I have published catalogs for the project at the Vijfde Seizoen together with Erika Blikman. Title: BINNENSTEBUITEN INSIDE OUT (20 pages)
Foreword by Kyoko Inatome and Erika Blikman
Our friendship and collaboration grew out of similarities between us. Most people think we are Chinese, particularly in the Netherlands. People here often say ‘Ni Hao‘ or sometimes silly things such as ‘Kung Fu’ to us. Some even think we are sisters. But we are from different countries, have different backgrounds, speak different languages and eat different foods.
We are, however, both artists. As expatriates we’re constantly reminded of our fundamental differences. Our art seeks to fill the void opened by leaving our homeland. Erika does so through photography and Kyoko with inflatable objects. When we moved into ‘Het Vijfde Seizoen’ at the Willem Arntsz Hoeve psychiatric institution in August 2007 ‘Home’ became our work theme.
As we became acquainted with the patients we recognized their loneliness. Foreign patients often long to return to their homelands. Patients from the region often have no contact with family or ‘home’ can be a stress-filled. It seemed a reasonable idea that they could fill some of their emptiness with art. We chose thus to provide patients an opportunity to express their own ‘self’.
A secondary goal was to learn whether the viewers of the resulting art and photographs would distinguish between patients and workers. Thus we also included not only patients but also staff and visitors in the activities.
Our project is called BINNENSTEBUITEN(INSIDE OUT) and consisted of two sets of workshops. We began with brainstorming in ‘circle workshops’ in which the participants expressed their individuality in a collage. The participants made their collages with various mediums including pen drawing, pastel and cutouts from printed materials. In the following ‘balloon workshops’ each participant created their own personal art piece on a 130cm white balloon. Sitting inside such a balloon brings many associations: house, womb, shelter, globe… Erika photographed both the participants at work and in portrait form, and the entire creative process as well.
Our methods were adapted as necessary for the many specific needs of the patients. Examples include careful stimulation to help participants express themselves and performing the drawing and/or writing for those with physical disabilities. Most participants needed no help so we simply kept quiet and let them work.
As a result, a broad variety of works were born at Willem Arntsz Hoeve. The balloons are displayed inside-out, providing us a view of each artist’s inner home. Simultaneously we see each individual’s outer side in the photo portraits.
Here you can see some contents of the catalog.