative process and the role of art and artists in the community. The Center also encourages interaction between visual and other art forms.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listing, call the Center at 803/238-2351 or visit (


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