Park Groot Vijversburg is a beautiful park located in the small town of Tytsjerk, in the northernmost province of The Netherlands named Friesland, which has been open to the public since 1892. Throughout the year, the park hosts events such as art exhibitions, musical performances, church services and excursions. With a rich history of inhabiting a variety of flora and fauna, the heart of Park Groot Vijversburg has always been a neoclassicist mansion in the center of the park. With the number of visitors growing significantly in the last two decade, six years ago Tokyo-based architect Junya Ishigami and Marieke Kums of Rotterdam practice Studio Maks were given the assignment to design an accommodation next to the villa that would enable Park Groot Vijversburg to host the bigger crowds.
Last May was the official opening of the new addition, next to other significant changes and additions to the park, resulting in an inspirational new face for the public area, having become one of the more beautiful spots in the country. But above all, what stands out within the reinvigoration Park Groot Vijversburg is the extraordinary vision that was materialized by Ishigami and Kums, which consists of three intersecting glass corridors that grow out of a sunken, triangular-shaped visitors centre — forming a deeply inspirational structure that, in the words of Ishigami: "melts into the environment," and is among the most impressive we have seen erupted in The Netherlands in a long time. [ Continue reading ]
by Matthias Kaiser and Hsian Jung Chen
Three months ago, the inspirational Taipei-based space for art exhibitions, books and good coffee named Pon Ding presented a beautiful show named 'Gold and Green', which closed last month but remains a very inspirational cultural hybrid. The project is a collaborative effort by the established Austrian ceramic artist Matthias Kaiser and the emerging Taiwanese ceramic artist Hsian Jung Chen.
After chancing across some books about Chinese medicine, Kaiser became fascinated by the odd and unusual ingredients, like the organs of rare animals, and the kinky sounding remedies. The mysterious culture of traditional Chinese medicine sent him dreaming about other worlds. Kaiser’s works include the pieces fused with Chinese philosophy and his Asian experiences, and also the tools with gold, platinum or brass luster, which indicate the alchemy-like refining process of medicine. To Chen, Chinese medicine shops have a commonplace existence in his daily life, and he seldom ventures beyond their thresholds. Through reading and field research, Chen acquires more knowledge of Chinese medicine and gets inspirations from their stories, purposes, making process or appearance features. From their different points of view and experiences, these ceramic artists re-interpret, through their individual visual languages, the dwindling and partly-lost culture of traditional Chinese medicine.
The two artistic visions combined, resulted in a project that shows a clash of old and new; sharp and organic lines; smooth and rugged surfaces. Perfectly juxtaposed to form a fascinating selection of ceramics that tell the story of East and West exchange on more than one level with both artists clearly having found inspiration in the cultural tradition of the other, which in turn really inspires us. [ Continue reading ]
Jean Touitou reflects on thirty years of Atelier de Production et de Création
It's a special year for, what we feel is, one of the most inspiring people working in fashion today; Jean Touitou, and his ever-relevant brainchild A.P.C. (designed with a collective spirit — hence: “Atelier de Production et de Création”). Started as a reaction to the loudness of the Eighties, Touitou created his minimalist fashion brand exactly 30 years ago. To eventually grew into an unprecedented platform, which beyond its own brand has backed smaller counterparts like Louis W., Vanessa Seward and Outdoor Voices. To this day, A.P.C. continues to be an important voice, despite the fact that the fashion ecosystem has changed completely throughout the last two decades shaped by globalization. Where other minimalist icons have silently lost relevance or left (into the art world, for instance) somewhere during the last decade — Touitou and his team continue to cater to a worldwide cult following through clean designed lines and a consistent price point. To celebrate the extraordinary milestone, a new sub-collection named 'Hiver ’87' was created, which is just about to drop at the different stores worldwide, but beyond fashion Touitou also took on the ambitious task to truly reflect (during the course of the last 1,5 years) on 30 years of A.P.C. in a deeply compelling book named 'A.P.C. Transmission', holding 544 pages (published by Phaidon) that will be released on the 7th of September. [ Continue reading ]
by Gilleam Trapenberg
