Shen Wei, I Miss You Already; SinArts Gallery, The Hague

Shen Wei (1977) had his first solo exhibition at SinArts Gallery already five years ago.

In Villa La Repubblica i wrote a review about it and i think the text of it still stands, even for the present show.

It is in another room of the same building on the ground floor with a glorious view on The Hague’s sunlit Hofvijver (Court Pond) lined with lavishly green chestnut trees, that his pictures are shown now.

The photos are examples from a long running series of self portraits of Shen’s, and water, plants and of course light play a main role in them, which easily brings them into dialogue with the wonderful view from the windows of the gallery. As such the gallery almost becomes part of the whole set up.

One may call them self portraits, but they are and they are not. On the one hand the sitter just happens to be the photographer himself, on the other hand it is an image of the photographer in the world as it changes with age.

While in one picture the model is the main subject, in another he becomes a prop in a scene or a landscape, or you may see him as the symbol of something the picture may represent.

As a whole it has the melancholy of the photograph as a medium of remembrance.

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© Villa Next Door 2022

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Shen Wei and SinArts Gallery, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Boris Lurie & Wolf Vostell, Art After Auschwitz; Kunstmuseum, The Hague

Boris Lurie

I went to the exhibition Art after Auschwitz with works by Boris Lurie (1924-2008) and Wolf Vostell (1932-1998) at Kunstmuseum The Hague, to write a review for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the article in VLR (in Dutch).

Boris Lurie

As i’ve written quite extensively about the exhibition i leave you here with some impressions, and the strong recommendation to experience it all yourself.

Boris Lurie
Boris Lurie
Boris Lurie
Boris Lurie
Wolf Vostell
Boris Lurie
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Boris Lurie
Boris Lurie
Boris Lurie
Boris Lurie
Boris Lurie
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Boris Lurie
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell

Click here to read the article in VLR (in Dutch).

Wolf Vostell

Now that you’ve come here, you might as well subscribe to Villa Next Door (top right of the page)!

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© Villa Next Door 2022

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the owners of the works, the estates of both artists and Kunstmuseum, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Façades of The Hague #147

Governmental office building, Rijnstraat, next to Central Station.

The building contains the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and Infrastructure & Environment, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) and the Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V).

Originally it was designed by the architect Jan Hoogstad (1930-2018) and built in 1992 as the then new and state-of-the-art Ministry of Housing.

The building became almost twice as high as planned and as such it became the base of other high-rise buildings between it and the city centre.

The requirements for the new ministry were almost impossible to meet.

The place being a traffic hub with a lot of noise and environmental pollution because of heavy traffic, it also needed ventilation and windows which could be opened by the civil servants.

Further on bikers and pedestrians had to be able to easily reach the city centre and Central Station.

Last but not least a special provision had to be made for the tramway viaduct from Central Station to the city centre.

The result was a very special building with big conservatories with big green plants.

By 2009 a ministry of housing was thought no longer to be important, as the free market would solve all problems.

The remaining departments for infrastructure and environmental issues remained in the building, while new places had to be created for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the other services.

This caused the whole building to be redesigned by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 2009.

An extra wing was added, and today the whole building looks more like a middle-of-the-road international office building.

The special features are not really significant.

At the time of writing there is quite a heavy housing crisis in the Netherlands and a new Minister of Housing was appointed last year (after eleven years of increasing problems).

It remains to be seen if the new Minister has the guts to make radical and useful decisions.

However, at any rate, this once remarkable postmodern Neo-rationalist building is now lost for that immense job.

© Villa Next Door 2022

All pictures were taken in March 2020.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #146 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #72 – 145: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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