as part of an ongoing series of projects and works addressing human aspects related to 'nation states' with a focus on identity, power structures and geopolitical aspects, mostly in relation to (city) landscape.
The images above contain links to works and info related to in the text.
'Made in China' - the video
The projected started in 2012 with the digital video work 'Made in China', created and presented for a public video event held by the Chinese European Art Center (CEAC) in Xiamen, China.
From outside China it’s difficult to get a picture of the real China. What we can see is pictures of the landscape like those of the ‘Great Wall’. ’Made of China’ was built from such images, taken by people from all over the world and placed on the internet. They were digitally altered into uniform painterly images in red and white, with a threadlike structure. Placed after each other a fluent slideshow video came into existence. The texture is like woven and sometimes it appears like flesh or skin.
I already realised an art project addressing human aspects within harsh realities, focusing on identity, borders, power structures and geopolitical aspects in relation to (city) landscape. This was back in 1996 and resulted in interactive installation ‘Triple Jump'( MORE HERE ). It focused on the happenings in Srebrenica, concerning identity and the relationship with the fall of communism in eastern Europe. Now I found interesting relations and started researching intercontinental relationships regarding trade, wealth and socio-political realities focusing on China and Europe.
'Made in China' - the installation
Thereafter video 'Made in China' was integrated into an installation, together with 90KG of red clothes and situated in a sea container. Also a sound work that was inspired by traditional Chinese music and composed out of existing sounds, like the rolling of a barrel and sea waves.
The containers coming to Europe are also used for human trafficking. The installation aims to draw connections with that and with everyday western life in the light of consumerism, which is expressed in the large amount of clothes that are ‘Made in China’. The way the clothes were draped reminded of and coincided with the mountain landscape from the images.
The installation was situated in the shadow of the big cathedral of 's Hertogenbosch (NL) that same year, during the annual art festival that draws thousands of visitors.
(click image above)
Made in China | 100% Integrity
The project continued and the material was used in other, related installations and objects. '100% Integrity' was a public intervention, coinciding with the clothing shop in the commercial city center of Haarlem, NL. Together with handmade gold bars that contain imprints depicting Rembrandt, now one of the biggest Dutch trade marks. Also other stamps were used, for instance a 'Nato' symbol. They stamps used served for educational purposes for children regarding culture and history, before the big printing era. Also imprinted, the inscription '100% Integrity' and the red clothes, now stacked into piles in a window adjacent to the shop.
The text was also imprinted on handmade objects of super light modelling clay, containing the form of shaping it by hand. They were stylishly displayed in plastic clear containers among the other items, the way valuable jewellery is being displayed, but now solidified thoughts and contemplations regarding the own position and actions.
More photo's: click image above
In 'Position' the clothes directly refer to the human body. It's a two-pieced sculpture. The concept derived after working out an installation in public space, situated within a monumental public toilet which now serves as a gallery, the 'galerie Urinoir Bezet' in Lonneker.
More about this installation and others, that came in an ongoing 'Position' series, click image at the top of the page.
Sculptural installation 'Move' is a construction of 2 washing racks, red clothes, egg tempera 'red earth'. It was first realised for exhibition 'Rood' (Red), WG Kunst, Amsterdam, 2013.
For more about that, click image above, top page.
Move | Deconstruct
During the careful dismantling of sculptural installation 'Move' evolved into a contemplative performance. Photographs were taken and all material was kept for future, at the moment not yet determined actions or presentation. This ‘soft action’ demonstrates a sense of meaning and the attention for the moment and questions and dares the hard lines that are drawn from the ratio that make our world mainly revolve around maximum commercial benefits.
Site-specific intervention, installation, situation, actual...
Click image above for more and about
A series of photographs taken in Xiamen during an artist residency at the Chines European Art Center. They relate to previous installations 'Move' and 'Nadir' and capture the actual representation of the natural principle of the lowest point which is ubiquitous and inextricably linked to human action and earthly reality.
After a work period in China for the CEAC (2014), the project went further under the name and concept of '40 Titles', which originates from a public space art project. It involved asking 40 people in the streets of Xiamen, to provide a title for one of 40 small books to go with the final exhibition. Each title offers a completely different 'entrance' and with that a new context. This marked one in a series of interventions during the stay.
40 Titles I - total installation
The presentation in the gallery of the CEAC (2014) was a total installation created out of the material resulting of the work period. Built up out of several autonomous elements it also contained materials and objects that played a part in my stay. Like for instance food packages, the box of the new stove that got installed in the studio, pruning waste from the coconut trees I photographed in the main road, alongside the beach of the peninsula, and waste material the tide brought in. But also furniture from the studio like a chair and a table, recurring objects that become part of my work. Also included a new digital video painting, having in mind traditional Chinese ink painting while doing so. And photography, as a result of long and slow hikes through this 3 million people city. The main structure of the installation marked a large square, made of Chinese clothes lines that were used in site specific interventions. The structure mimicked the architecture of the temples are buildI visited. Where the lines met the floor, they marked another square; a rhombus. The curly ends reminding of the expanding tree roots, characteristic for the tropical environment. For trees are also an important recurring theme in my work.
The way the elements were structured within the whole of the installation, echoed the local city architecture, in which everything may coincide and is extendable for collective or individual needs, like the way city gardening is implemented: sometimes recognisable and well structured, other times unrecognisable united in a seemingly unstructured environment. This way even the open office of the gallery was incorporated into the total. During the work period, a lot of thought went into notion about difference and similarity which lead to create some sort of (ostensible) balance within the installation. There were no clear boundaries. And natural and artificial material, shaped by the powers of nature, were displayed among artistic creations.
40 Titles II - total installation
In 2015 large total installation '40 Titles II' was presented at Cacaofabriek in Helmond, NL, covering the entire main exhibition hall with sculptural video installations, objects and (digitally modified) photographic work. Here a lot of the material gained during the residency was worked out. Also previous work. The idea of a borderless state of existence was taken to a maximum. It existed of several installations, two and three dimensional work.
Sculptural video installation 'The Columbarium' exists of several components and media in the form of video, construction of tables, various (photographic) objects.
Click image above for more and about.
Made in China | The next Generation
Total installation 'Made in China | The Next Generstion' combines previously realised works during the '40 titles' project with new items. More and about: click image above.
Although '40 Titles' project is no longer actively developed, elements from the project continue in series that came into existence during this project. Like for instance the 'Position' series. Continue by clicking HERE