An art project 30 years in the making

World Communication

The project World Communication started in 1991 as an art project while studying at the Rotterdam School of Arts (now called the Willem de Kooning Academy). The idea behind project is compromised in the statement: “With a better world wide communication we can stride towards an awareness of the world we live in and the different cultures we live with!” . This later resulted in the use of six word combinations: “Hear&Listen”, “Touch&Feel”, “Look&See”, “Taste&Savour”, “Smell&Scent”, “Learn&Know”.

One of the first installations were “looking tubes” where the viewer had a look into six different cities; Rotterdam, Tokyo, Sidney, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro and New-York. The theme of virtual travel and communication was present in all the works I created while at the academy. Media used back then were graphics, printed fabrics, photo, advertisement, posters etc. The works were run as an art company promoting the idea of global communication.

Label that was attached to the “6 Cities” T-Shirts

My graduation piece was a trade show style booth promoting both the art company, the idea behind it and some of the products that had been created with the theme of global communication and virtual travel. One of the works there was a photo series. Photos taken by another, befriended artist that took pictures for me in Tokyo. The assignment was to shoot 4 rolls of negative film of a certain location of his choice. (this is way before the age of digital photography). I digitised the material, processed these pictures and created a comic book style travel log of the visit to the Shibuya Station. One of the main transit hubs in the city of Tokyo. My idea behind these pages was that if one is reading the story you, temporarily, are in that story, in that location.

Through image manipulation, processing and picture out takes I created a story. A virtual journey to a square in Tokyo.

Of this picture project only the first few pages were created and printed for the final graduation exhibition. That was in 1994. As life goes, after the academy I did not create art until may 2019 where, while visiting a number of galleries during the Kiev Art Week and Art show, I decided it was time to finish the Tokyo series. The original pictures on PhotoCD were taken and partially processed in 1994, the remainder of the material has been processed in the last six months of 2019. The story that initially was meant as a journey in place has now become a journey in time as well. I have discovered that many of the features that are present in the pictures from 25 years ago are still present today. Some modernised some original. Some disappeared and some replaced by newer versions.