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Gallery owner Tina Lorien. (Photo: Longfei Wong)

“Better to learn from each other than fear each other”

Tina Lorien, a gallery owner in Copenhagen, warns about the tone of the dialoge about refugees in Denmark

By Marion Chen

“I am so happy to be the part of the Artival, the Immigrant Art,” says Tina Lorien, the owner of the Gallerie Lorien in Copenhagen.

At the very beginning, Tina would rather only be a curator of the exhibition at the Artival Exhibition. She did not expect herself to jump in too much. But that was until she found out that the exhibition related to the artists who are immigrants, which recalls her own personal family history that’s is a mix of different cultures.

“I am always interested in presenting different stories through art, because of my own history and past. So it would be nice to be the part of the exhibition,” says Tina Lorien.  

Artival Exhibition by Immigrant Art invited some of the artists with the background as refugees to their exhibition. Regarding refugee issue, Tina expresses that it’s a broad theme that can relate to anybody, not just people from Denmark.

“I feel that the whole dialogue in Denmark has turned into creating a scary image, just like as we were still living during the Second World War,” says Tina. ”It has turned out to be a mentality of “them and us” and “black and white”. You forget all the differences and nuances. It’s so important to embrace every human being. Not only refugees, but every kind of immigrants. No matter what kind of the word we use – immigrant, refugee, migrant and so on – For me, it’s people who move for various reasons, which the human race has done always through history. It’s a part of our nature to relocate.”

Tina is now deeply involved in the show organised by Immigrant Art, and hopefully she will also participate the coming year.

“We have to stop being afraid of all the new faces and learn from each other. We need to keep our minds open, listen to different stories, accepting the reality, being curious about each person’s history and sharing our thoughts,“ says Tina. ”Because we all care about the same things. Not every politician tries to create lies, borders, boxes and blocks. Basically we are all just human beings trying to live as well as we can.”

Tina was born in my Denmark. She moved to Italy for 25 years because of love.

”We have people today, who flee from terrible situations in their own countries, but it doesn’t change the fact that we are all together. We have to help each other with whatever experiences we have. My experience in another country taught me a lot being humble, not just wanting to create my country there, but also to embrace the best of a different culture,” says Tina. “Of cause, that keeps me going.”

Tina thinks that there is nothing to be afraid of, since most people are good people. According to Tina, the fear has grown because of ignorance, lack of knowledge and historical insight.

“We should open up the message, because the migration will continue. Our world will get more and more mixed. So I mean, we should embrace it and deal with it,” Tina says. “We must find the way to exchange cultures, so we can grow together.”


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