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?
Did I put myself out of the game as a person through my attempts of Self-actualization?
If our human existence is limited to just a functionality within a system of infinite expansion, then I think this is the case.
In the man-made world of measurability and controllability, there is no place for the unpredictable and vulnerable human being. It is therefore not surprising that machines and computers take our places. What is even more surprising is that we attribute machines to life while they should be life supportive to me. Has our species been abandoned and will there only be room for artificial intelligence in the future? Transhumanism also comes into play here. Our body is not good enough and has a limited life span so away with it! What happens now to the self-confidence of humanity and what can be believed now that there is an increasing awareness of the fact that life makes no sense? How do we relate to nature that we ourselves are part of? What is actually our position within nature in the age of the Anthropocene? Is a humble position based on non-human knowledge possible?
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