Exhibition “Reborn” – part II
Artists: Joost BICKER CAARTEN, Bernard HEESEN, Zhenning LI, Katrin MAURER, Yuhong WANG
Judith ROUX, Shiqi WU, Nataliya VLADYCHKO.
Opening Date: 7 May 2022
Exhibition Date: 7 May – 4 June 2022
Venue: Werkspoor International Art Center
Address: Nijverheidsweg 27, Unit P, 3534AM Utrecht, the Netherlands
Curated by Jens PFEIFER, Tai XIAO, Selena YANG, exhibition REBORN is a special exchange exhibition in the 2022 UN International Year of Glass. It showcases works from 24 Dutch and international contemporary glass artists from ROG (Rays of Glass) International Art Project. UN International Year of Glass is the year to celebrate the important role that glass has played and will continue to play in society from technical, scientific, economic and cultural perspectives. The purpose of the exhibition Reborn is to explore the rebirth of the ancient material glass, which has undergone thousands of years of artistic inheritance, along with the development of modern technology, and interacts with emerging new media, which is endowed with new power of tradition and artistic innovation possibility. The exhibition will be in 3 phases between April and July 2022. It shows the achievements and directions of glass art education around the world and the influence of culture and tradition on the way an artist perceives and works. Glass is both an ancient material and a brand-new material. The natural form of light, transparency, refraction, reflection, etc., are all unique characters of glass material, which have incomparable advantages over other materials, giving artists a steady stream of inspiration. In this exhibition, we can see the different creativity of artists from all over the world, showing the unique spirit of glass. This is an exhibition without borders, and it also tries to explore the diversified development direction of glass art in the future.
Joost BICKER CAARTEN
“As an artist I have always been inspired by the movement of air and water in all its forms in nature. The way wind and air bend en swirl and record for just a moment the memory of movement of just sound or a touch fascinates me. These ripples those memories make, you can find anywhere in nature. Also people make and leave ripples in their surroundings and in other people’s lives and eventually they fade away. Clear blown glass is a material that can capture these ripples very good. Glass also reflects and interacts with it’s surroundings. My floating objects make calligraphic of these memories in a very special way. ”
Bernard Heesen’s work represents the antithesis of those reduced forms of constructivism, working on fiery viscous materials with the power of titan. Driven by unbridled curiosity and a desire to experiment, he created expressionist glass objects. At first glance they appear to merely satisfy a desire for baroque heaviness, when in fact his work draws inspiration from 19th-century encyclopedias and, contrary to the systematic order of his historical models, has a playful quality to it. absurd and surreal expressions.
Zhenning’s work was inspired by the Dunhuang frescoes, especially those in the early period such as the Northern Wei Dynasty (386 to 534 AD), they are very similar and advocate common features. He created them with a dreamy and absurd expression, the character has a pair of bulged, bright and transparent eyes, which are in sharp contrast to the rough texture of other body parts; the expressions of the characters are changeable and their gestures are stiff and rigid; their bodies are exaggerated and sturdy and the figures look empty and blank, showing the contradictory relationship between people’s material life and mental state through the embodiment of various contradictory commonalities.
NoStory is part of a series of wall pieces where the possibilities of repetition are explored by assembling small graphic elements into a larger whole. The printed graphics and text fragments on the multi layered glass tiles were collected while researching the background of a specific location. By multiple layering of the impressions taken from the public and private life of a particular place a subjective snapshot is created.
“Playing with subtle presences on the verge of absence, my work challenges on our usual ways of engaging with our surroundings. I create glass objects and installations asking for care and attention from the audience as nothing much seems to happen to the rushing eye. Reflecting on the difference between seeing and looking – difference lying in the active attention and intention put into the latter – I invite the audience to actively co-create a moment in time within my installations. Active spectatorship is at the heart of my practice as I believe that being conscious of our own agency to the world is key. Like Alva Noë rightly wrote: « The world is not simply available; it is achieved rather than given», « perception is not something that happens to us or in us, it is something we do ». ”
“My education as an artist was in the Ukraine, a classical art education with a great deal of emphasis on drawing and painting. Because of this, I always start with a precise drawing or watercolor with a great deal of attention for detail. I have a great deal of experience and some ability with drawing and painting, now combine that skills with working with glass. When I’m making objects in glass, the details fascinate me, delicate color changes and graceful movements, always with attention for the space around the objects. The way patterns, textures and movements repeat themselves, changing only slightly each time, and then, coming together to form larger structures, has always fascinated me. In my work, I often take up the challenge that objects which capture my attention pose me, whether those are objects produced by nature or by humans. I take what I see and what I feel happening in those objects of my attention, and design my own progression to continue that evolution. ”
“In 2020, the epidemic has brought unprecedented disasters and turning points to the whole world. This year has also given me a new understanding of life. Both growth and decline contain rich energy, just like China’s yin and yang, heaven and earth, and Taoism nature. So I created this work to commemorate the extraordinary year of 2020 and pay homage to the impermanence of this world.”
“An absurd video inspired me to make a work about hermit crab. In the video, there was a hermit crab hiding in a doll’s head slowly walking back to the sea. As an artist, I imagine countless strange images and stories, but incredibly, reality is sometimes more absurd and dramatic than my imagination. I made a hermit crab shell made out of glass that comes from the sand in the ocean, and I engraved ancient Chinese poems about homesickness on the shell. Then, I allowed the hermit crab to carry the glass and the poem further to the bottom of the sea, hoping that one day the waves will carry these glass shells back to the beach, where someone might find them. While doing the research for this work, I found that I am aware of the gradual imbalance in the relationship between humans and nature. The destruction of the natural environment by humans now affects every species on the planet. Many hermit crabs get trapped in drifting garbage thrown in the ocean and die. Some people like to raise hermit crabs as pets, and many factories cruelly break the original hermit crab shells and replace them with beautiful artificial shells in order to attract more customers to buy them. Every day, thousands of hermit crabs are dying in these factories. Through my work, I hope that more people will see the reality that many of our actions are harming animals and nature, perhaps without our awareness of the problem. Our small actions can actually determine the lives of other animals.”