We mentioned his name in last week's post on Rushemy Botter, who found the key inspiration for his 'Fish or Fight' collection on Curaçao — freshly graduated Gilleam Trapenberg was born and bred in the Caribbean on the former Dutch colony (now part of the Kingdom) from where he came to The Netherlands after high school to study photography six years ago. Or basically, according to Gilleam, he came to study anything in The Netherlands despite his deep love for his home, and he knew photography would be the only direction he was really interested in to pull through. After applying to several academies, he ended up in The Hague at the Royal Academy of the Arts and last month he said his final goodbye to the school with our favorite graduation project of 2017 named 'Big Papi'. With the project he aims to represents the concept of masculinity in the Caribbean, shot over the course of the last two years in which he visited Curaçao, but also other Caribbean islands like St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent, The Grenadines and St. Maarten. His perspective on the thematic resulted in a series comprised of remarkably captivating photographs in a beautiful cohesive color palette, forming a narrative one hardly sees or hears in The Netherlands, but (like Rushemy's collection) the country needs more than anything in the current political and cultural climate... [ Continue reading ]
There is a significant need for new personal stories in today's hype-driven, free-for-all fashion world. And despite a rather boring tradition in that realm, some of the names we find interesting and have the potential to do just that c0me from The Netherlands. Following the likes of Paul Helbers and Sebastiaan Pieter, who both are talented Dutch designers with young labels (based outside of The Netherlands), last month's Royal Academy of Antwerp graduate Rushemy Botter seems to be next in line to step up. His graduation collection (Autumn/Winter 2018) named 'Fish or Fight' formed Botter's debut during last week's Amsterdam Fashion Week, but we already seized the opportunity to briefly meet the rising star one day after his graduation show in Antwerp at the beginning of June. [ Continue reading ]
Julian Rosefeldt at the Berlin-based KÖNIG GALERIE
After having seen it ourselves this afternoon, for those in and around Berlin, make sure to drop by the incredible KÖNIG GALERIE to witness German artist Julian Rosefeldt’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. On view in the nave of former Catholic church St. Agnes is his large video installation titled 'In the Land of Drought' that was filmed in Morocco and the Ruhr area.
A condensed version of Rosefeldt’s filmic interpretation of Joseph Haydn’s 'The Creation', 'In the Land of Drought' confronts the relationship between man and his impact on the world. Set to atmospheric sounds and a pulsating hum, the 43-minute piece looks back from an imagined future upon the post-Anthropocene: the aftermath of significant human influence on Earth. An army of scientists appear to investigate the archaeological remnants of civilization after humanity has made itself extinct. Shot entirely using a drone, Rosefeldt’s images hover meditatively over the desolate landscape and ruins. Connoting surveillance, the drone’s bird’s eye view removes human perspective with us onlookers kept at a distance throughout. Increasingly, more figures dressed in white lab suits emerge to inspect the ruins of civilization – which are in fact abandoned film sets close to the Moroccan Atlas Mountains.
Halfway through, the audience is transported to the comparably bleak Ruhr area of Germany, which is littered with the remains of industrialization. The same ‘scientists’ prowl the abandoned mining region, wandering among the headframes and coal pits before finally descending upon an amphitheatre. As seen from the audience’s heavenly outlook, the amphitheatre resembles an eye, and its all-seeing ability is reflective of the panoptic aerial viewpoint. A dialogue unfolds between the two perspectives of control: the eye on the ground and the drone’s eye overhead. As the steady hum livens to a climatic rhythm, the figures draw close only to disperse again. Reminiscent of cell division, the unifying aesthetics hint at a prospective optimism amidst a dislocated world man has created. The result is both mesmerizing and though-provoking, make sure to witness it first hand before it closes on the 23th of July! [ Continue reading ]
At a moment when the world is facing the world’s largest refugee and migration crisis since the Second World War, the latest deeply inspirational publication by Irish photographic artist Richard Mosse named 'Incoming', deals with this contemporary major humanitarian and political plight, the displacement of millions due to war, persecution and climate change. With illuminating texts by Mosse and the philosopher Giorgio Agamben, the 576-page book, published by the ever-inspirational MACK Books, combines film stills from the artist’s latest video work made in collaboration with electronic composer Ben Frost and cinematographer Trevor Tweeten – a haunting and searing multi-channel film installation, accompanied by a visceral soundtrack. Journeys made by refugees and migrants across the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe are captured with a new weapons-grade surveillance technology that can detect the human body from 30.3km. Blind to skin color, this camera technology registers only the contours of relative heat difference within a given scene, foregrounding the fragile human body’s struggle for survival in hostile environments, resulting in imagery that leaves an everlasting impression on us.
Richard Mosse's 'Incoming' marks a highly inspirational new chapter in the body of work of the photographic artist in which he tackles another extremely relevant thematic in a haunting artistic form that is among the most interesting being produced in this day and age. [ Continue reading ]