"The first time I went to the Netherlands from Korea has been a while ago. I was on my way to another life, a Western life with an unknown future ahead.
The sleeves had to be rolled up. I was only allowed to touch my homework and the desk I was sitting at. I wasn’t allowed to touch my hair, face or other ‘clean’ stuff. There were also times when I did my homework downstairs. The rules were just as strict. The table top consisted of 12 tiles in length and 8 tiles in width. My homework had to stay within 6 by 4 tiles."
During his work period at the Van Gogh House Aram Tanis continued with Going Back to Where I Used to Stand, a project he started working on at Stichting IK, which deals with this given that memories change colour and shape over a period of time. He remembers the allotment garden of his grandpa and connects these thoughts with images from Asia, including his recent visits to Japanese traditional gardens.
In one of the works he combines a real, conserved and painted fungus with a self-made one. You don't see the difference. It's also unclear if the pieces of fruit placed next to it are real or not. The light blue base has something of a pillow. You can associate it with a dream or thought. But it is 'damaged': at some places the - white - inside is visible.
Tanis shows us more intriguing sculptures. A hand-made round green object with a chasen, coloured with ink, sticking out of it. A chasen is used during traditional tea ceremonies in Korea and Japan. A pedestal with two twigs of coral, mirrored in a square brass plate, is a subtle monument to the beauty of nature. In the space there is also a stack of brick like objects, reminiscent of the colour of air and sea. Each "stone" is in principle a memory, but there is also space left between them.
The ranking of Tanis' meticulous stacked and placed objects, and especially his sharp way of looking provides beautiful still lifes.
Going Back to Where I Used to Stand has been exhibited at Van Gogh Gallery (Zundert / NL), Stichting IK (Oost-Souburg / NL), Van Gogh House (Zundert / NL), MoMart (Amsterdam / NL) and AFK (Amsterdam / NL).
Clay, Fungus, Paint, Pigments, Plaster
Brass, Coral, Plaster ( Pieter and Marieke Sanders Collection )
Bamboo, Ink, Pigments, Plaster
Plaster ( Van Gogh House Collection )