Liliån Ceben – The bubble artist

With TITLE the young artist talks about her critical, haptic art, why bubbles are the ideal symbol for love hormones and the question whether or not artists should study to be considered as “real artists”.


TITLE: Why bubbles? 

Lilian Ceben: I designed my series “Emotion”, to reflect various human feelings in small sculptures. From “in love”, “sad” to “depression”. I first started using bubbles, designing the sculpture “in love” which should look like a molecule structure – Just like the feeling of love itself, blazing up in the stomach slowly seizing the whole body – the bubbles embodied this feeling in such an accurate way, I covered various objects with them.


What’s your art like?

Playful, colorful, it should bring joy. Its tactile is especially important. 


Reminds me of your last exhibition in 2019, where everyone could touch your artwork with their hands.. 

It was a full senses exhibition. Every sense was included. You could look at the objects, you could feel them, there was something to smell – I designed an aroma bubble with fragrance inside. The exhibition had its own soundtrack and a special drink to taste.  


What inspires you most?

Mother nature. Molecules, mushroom structures, star constellations – sometimes just weird color combinations I see in the streets or in the supermarket. Currently I am concerned with orchids. 


Which colors do you use? 

I used to work a lot with red, but I have no connection to it at the moment. Red is such a significant signal color. Otherwise, I like pastel shades but also black. I also often use varnishes that change color as soon as sunlight shines on them. The color for this is actually from the auto tuning scene. 


What should people feel through your art? 

I want people to enjoy looking and touching my work. In most galleries you are not allowed to interact. Art doesn’t need to be exclusively visual. I would like to deal more with room installations and offer people all-embracing experiences. 


Would you call yourself a critical artist? 

Yes. I am very committed to women in the world of art and always try to give young girls a platform through my projects. I also work very sustainable and try to reuse everything I can get my hands on. 


You never attended art school, why?  

I once applied to the UDK, Berlin three years ago. My portfolio included pictures of my large-scale work. As I’m a true perfectionist – I had prepared a printed book with professionally shot pictures. Retrospectively it could have been a problem that the process behind the final artwork as well as my idea finding was nowhere to be seen. Further, my aesthetic may not fit the UDK at all, as it seems to be a little too smooth, too cute and too playful for them. It’s not easy to find the right art school for your individual style. There is definitely an art school somewhere to match my artistic expression, but for now I’m happy to do things on my own. 


Do one have to study to make art?

To work creatively, you can attend the best art university, be taught by the best professors and build up the best artist network – if you don’t feel it, it’s useless. At university you can learn the handcrafts, but your own imagination and understanding of things and creativity isn’t something anyone else can teach you. I think one shouldn’t be too influenced by the judgment of an art school. if you feel yourself on the right track, move on – with or without an academic degree. 


What music do you listen to while working? 

Mysteries of the World – MFSB 

Shadows from Nowhere – Blue Gas

Everything from Four Tet and sometimes Enya.  


What’s next? 

I would like to integrate music more into my art. Creating kind of a dream trips. And on the March 8th we are organizing a design flea market in the Basement Berlin exclusively with female helpers, because it’s International Women’s Day.