BA XIAN - HUN, 2012

Peters succeeded in building a bridge between East and West is an extension of this way of working. He had Chinese handcraftsmen execute his work under his supervision. In itself, this is far from unusual. It is just that where most clients frenetically attempt to retain control, Peters sought the point at which he risked losing control.

He went the farthest in this in the three series of works in which his drawing method has been given its most direct repercussions, the brooches, pendants and steles. Blind drawings from his travel diary appear on the brooches and the pendants. In the series entitled Hun, which means 'soul', these drawings were transferred onto bluetone in a workshop by craftsmen. New blind drawings were made on photos of these brooches; after their arrival in Amsterdam these drawings were translated into lines in silver on the bluestone brooches. For the brooches of the Shen ('spirit') series, using a laser the blind drawings were cut into agate in China, and in Amsterdam silver lines were then added on the back – lines which are visible through the transparent agate.

In the case of the steles – Ba xian (immortal 'saints' from Taoist tradition) – the original drawings were transferred 1 : 1. The artist could only direct any of the steps at which he was not present in person by means of e-mails and photos. This manner of deliberately letting go of his control over the artistic process (at least partially) allows the works to liberate themselves from individual experience, attaining universal expressiveness.


Fredric Baas