Painter dwells on cross-cultural virtues, Zimbabwee

exhibitions, Zimbabwe

K_Van travels back to Zimbabwe

Painter dwells on cross-cultural virtues
Martin Chemhere

THIS is the poetic side of K_Van a young Dutch painter whose recent exhibition of impressions of daily life in Southern Africa ran for a week in John Boyne Gallery *in Harare. A culmination of an ongoing cultural research. The exhibition features drawings, paintings and graphical work. Highlighting cross-cultural virtues as experienced by the artists.

SUNDAY TIMES MARCH 6, 1994  ’published without fear or favour” ‘

[John Boyne Gallery was a galley space sponsored by a bank in Harare. For a relatively low rent artists could use it to exhibit their works. The gallery no longer exists.]

Unlike my travels in 1994, I will be presenting paintings that where made in the Netherlands in 2012. I am curious about the reactions that I will get. Paintings from 1994 like ‘Aids and incest’ were not easily accessible.  What will the polygones do?

Day 9 travel and conclusion

Beijing International Art Biennale

Trailing my suitcases behind me, I was at the airport, retracing my steps to where I had landed a little bit more than a week ago. This was the moment to finalize and draw the conclusions, to see what had changed in me and what remained unmoved.
In this short trip I saw a lot of outstanding art, at times I was intimidated by the sheer size, numbers and the technical skill used to produce the work. The Art industry scared me outright, reducing me to a speck of dust in the wind.
Walking down the long corridors of the Beijing Capital international airport I am trying to pep myself up, trying to pull above the 10.000 artists in the  Songzhuang art village. I must be better, do better! And I compare 10.000 with my inner individual struggle for creative originality. But quickly 10.000 sighs drown my voice. [personal note: don’t forget the I-object]

robot by Michael Julian (my son)

Lately I was listening to a BBC podcast about ageing. Most life stops, not through old age, but through accidents. Accidents in the widest sense. A warm summer’s day scorching the grass. Animals trapped in a forest fire. The accidental exposure to the wrong bacteria or virus. It seems that our life forms do not put special energy into prolonging life of an individual, but rather in procreating life to ensure the survival of the species on earth.
For humans, we need more than the spreading our DNA for our species to survive. Our existence is also linked to our culture. It allows us to share and express our emotions. Through the formation of culture we find ways to express ideas and pass on our thoughts and experiences.
Are 10.000 artists in Songzhuang enough for passing on their cultural ideas to 1.344.000.000 Chinese?
300.000 German artists for 81.000.000 Germans?
200,000 British artists for 63.000.000 Britains?
180,000 French artists for 65.000.000 people in France?
This is a moment to think latterly about our the future and reality.
a) Art is a product that should be kept exclusive in order to keep a high return value for the investor?

b) Artists carry and spread our cultural heritage, we need more artists to express ideas and pass on our thoughts and experiences.

Day 1 Arrival Beijing International ART Biennale 2012

Beijing International Art Biennale, writing

The first thing on my list would be, as I had promised myself, to take a swim in the pool of the international Beijing Hotel. After a long walk in the hotel, in sandals and a tracksuit, I found the hotel swimming pool in the basement with 3 assistants waiting for me. I reported myself at the desk. A locker key was produced and went from one assistant to me to the other and at the lockers/changing room a towel was wrapped around my waste, my sandals replaced for slippers, then another assistant guided me to the swimming pool through a labyrinth of passages. The swimming pool was large, at the far end a life guard was perched high in his chair guarding a solitary swimmer in the center lane. I choose the side lane, freestyle, breaststroke and to catch my breath a lazy backstroke looking at the painted clouds on the ceiling. After some time the other swimmer ended his swim and left. Now I was the solitary swimmer save guarded by the young man in the high chair. I thought to myself what an odd job?. The quiet ripples of the waves I created where gently caught and damped by the swimming pool float lines.

swimming pool float lines

As I went up and down the length of the water I focused on orientating myself, regarding the pool’s edge, timing myself before I would hit the side, forth pillar, the float lines changing from white to yellow to red, the clouded ceiling edge would end, time to reach out and touch the edge of the pool, turn, push off the wall with my feet. A bit of crawl, then breaststroke, my ears blocked by the bathing cap, the sounds of water echoing of the walls and ceiling as if I were in a cave. After half hour of swimming or so, I got out of the pool and dried myself with the towel. Putting my spectacles on I thought the guard looked so bored he might be near to sleeping. I felt a pity for him remembering the internal battle against sleep in lectures about leverage and force. Now I observed the guard carefully, picking out a reference point on the chair to determine if his body was slowing sagged and crumbling into sleep as he breathed in and out. It seemed as if he was asleep. On turning myself to collect my gear, I heard a loud clatter. He had fallen off the chair. I did not spin around to look, but gave him some time to regain his dignity. But when I did turn, he was not on the chair, nor on the ground but had hidden himself behind a pile of deckchairs.

That day I met up with Nasser Palangi, Elmar Peintner, Linda Verkaaik, MD.Jalal Uddin, Bishwajit Goswami, Khalid Mahmood, A.S.M.Mustafa Jamal Akbar, Robert Evgeni BaramovMichael Lyons, Laurin McCrackenSidi Mohammed Mansouri Idrissi, Edy Asmara Purta, Uuk Paramahita, Bambang Juliarta, Made Gunawan Le Tran Anh Tuan, Nguyen Dinh Vu, Ly Truc Son, Nguyen Khac Chinh.

[if any of the artists have a website that I do not have please write me. If you do not have one, I recommend you should make one. WordPress offers a free service, or blogger or many others.]

A visit to Centquatre

Art& dialogue

Field trip 2 Art & Dialogue

On a rainy Tuesday afternoon I entered the 39 000 m²  multi-purpose and multi-disciplinary Centquatre: visual arts, film screenings, theater,  installations and most apparent a social environment for the public and street dancers.

Exhibition proposal

exhibitions, Not all efforts succeed.

Small wooden sculptures and drawings

Wooden object

The works of this exhibition are based on the basic forms; spheres, blocks, pyramids that are merged together or subtracted from each other; each action to be studied and looked at. It is up to the viewer to use the imagination and determine the scale of the object. An object might suggest a tiny synthetic anvil that passes vibrations from the hammer to the stirrup in our ear, or might suggest an enormous outer space sun ray shield shading the earth from global warming. The scale that determines our vulnerability with the vast universal space around us or the vulnerability of the object as we tower above it.
Practical exhibition proposal