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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 19 May 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 19 MAY 2018 17 AUTOMOTIVE One of the sketches that George Koukos creates in his free time, which shows a mid-engined supercar with a muscular and aerodynamically designed body. Due to the nature of the designer’s job, it was impossible for him to share with us the confidential sketches and photos of concept cars that he and his team create inside Changan’s design centre. George Koukos with his bright red Ferrari 308 GTB. This Ferrari sketch with the Italian flag in the background is a concept study of the side intakes for engine cooling, combining aerodynamics with fluid sculptured forms. George Koukos behind the wheel of his yellow Ferrari F355 which he enjoys driving around northern Italy’s twisty roads. will find a loophole for the dream. We have to anyhow, otherwise we will lose our jobs. How do you feel today about your decision to leave Greece to study car design in Italy? There's always the question mark [of] ‘what if?’. But I guess it has to do with the result of having found your balances or not. I believe that I have, or at least I'm very close to, having found them. Leaving my country, I met the world, but I always kept in touch with Greece – and I think there's the key. It's important to [return] often. It's important to keep some rare parts of the culture alive. It's important to try to speak and write well in Greek because it's a marvelous language! It's important to feel the difference when breathing the air [in] that beautiful corner of the world. It's important to remember the good music we have. Besides cars, I know that you have a strong connection with music and especially rembetiko, is that another form of expression of your artistic nature? Yes, it is! When people ask me about this side of me, I answer that ‘this is the good one.’. Not because I love music more than cars; you cannot compare the passion. Passion doesn't have dimensions and doesn't have reason – it is just there. And for me, passion is ‘the vehicle’ of my existence. However, I don't live without music and therefore I don't have to compromise. I play the guitar and sing only when my heart says so, with people I feel like playing with, for people I like or love. My relationship with music will never end. Living abroad for more than 15 years, what are you views on migration, and how do you feel about your homeland? Has living mostly in Italy eased the feeling of nostalgia? Actually not. No matter if I am in Italy or in China, the homesickness is the same strength. We all live for our own particularities. Those ones that make each one of us a different person. [On] one side I'm happy and proud to be a citizen of the world but from another I'm still proud to know why I'm happy to be Greek. After 15 years I [have] found a good balance between the two. In your opinion, what is the essence of being Greek? How did your origin affect your character? Each one [of us] feels differently [about] his origins or his milestones in life. I'm unhappy for the root the 'the new Greek' has chosen. I don't like the superficial way of thinking, way of judging and also the music he likes. However amongst this general image there's people/characters that make a huge difference. Those characters were developed in an environment that normally wouldn't let them excel. However they do! In worldwide levels! How the hell do they do this? Especially in [the] arts! I have observed this only in Greeks and I don't know how or why. I have met such phenomenal people in my life and that has affected me a lot. What are your views of today's economic crisis in Greece? Do you feel optimistic about the future of our homeland? No, I don't. This is an old recipe from above. It's never the people's mistake though . . . this 'management' has been building our 'new mentality' that serves for people's punishment, since about 200 years. We will get out of the crisis when 'it will be needed' and we'll get in a new one again 'when needed'. Our climate, geographic position, and [our] country's unique nature, together with the strong connection of the family members, saves us a bit. But it's not enough. The core of the culture is being attacked dangerously. Besides designing cars, George Koukos expresses himself through playing rembetiko and traditional songs on his guitar.
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