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(AV17) Gallery | The “Commercial Exhibition Milijuons” by Donatas Jankauskas-Duonis at the Multicultural Center of the Kėdainiai Regional Museum.

Donatas Jankauskas is a well-known sculptor in Lithuania, whose large-scale works are often found in public spaces. His artwork stands out with monumental zoomorphic figures, recurring motifs of monkeys, and a consistent thematic continuity. His creations, filled with humor and sarcasm, contain references ranging from Lithuanian folk traditions to contemporary popular culture. Embracing self-irony, Duonis shapes the image of an artist who creates his own distinctive reality.

In the “Commercial Exhibition Milijuons,” Donatas Jankauskas presents a new official currency of the Monkey Museum. The installation created for the exhibition allows visitors to briefly immerse themselves in Duonis’ monkey world and contemplate what determines the value of an hour. Among the numerous symbols on banknotes, zero-shaped lamps, and silicone-covered boards where missing symbols can be drawn, every visitor is invited to feel like a millionaire.

Donatas Jankauskas playfully discusses money and gently satirizes progress as a characteristic unique to humans. The monkey years inscribed on the banknotes, following the Chinese calendar, refer to historical events and future perspectives, questioning our understanding of evolution. Different amounts assigned to children and adults reflect the artist’s observation of how people’s relationship with money change and different needs arise as they grow up. Duonis masterfully weaves serious topics into a form of humor, intentionally avoiding clear answers. The irony prevalent in the exhibition helps to reconnect with primal origins and look at oneself with a grain of humor.

Donatas Jankauskas-Duonis was born in 1968 in Seda. In 1994 he graduated in sculpture from the Vilnius Academy of Arts. He has been actively participating in group and solo exhibitions since 1990 in Lithuania and abroad. He creates sculptures, sculptural objects, video art, installations, puppets, costumes for theatre, and organizes artistic happenings. In 1997-2000 he organised the street art festival in Telšiai. In 2002, in collaboration with Oskaras Koršunovas Theatre, he created masks for the performance “Oedipus Rex”. His works can be found in the Lithuanian National Museum of Art, and the MO Museum in Vilnius, moreover, his sculptures have been added to a number of public spaces, including Sapiegos Park, Paupys District, The CAC Sculpture Yard, etc. Since 2006 he has been teaching at the J. Vienožinskis Art School in Vilnius. In 2021 he opened the Monkey Museum in Savičiūnai, where he exhibits a collection of monkeys he has collected and created. The artist lives and works in Vilnius.

The project was partially funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.