Mind Over Matter
Duo exhibition of Suzan Drummen & Pascal van der Graaf
"Shen Ning" is derived from "Zhuangzi·Xiaoyaoyou", which says that on Gushe Mountain, "the skin is like ice and snow, and the body is like a virgin. It does not eat grains, but breathes wind and drinks dew. It rides on the clouds, rides on flying dragons, and swims beyond the four seas." The divine being, "whose divine concentration makes things unblemished and ripe."

The works on display this time all involve the concept of "sacred geometry". "Sacred geometry" is a concept that combines geometry, religion or mysticism, believing that certain geometric shapes have special sacred or spiritual meanings, including circles, squares, triangles, pentagons, hexagons, etc. Sacred geometry is considered to reflect the order and structure of the universe and is widely used in architecture, religious rituals, art and spiritual practices. It is a medium that leads to the sacred or spiritual realm and is used to explore the mysteries and inner meaning of the universe.

Suzan Drummen (1963) grew up in a devout Catholic family. Her father was also a visual artist who produced many religious images for churches. There are always beautiful stained glass windows with bright colors in the church, which left a deep impression on the young Drummen and even inspired her later artistic creation.

Although Drummen never considered her works to be religious art, they do have a deeper spiritual meaning beyond their beauty. Since ancient times, many cultures have invariably made patterns and organized colors in various ways. Just like a child arranging a team of colored pencils in the order of the rainbow, Drummen sometimes consciously makes something that makes no sense, only to later discover that it actually connects with the greatest thing of all - even though she sometimes couldn't understand it herself, she became increasingly convinced that there was a deeper meaning - life itself.

Susan Drummen creates large-scale installations with shiny materials. They are carefully placed on the floor with precision. After an exhibition, the installation is usually dismantled and a completely new work constructed elsewhere, so that all that remains are the documents. Therefore, she always takes a lot of photos, which are very photogenic. However, Drummen was sometimes frustrated that the photographs never fully captured the work's true appearance. These installations are dazzling, and photographs can only show one dimension. To enhance the photos, she digitally manipulated some of them, placing part of the photo eight times in a circle in a kaleidoscopic manner, then adding stained glass and lenses to the kaleidoscopic images for an added touch. The glass and lenses interact with the light, shimmering as the viewing angle changes, sparkling like the original installation, beautiful even in the dark, and the gleaming stones appearing brilliant as the morning light turns brighter.

Drummen has a diverse art education background and studied at well-known universities such as Rijksacademie van Beeldende kunsten and Kunstacademie Maastricht in Amsterdam. Her works have been exhibited in important exhibitions around the world, including the Rotterdam Art Fair, Chengdu Biennale, Japan Mori Art Museum, etc. She has also participated in many public art commissions and designed commemorative coins, medals, museum merchandise, and more. In addition to her creative work, Drummen is a passionate educator and promoter of the arts and has served as a lecturer at several art colleges and institutions. She is actively involved in various artistic activities and community work, and has served as a member of several art committees, including the Royal Art Award and BKVB. Her work is in the collections of many important institutions, including the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Bonnyfontein Museum in Maastricht, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Central Museum in Utrecht, Europe The Brussels Office of the Parliament and more other institutions.

Pascal van der Graaf (1979) has been practicing origami since he was four years old. This was the starting point for his creation of deformed canvases. Basing on sacred geometry, "tessellation" is a popular theme in origami, which is why he created this series.

Folded tessellation patterns are made on rectangular, circular and pentagonal frames. The surface of the rectangular painting is divided into 12 units, each of which is folded in a cross, the basic shape in origami. The paintings of circles and pentagons begin with lines based on sacred geometry, forming patterns that van der Graaf uses to fold the canvas. None of these works has a completely symmetrical pattern, as the folds are not exactly the same; moreover, the canvas has its own personality. Van der Graaf playfully directs the folds of the canvas until an emotional harmony is achieved.

In this series of works, van der Graaf named the rectangular painting "Incense Pouches", which comes from the song "Incense Pouches" by the late Taiwanese singer Yan Yongneng. The lyrics combine Taiwanese traditional temple culture and historical sentiments, with a strong "Taiwanese flavor". van der Graaf shows his tribute to Taiwanese culture after settling in Taiwan for 8 years.

