Statements & Bio
I am a traveller escaping reality settings
A true escape artist emanated from the darkness
Longing to discover new roads
Navigated by dimensions not yet seen
It is Between open borders and Isolation
where I become aware of my existence
The In-Between world is my home
Moving and staying
Staying and moving
Reconstructing the reality I find myself in
Locked in dependency
Trying to break out
A new skin for the soul to wear
Through the eyes of others I see myself
Imagining the future
My sight made out of choices
I haven’t been there before
That is where the magic happens.
How can I be human?
Have I sidelined myself as a person through my attempts at self-actualization?
If our human existence is limited to just a functionality within a system of infinite expansion, then I think it is.
In the man-made world of measurability and controllability, there is no place for unpredictable and vulnerable people. It is therefore not surprising that machines and computers are taking our places. What's even more surprising is that we attribute machines to life, when to me they should be life-supporting. Has our species now been abandoned and is there only room for artificial intelligence in the future? Transhumanism also comes into play here. Our body is not good enough and has a limited lifespan so get rid of it! What happens to people's self-confidence as we have known it up to now and can there still be a sense of purpose? The reality we have ended up in today may show different meanings than in the past, but for whom is this a problem? Most of us are now so conditioned within the contemporary (synthetic) reality that we are not even aware of the fact that we are now on a different track when it comes to meaning. Could it be that this unconscious shift of meaning has led us to increasingly struggle with uncertainty and unpredictability because we no longer have a clear picture of who or what we are?
It is frightening for someone of my generation to think about this and yet it is my biggest source of inspiration at the moment. You could even say that it generates a moment of creativity because less certainty opens doors to new worlds. One of those worlds is the world of non-human knowledge. The realization that as human beings we play a role within a larger system of which we cannot see the overview, but we do feel that we have a responsibility, a role or a share within this ecosystem, gives hope and brings perspective. The perspective that we are human and that we must secure our existence to make it to the next day.
As a designer and artist, I investigate how people can reposition themselves as a form of life in a complex system reality where we have to learn to live a decentralized autonomous life. A reconstruction of the reality in which the human being is put back into a human being and the replaced human being is put back into the cosmos. In search of new existential concepts I sometimes find myself outside society in the in-between world. This outer-inner area which is nowhere but at the same time everywhere. I isolate myself and facilitate the opportunity to enter different ways of being. This is the ultimate freedom for me. Perhaps the in-between world is a metaphor for my inner world that I describe as: "Between open borders and Isolation" In short BOB & I. This is also the name of my hybrid multidisciplinary project in which different art forms inspire each other and together create a total world that is gradually unfolded.
My work is characterized by a layered configuration and a tension between figuration and abstraction. Textiles are often used in the compositions that I compile. These consist of, among other things, pulled apart fabrics of jute or cotton (sometimes glowing) with or without painting over it. For this, I have developed my own method, which I call Imprint.
Photography is also an important medium that I incorporate in a work of art in various ways, possibly combined with painting and my Imprint method.
Lawrence Kwakye (1972, Utrecht) painted his first painting when he was thirteen and with it, unknowingly opened the door to his artistic career. The famous writer and illustrator Tomi Ungerer called him an ‘undeniable talent’ at the time and compared him to the main character in Albert Camus’ novel ‘The Stranger’. As the son of a Ghanaian father and Hungarian mother, raised in the Netherlands, he was constantly exposed to surprises and changes in life and as such automatically developed a ‘contrasting’ view of the world, essential for the magical layering in his later work. Nothing is what you think it is.
After secondary school, Lawrence completed his study ‘Man and Leisure time’ at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, where Lidewij Edelkoort was a guiding force. Unmistakable heritage from that time is the functional and conceptual impact of the many paintings he continued to create alongside his job as a designer. Until 2010 when he changed course, established himself as an independent artist and his artistic career gained momentum.
Kwakye’s cultural diversity, his sense of aesthetics, his technical innovative drive and his fascination for transition, or in other words the process of change is clearly reflected in his current work. The result is accessible, the viewer picks it up straight away, but then seduces him into a discussion about what you actually see; it is what it is. Harmony versus disharmony. Kwakye’s visual work keeps on communicating.
BIO by Siert Hoeksema