A simulation of a sword fight between Bima Engels and Lukas van Buuren at Cloud.
“My love for abstract painting is strongly related to my fascination for skies, endless landscapes and astronomy. ”
During my stay at CLOUD, I investigated the meaning of story lines and how they slowly become an abstract story of silence, movement, emotion and war.
I am not a story teller, still my love for theatre, dance, mime and performance played an important part inrealizing this performance. By incorporating these elements in my project, I hope to create a performance which showed some kind of Japanese, abstract fairy- tale.
But the key stone of the performance was not based on a story or a crystal clear concept. No, I just wanted to understand the universal character of story lines, how they move, how they flow, how they suddenly reappear making a statement.
Sword fighting , placing a chair, walking over chairs, standing up and sitting down, making a line on a white surface, standing behind a chair , observing the drawing of a line on the wall etc…
All these key moments are connected with one and other, forming a network of story lines.
The topic of making connections between the different chapters of the performance was one of the things I wanted to experience. Because I am painter who loves painting lines who break or go on , especially the lines who go on in endeavoring new directions. This forms the foundation of the performance I developed in CLOUD.
Also my love for sword fighting reflects, IF, it is used in the right way, something which has nothing to do with killing or breaking your opponent at all. No, in the contrary, a good sword fight is not about hatred or fear, but giving strength and making dark emotions disappear. Making yourself and your opponent stronger and wisher.
It was a personal eye opener , when I realized that the lines I painted so many times , suddenly became alive and were walking outside their framework of paper and paint
A strange, but marvelous experience.
I …. also was confronted with the hard reality of fighting and giving calmness.
It’s too early to say what the impact will be of this experiment . Nevertheless it opened too me a new area of space and line.
The main topic of my work is painting gigantic, endless, abstract worlds which form poetic reflections of an universe.
Already during my Academy time, I instinctively started investigating these directions.By studying modern abstract painting , combined with Classical Japanese landscape painting , I slowly developed a style, which forms now the basis of my work.
I came to the conclusion that an abstract painting should be more than only an expression of an emotion or an abstract impression of reality. It also should contain stories, maps, war zones, ideas, experiences or beautiful areas, which just consist of colours and lines.
The large scale of my paintings emphasizes the grandeur and infinity of the abstract image. But more important, I actually have to work with space, when I am standing in front of a huge canvas , a challenge which gives me every time a kick.
Violence plays a significant role in my paintings , because if you paint an abstract world you eventually will discover that you can’t ignore the disharmonious elements. This means an abstract painting should show a totality , which of course , is not only beautiful but also has shadow sides to it.
The rough philosophy of Heraclitus and Nietzsche from essential guidelines for me to understand this aspect.
Still the real starting point always will be the phrase: My dear universe,
By simply addressing a space with “My dear universe,” I can start painting an abstract world which reflects something of an universe.
This is what I am exploring as an artist.
Photos by Francina Stolk
Bima Engels: www.bimaengels.com