「神凝」,典出《莊子・逍遙遊》,說姑射山上「肌膚若冰雪,淖約若處子,不食五穀,吸風飲露。乘雲氣,御飛龍,而遊乎四海之外」的神人,「其神凝,使物不疵癘而年穀熟。」

這次展出的作品,都涉及「神聖幾何」的概念。「神聖幾何」是一個結合幾何學、宗教或神祕主義的概念,認為某些幾何形狀具有特殊的神聖或靈性意義,包括圓形、正方形、三角形、五邊形、六邊形等。神聖幾何被視為反映了宇宙的秩序和結構,廣泛應用於建築、宗教儀式、藝術和靈性實踐中,是一種通向神聖或靈性境界的媒介,用來探索宇宙的奧秘和內在的意義。

蘇珊・德魯門(Suzan Drummen,1963)成長在一個虔誠的天主教家庭中,父親也是一位視覺藝術家,為教堂製作許多宗教圖像。教堂裡總是有美麗的彩色玻璃窗,顏色鮮豔,這給小德魯門留下了深刻的印象,乃至啟發了她後來的藝術創作之路。

儘管德魯門從不認為她的作品屬於宗教藝術,但它們確實在表象的美麗之外,賦有更深層的精神意涵。自古以來,許多文化不約而同地以各種方式製作圖案、組織色彩,就像孩子以彩虹的順序排列色鉛筆隊伍,德魯門有時也會有意識地做一些沒有意義的東西,後來才發現它實際上與最偉大的事物相關——儘管有時她自己也無法理解,但她越來越相信其中存在更深的意義——生命本身。

德魯門的作品中讓我們聯想起藏傳佛教中的曼陀羅藝術(梵語Mandala,壇城),藉由重複、反射、縮放等視覺效果,營造出迷人而複雜的氛圍。製作大型裝置有時看起來像是一種儀式;關鍵是,這是一個艱苦的過程,需要一遍又一遍彎腰到地板上放置彩色玻璃或鏡片,簡直像是極限運動。當作品完成時,觀眾常常變得沈默,房間裡充滿肅穆沈思的氛圍,人們從現實中抽離,轉向其他無法立即解釋的東西。

蘇珊・德魯門使用閃亮的材料創作大型裝置。它們被小心翼翼地精確放置在地板上。展覽結束後,裝置通常會被拆除,在其他地方建造另一個全新的作品,因而最後僅存的就是文件。因此,她總是拍很多照片,這些作品非常上鏡。然而,德魯門有時也會感到沮喪,因為這些照片從未完全捕捉到作品真實的樣貌。這些裝置令人眼花撩亂,而照片只能呈現一個維度。為了強化這些照片,她對其中一些進行數位處理,以萬花筒的方式將照片的一部分放在一個圓圈內八次,然後在這些萬花筒般的照片中添加閃亮的彩色玻璃與鏡片,以增加觸感。玻璃和鏡片與光線間產生了互動,隨著觀看角度變化而閃爍,就像原來的裝置一樣閃閃發亮,即使在黑暗中也很美麗,隨著晨曦逐漸轉亮,閃閃發光的石頭也顯得燦爛奪目。

德魯門的藝術教育背景豐富,曾就讀於阿姆斯特丹的Rijksacademie van Beeldende kunsten和Kunstacademie Maastricht等知名學府;她的作品曾在世界各地的重要展覽中展出,包括鹿特丹藝博會、成都雙年展、日本森美術館等。她也參與了眾多公共藝術委託項目,設計了紀念幣、勳章、博物館商品等。除了創作,德魯門還是一位熱情的教育者和藝術推廣者,曾在多所藝術學院和機構擔任講師。她積極參與各種藝術活動和社群工作,並擔任過多個藝術委員會的成員,包括荷蘭皇家藝術獎與荷蘭國家藝術基金會。她的作品受到許多重要機構的收藏,包括羅特丹博伊曼斯·范·勃寧根博物館、馬斯特里赫特邦尼方登博物館、阿姆斯特丹市******物館、烏特勒支中央博物館、歐洲議會布魯塞爾辦事處等十餘個機構。

帕斯卡·凡德葛瑞夫 (Pascal van der Graaf,1979)從四歲就開始練習摺紙,這是他創作變形畫布的起點;基於神聖幾何的「鑲嵌」是摺紙中的熱門主題,也是他創作本系列作品的基礎。

折疊的鑲嵌圖案是在矩形、圓形和五邊形的畫框上製成的。矩形畫作的表面分為12個單元,每個單元以十字交叉折疊,這些十字是摺紙中的基本形狀。圓形和五邊形的畫作從基於神聖幾何的線條開始,形成了凡德葛瑞夫用來折疊畫布的圖案。這些作品中,沒有一幅具有完全對稱的圖案,因為褶皺並不完全相同;此外,畫布也有它自己的個性。凡德葛瑞夫有趣地指揮畫布的褶皺,直至達到情感上的和諧統一。

在這系列作品中,凡德葛瑞夫將矩形這幅畫命名為「香火袋」,來自已故臺灣歌手嚴詠能的歌曲《香火袋》,歌詞中融合了臺灣傳統廟會文化與歷史人情,濃濃的「臺灣味」,也是凡德葛瑞夫定居臺灣八年後,對臺灣文化的致意。

神凝
蘇珊・德魯門、帕斯卡・凡德葛瑞夫雙人展