The Expanding China Series
In the expanding China series, I picked up my fascination for chinaware again. Our human culture has a long history making and decorating ceramics and porcelain. The shiny surface of it is a perfect contrast with the natural elements in my work. I developed my own techniques to make bonsai trees and flowers using coconut fibre, polymers, kaolin and quarts. I combine the ancient Asian arts of Ikebana, bonsai, and penjing with antique porcelain. In Holland there is a long tradition of influence by the East. What we call typically Dutch like Delft blue was originally an attempt to imitate the very popular porcelain imported from China and Japan. In this series I often use these 17th century “imitations”, combined with the natural elements like bonsai and ikebana. In japan there is a tradition to repair broken porcelain with golden glue called kintsugi. According to the philosophy it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. In these works, it is as if the natural elements reshape these old cultural remains from our civilization.
Beautiful Decay Series
In this series I use the ancient Asian arts of penjing and bonsai combined with urban decay and modernistic architecture to shape my dreamlike fantasies about the tension between the natural world and our contemporary civilisation. The unstoppable force of nature that we are part of, has been the main theme of my work for many years. In the 4,5 milliard years that our earth exists, nature on it has overcome many big disasters caused by asteroids and ice ages. What you see after a period like that is how nature slowly comes back with new species and forms that are better suited for the new circumstances. Unless we drastically change our behaviour, it looks as if the world is heading towards a new disaster caused by the homo sapiens. Being themselves part of nature, mankind struggles with those problems growing from our overpopulation. But no matter what mess we make, nature seems to always find a way to overcome and adept to the changed environment.