art works > porcelain > this is my land i


made in China (2009)          porcelain, 32 x 21 x 1300 cm          collection: Adriaan Rees

This is my land I at the exhibition 'Zoekende Reiziger' (2011) at the Stedelijk Museum Kampen - Kampen, The Netherlands

Sya van 't Vlie

art historian, 2009

A combination of Chinese and Dutch scenes in the same work we find on a ceramic sculpture group specially made for the show 'Screaming in a bucket and other stories' in C-Space, Beijing, China. This is my land I is a mountain landscape consisting of 39 interchangeable pieces, so that it is possible to (re)arrange them as one likes, which turns it into an interactive game. However, the sequence is more or less fixed, because the landscape follows the four seasons, beginning with the winter, followed by spring, summer and autumn, to end again with winter.


Rees sculpted this landscape; together with Hu Xin Ren he painted it, with the wet and the dry side usual of mountains. As a specialist in applying over glaze Hu usually paints on flat surfaces such as vases and tiles. Working with Rees he has to deal with the irregular surfaces of sculptures, of which not only the form but also the content is unfamiliar to him. Lucky for him each piece of mountain landscape has two flat surfaces on the sides. On these Rees had him paint typical Dutch landscapes ‘also following the four seasons’ after existing photographs from books Rees brought from Holland: frozen rivers with small scoters, bulb growing fields, grasslands with daisies, river landscapes and snow covered polders. Unfamiliar with the flatness of the Dutch landscape Hu took the vague outlines of a faraway farm in a misty landscape for a mountain. ‘A brilliant error’, says Rees. Similar to the errors we sometimes see on ‘chine-decommande’ pieces. These typical Dutch scenes for Dutchmen have a remarkable un-Dutch, Chinese, atmosphere.


One wonders whether the Chinese mountain landscape due to Rees’s sculpting of the mountains, for Chinese visitors, has an un-Chinese atmosphere? Thus This is my land has obtained a cross-border layer endless. Besides the border between art an craft also that between east and west and that between sculpture and painting have been crossed. Furthermore the relationship between form and representation had become more complex.


Exhibition 'Screaming in a bucket and other stories' at C-Space - Beijing, China



Exhibition 'Zoekende Reiziger' at the Stedelijk Museum Kampen - Kampen, The Netherlands



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