Bouke De Vries – A Dutch artist who with his creativity recreates broken pottery into beautiful sculptures to honor “The beauty of destruction“.
He was born in Utrecht, the Netherlands and attended the Eindhoven Design Institute, and Central Saint’s College of the Arts – LonDon Martins. He also worked in the couture industry before moving on to preserve and restore ceramics. With more human recovery and recycling skills, this artist has regenerated damaged ceramic products, as well as blowing a new breeze for these new pieces.
The works of Bouke De Vries Currently on display at two exhibitions, at a modern house in London. In this article, we listen to the artist’s interesting sharing in this unique creation process.
What moved you from restoring ceramics to an artistic activity that celebrates “the beauty of destruction”?
Bouke De Vries: Although I went to art college as a teenager, I did not develop my own artistic practice until the late twenties as a ceramic restorer. I used to feel that my artistic creation was not really promoted. Gradually, I decided to search for materials and techniques and find the art form for me. I have looked at questions of perfection versus imperfection, the beauty of destruction and the place of ceramics in world history, how something like blue and white porcelain became. part of a global cultural and commercial story.
How do you start a new work? With broken pieces of pottery or finding a ceramic object you like and smashing it into pieces to create something new?
Bouke De Vries: The material is usually broken pottery – things that are damaged and are often discarded or devalued because of damage. But for me, even a little insignificant can bring the power of creativity. When I start a work, the damaged object itself suggests what to do with it. Once I got an idea, I started to work.
What is your criteria for choosing broken pottery pieces? Or do you use whatever fragments you can find?
Bouke De Vries: My main criterion is that the original material must be of good quality. Of course this is a subjective opinion, but I want a work of certain aesthetic with suitable objects. Most of the pottery I use comes from China; Excellent quality in addition to that they are the largest ceramic producers throughout history.
In some works, he uses gold lacquer to highlight repaired cracks. What motivated you to take an interest in the Kintsugi technique?
Bouke De Vries: The philosophy behind Kintsugi (The art of using pure gold to heal broken pottery) well suited to one of my starting points. I believe that something damaged can still be beautiful. For Kintsugi, corruption is considered a historical part of a work: instead of hiding it, kintsugi is honored as an integral part. I try to show it in my own way.
Recently, he designs products for the new Sotheby exhibition space with the Sassoon adrian collection. What is your vision and process behind these large-scale works?
Bouke De Vries: I want to create something dramatic, something bold and unexpected. I pile up broken pottery fragments (which are of course the basic raw material for my sculptures) to honor the ancient structures as well as the art of pottery.
Editor: Thao Lee
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