EL ARTE MODERNO ANCESTRAL | a live event with Chenon Bensho and Pedro Favaron
Melanie Dizon
June 3, 2022
(cover photo: Alessandro Currarino)

On the afternoon of June 3rd, we will host a talk and presentation with the Shipibo-Konibo artist Chonon Bensho and her husband, academic researcher and writer Pedro Favaron (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú), who will give a lecture on the contemporary directions of indigenous art and poetry and, in particular, on Chonon Bensho's approach in which the ancestral knowledge of the Shipibo-Konibo people and the techniques of modern art coincide.

Jene Noma (mujer espiritual del mundo del agua) / Embroidery on cloth: Chonon Bensho

Chonon Bensho has developed an art with its own language, in which the techniques of academic art converge harmoniously with the heritage of the ancient Shipibo artists. It is a modern and intercultural indigenous art, vibrant and current, but at the same time it is elevated to a certain timelessness through a symbolic and archetypal language.

Samatai Jonin Nama (el sueño del hombre dietador) / Oil painting: Chonon Bensho

Without rejecting Western input, Chonon's art is rooted in the ancestral stories of the Shipibo-Konibo people, in the practices of traditional medicine, in medicinal plants and in the perfumed world of medicinal spirits. The art of Chonon is of great diversity and is expressed in different supports and media: poetic songs, embroidery, paintings, drawings, beads, etc.

*Inin Paro (el río de los perfumes medicinales) / Embroidery on cloth: Chonon Bensho

*Chonon Bensho was the recent winner of the 2022 prize of the XII National Painting Contest organized by the Central Reserve Bank of Peru through the Central Museum (MUCEN). Her work is entitled Inin Paro (The river of medicinal perfumes), an incredible embroidery work on tucuyo (cotton).


event date: June 3 | 5:30pm

Admission: 10/Soles

BIOGRAPHY | Chonon Bensho

Photo: David Díaz Gonzales

Chonon Bensho (1992) is an indigenous artist, from the Shipibo-Konibo people of the Peruvian Amazon. She is a descendant of wise traditional Onanya doctors and of women who have preserved the artisan and artistic traditions of their ancestors. As a child she was raised in a traditional environment, in her own language, and was cured with the medicinal plants used by people who want to become masters of kene designs (artistic expression of the people of the Pano linguistic family). In these geometric patterns is expressed the philosophical and spiritual vision of the indigenous nations, which always tends to the search for beauty and balance.

Chonon was born in the Native Community of Santa Clara de Yarinacocha, in the Ucayali region. She completed her professional studies at the Escuela Superior de Formación Artística Eduardo Meza Saravia, in the district of Yarinacocha, from which she graduated in December 2018 with an artist/ethnographic thesis on Kene designs.

Chonon has participated in several group exhibitions and in 2021 her first solo exhibition, entitled "Metsá Nete: the beautiful visionary world of Chonon Bensho", was held at the Alliance Française de Miraflores, in Lima (curator Christian Bendayán). Likewise, the British institution "Art from heart", chose her as Artist of the Month in February 2021. Also in September 2021 she had her first solo exhibition abroad, entitled "A River, a Snake, a Map in the Sky", which took place in the city of Basel, Switzerland, as part of the Culture Scapes art festival (curated by Kateryna Botanova).  In 2022 she was the winner of the National Painting Contest of the Central Bank of Reserves of Peru, one of the most important Peruvian art awards.

Together with her husband, Pedro Favaron, Chonon has conducted ethnographic research among her own relatives and on her own culture, and has published academic articles in various indexed journals in Colombia and the United States. Likewise, her pictorial and poetic work has been published in magazines in different countries.