What the rock?!?
On a visit to a museum
I enjoy exploring museum collections. On one particular visit to a museum I came across a collection of rock fragments obtained from the RDC (Republique Democratique du Congo). I was fascinated by their multitude of textures and colours.
As I zoomed in with my camera, my imagination ran wild – I saw miniature landscapes appear on my screen, sometimes sharp, sometimes soft, mysterious and beautiful. Asteroïds shooting through the sky, a colourful mountain range – by enlarging the details, the eye provokes the mind to fantasise, and reveals the sophistication and richness of nature.
Experimenting with Indigo dye
I have been fascinated by the colour blue ever since I was a kid. As a boy, when choosing a colour to paint my room, there was no doubt in my mind that it had to be blue. The colour blue symbolises serenity, stability, inspiration, wisdom, reliability and health. Could these be the reasons for my attraction?
Indigo, used for denim, is my favourite blue. Traditional indigo dyeing techniques are still used today in Africa and Japan to create stunning fabrics and garments.
Having never used indigo dye before, I was curious to have a go.
I'm not fond of paper napkins. At home, I always use fabric ones. After one of my dinner parties, I got a request from a friend to make him some. Since plain whites felt too ordinary, I decided to use the opportunity to try out some Indigo binding and dying techniques. Having recently taken some photographs of dead trees on a stroll through woods, I was inspired to create the pattern you see in the pictures.
The process went reasonably smoothly. You have to work carefully to avoid spilling dye on the parts you wish to remain white. I was pretty happy with my first results and will continue trying out new patterns and dyeing techniques in the future.
Behind the product(ion)
Seen and unseen - clothing production in Asia
For more than 15 years, I have been travelling on behalf of different customers to Asia to develop and produce collections for the mass markets in Europe. I have always loved encounters between developers and producers. A design can be clear in your mind, but you still need the input of the actual producers to arrive at a perfect product, this being the goal of my trips.
Besides my regular work, focused on product development, mostly taking place in boring offices, I always found time to visit the work floors of the factories. The scale, the light and the people made a significant impact on me. Mass production is so impressive, yet it made me realise that we need to develop a different way of consuming. My pictures show the reality of the factory. They are confronting and emotional, sometimes funny and light-hearted. I hope they will foster awareness and open up discussions.
I took these photographs in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh and Turkey.
Once upon a tail
Celebrating light and togetherness
It is quite a stretch to combine a bauble and a fishtail, but in the end, it is precisely what I did. The story goes as follows: Brussels just before Christmas. Friends purchase a Christmas tree for the first time since living together.
Having no idea of how to decorate the tree, they went back to thinking about why we celebrate Christmas and Hanuka. They are feasts of light and togetherness, ending a long period of cold and darkness. So in celebrating this light and togetherness, they invited all of their friends to a Christmas/Hanuka get-together.
We were all asked to bring a decoration for the tree, so every time they would look at the tree, it would be lit and decorated with tokens from their friends, and they would feel the true meaning of the celebrations.
I was inspired by a mythical figure from the sea, half-man/half-fish, thinking about the little mermaid story (the real one, not the Disney version!). The mermaid exchanges her voice to be with her beloved. Love conquers the wicked spell, and they live happily ever after (btw, my friends both are singers, so it felt appropriate). With little scraps of fabric always available in the house, I made the first mini-doll in my life and had a lot of fun doing so. The merman was soon to be hanging on the top of their eclectic but ever so beautiful tree.