Klimt02 Nowadays, we are in a globalised world. It’s not always as easy to define anything according to the country. However, culture and history will always be rooted in blood and tradition. With this in mind do you see a difference between the works from European artists and Asian artists? What’s the most notable aspects for you in the work from Asian artists?
R.P. If you ask an American and a Chinese what he or she sees in an aquarium than the American will say that he sees 10 fish in a orange color. The Chinese will say “Oooh they move from left to right!”, “Oooh ! what a beautiful shades!” and “Oooh ! The color goes from light to dark!”. We are straight forward and the Chines are holistic, they see the world, the nature in a piece. For me personally I do not believe in globalization, the place you are born is essential for the work you make. The way of thinking, smelling and feeling is embedded in your origin. For instants I try to point out to every student his or her origin and I support that they make work related to their child experience.
For me European artists have a kind of rational thought that comes from a Christian upbringing. The oriental artists have been brought up with buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism. They worship their ancestors by means of burning rituals. This kind of thought is reflected in their language and work.
Klimt02 You have been working in the jewellery field with different people for many years. What has been the main challenge for you in the collaboration with a Chinese university? What’s the biggest difference comparing with other collaboration you have made before?
R.P. If you make a proposal to a Chinese and he does not agree, you will not receive an answer. No, does not exist in their culture and losing face is the most painful thing you can do to someone in China. If you master this habit, you can communicate in a very deconstructive way, and students understand what you are talking about. But please do not attack a student with a blunt ax. The biggest difference between Western and Chinese organizations is that with the Chinese organization everything is hidden and with the Western organization everything is clear.
Klimt02 What came to your mind and what were you thinking when you were making the pieces? Have any of your previous works influenced the outcome of the piece that you created for 21 grams?
We all die, but we don't know when. Our lifespan is uncertain, but it also provides an intriguing tension. We can not imagine dying. Will we lose our soul in the process of dying?
R.P. Life and death is always one of the important aspects in my work, I am a romantic artist. The moment that a transition takes place from here to there, from life to death, is a painful thing. That very “last breath” is where everything stops, From warmth to cold, from life to death, this I wanted to capture in my 21 gram piece of jewelery. The piece that I made for te 21 gram exhibition has become a starting point for a new series of work called “SUCTUS”.
Klimt02 The soul is an elusive form or a spiritual matter, how do you think the jewellers responded to having to put a physical form to this concept?
R.P. An old friend of mine, she is 84 years old, warned me that not many artists would be able to make a work that capture the essence of the 21 gram theme. I am amazed at how the young generation of jewelry makers empathize with this theme and I feel that every time needs a transition to survive.
At this moment I receive photos and concepts from artists all over the world. It is great to see how diverse artists give the mind of the soul its own interpretation aswel in form as in material. I am amazed how different generations shape this transitional subject.
Klimt02 The soul is such a personal subject with many different viewpoints on it often depending on religion, upbringing ect, did you see any patterns in the outcomes from artists? Do you feel like there was a main focal point?
R.P. Contemporary art jewellery has to have a personal subject. When it is not personal, it loses there soul. For me a jewel has everything to do with religion upbringing, society and the personal situation of an artist, and for sure it shows the different between the east and western artists.
Klimt02 Did you learn anything that has particularly stuck out to you?
R.P. It is not charming to say but I have trouble with the form language of the Chinese works. How come? Because they have a totally different aesthetic, a different view of life wich is related to a visual language. I invest a lot in the understanding of chinese jewellery.
Slowly I learn to appreciate their way of thinking, but I remain a dutch cheese head.
Klimt02 What information are you trying to put into this travelling exhibition, what are you bringing to the worldwide audience? Do you have preconceived ideas on what people's attitudes should be? Or what you would like them to be?
R.P. Our current society has created an incredible volatility with the internet and social media. Grounding and related with the cosmos amd the earth is something that’s losing content. We are no longer involved in an other person, we no longer smell, lick or feel the person sitting in front of us, and we certainly will not see someone’s soul. I see love couples having dinner with their mobiles in the hand and communicate with these mobiles to each other I hope that this exhibition can touch a deeper layer of our existence and make it more tangible again.
Klimt02 If you could meet one person who’s no longer alive, who would it be? What would you ask her/him?
R.P. I would like to ask the already past away French writer Marguerite Yourcenar how it’s possible for a woman to step in the guise of the homosexual male Alexis , who write his wife about his sexual preferences.
And I would like to ask the still living writer Hanya Yanagihara who has just publiced ‘a little life’ how she can move as a woman in the body of the gay Jude. Both artists show an unimaginable empathy and understanding of what life and death is.
Klimt02 Contemporary art jewellery
R.P. For me Contemporary Art jewellery is “life” it has everthing in it. Its male /female, Its history and pain, its religion, suffering, emotions, love, erotism, sex. Everything what is live has to do with jewellery, or everthing of life find a way of expression in Jewellery. I love it, I hate it. Like I love and hate my life.