Extraordinary Machine - solo exhibition
Opening: 4th July 3 pm
Date: 4th – 26th July 2020, Wednesday to Sunday, 2 – 6 pm
Location: Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab, Art Space I, 2F
Address: No. 177, Section 1, Jianguo South Road, Da’an District, Taipei
The exhibition Extraordinary Machine, held at Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB), will be the first solo exhibition of Dutch artist Karin Janssen in Taiwan, presenting new and existing work.
Janssen creates surreal worlds where contradiction and vitality coexist amidst her experimental techniques. Her composition emerges in the form of an instinctive flow, moving subtly or intensely across the paper. Wandering between abstract and figurative elements, Janssen's imagination creates complex ecosystems, reflecting the deep sea of consciousness in her drawings and paintings.
Six years ago, Janssen moved from London to Shanghai, relocating to Taiwan in 2018. The natural environment, cultural scene, and traditional temple designs of the island have since influenced the style of her painting. Her characteristic line drawings have developed into rich, intricate compositions saturated with metaphors, details and colors.
During her time in Asia, Janssen has repeatedly borrowed visual elements from the ocean. The tropical rainforest and its vibrant symbiotic relationships have also inspired her work. The ocean is her new medium to inquire about the human experience. As life started in chaotic waters, the ocean represents an organic entity full of wild energy and infinite possibilities. In the symbolic dimension, this imagery of the ocean mirrors the strength and struggle that women are born with.
Additionally, the ocean represents the artist’s deep reflection of the world and self during her time on the island. In the shadow of global warming, our encounters with nature confront us with a very strong sense of deracination. As we crave closeness with nature, hoping to recover some kind of lost balance, we are often left with mere imagination and a constant struggle in attempts to fill the void.
Inside nature, a remote yet safe feeling emerges within us. Standing in front of Janssen’s bizarre world, we briefly align with all sorts of mysterious life forms, taking hints from the unknown, and immerse ourselves as part of it.
By depicting the transformation of organic forms, the seemingly displaced and contradictory entities are ingeniously merged together in her works. For Janssen, the process of painting reflects how she constantly deconstructs and reassembles herself between multiple cultures and identities. Under the vibrant and solid surface of her paintings, Janssen investigates the connections between body, psyche, and nature, presenting the conflicts and dimensions of the subconsciousness in an uncritical visual language.
Besides painting, Janssen used to run her own gallery Karin Janssen Project Space in London working as an independent curator. She has also travelled widely, during which time she was invited to complete a residency in Brazil, she organized art projects for local children in Peru and Ecuador and worked with an indigenous community in Paraguay. In the Netherlands she co-founded an NGO to help the integration of immigrant women through art. In the past twenty years, Janssen’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the Netherlands, UK, China, and Brazil. She has been the choice of collectors in the architecture and interior design industry, who, because of the scale of some of Janssen’s work, used it as a part of their architectural design, and her work is held in numerous private collections across Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Janssen never expressed her personal endorsement for an art movement or current social issue in particular. Instead, Janssen has chosen to maintain a creative attitude completely loyal to her own experience. Throughout the years traveling in foreign lands, Janssen's own state of mind has remained as her source of creativity. Today, she has found in the Taiwanese landscape a new medium, and more expressions for interpreting life.
Extraordinary Machine will be shown at Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB) from 4 until 26 July.
「 超凡的機器 Extraordinary Machine 」畫作個展
開幕茶會｜7/4 2020 下午 3 點
展覽日期｜7/4 ~ 7/26 2020 週三到週日 2-6pm
來自荷蘭的藝術家 Karin Janssen 擅長以實驗性的技法，架構出矛盾與生命力共存的超現實圖景。構圖從本能出發，或柔軟、或強烈地依循直覺，遊走在抽象與具象的元素之間，建構出意識汪洋中的一種複雜生態。
六年前，Janssen 從倫敦移居上海，後於 2018 年落腳台灣。海島上的自然生態、人文景觀，甚至傳統寺廟的彩繪設計，都影響了她的畫風。從原本各個角度的人體速寫，風格強烈的線條及色塊，轉變為充滿象徵性、細節與色彩飽滿的豐富構圖。
在自然中，我們可以感到陌生而安全。面對 Janssen 離奇的異世界，我們短暫地讓自己與各種怪誕的生命體為伍，接受各種暗示，沉浸為其中的一份子。
藉著描繪有機形體的變化，她將看似錯置、彼此抗衡的物體巧妙地融合為一。對 Janssen 而言，繪畫的過程，就是在文化衝擊與身份轉換中不斷解構、重組自身的過程。鮮明而立體的表象之下，探討著身體、心理和自然之間的關係。將潛意識的矛盾和不同面向，轉化為一種不帶批判的視覺語言。對於創作，她不曾為任何流派或議題背書，保持著完全忠於自身經驗的創作態度。
Janssen 不只是藝術家，也是策展人。在倫敦，她曾擁有自己的畫廊，以藝術家的身份從事獨立策展。也到南美駐村，為當地的孩童開辦藝術工作坊，進入原住民部落工作。近二十年來，Janssen 的作品展於荷蘭、英國、中國和巴西等世界各國的畫廊、藝術博覽會與博物館，也有建築和室內設計界的藏家，將她的畫作呈現為空間設計的一部份。
長年在異國流轉的心境，成為了 Janssen 獨特的創作養分。而台灣的風景，也讓她找到新的媒材，與對生命的更多解讀。