At Art Space CasualLocations in Xiamen Bart Drost presented in May 2011 2 art projects:
Reflection 1: about love
The leading sense in China seems to be ?Everything is possible?. It is amazing to see what is going on in this society. A great feeling of optimism and a never-ending range of possibilities to growth. But in a way it is again a matter of copying that?s going on. Bart Drosts contribution to the development of contemporary China is it to copy one of the best hidden secrets of The Netherlands: the birthday-calendar. The images on the calendar are a tribute to Holland?s most famous export product: since 2001 it is the first country in the world that aloud gay and lesbian couples to get married. For the China market he changed the Dutch couple of kissing farmers into couples of kissing Chinese brooms. Therefor he gathered traditional (ceramic as well as plastic) wedding couples, he separated bride and broom and combined again two brooms together.
Reflection 2: about Chinese art education
As a visual artist from Europe Bart Drost has a certain kind of western art-language: art for him is to express his inner life, whatever there is going on. With his art he tries to give images to his feelings and visions about what?s happening in and around himself, about the world and him. By showing these images at the public Bart Drost communicates on a level where words fail. Being these weeks in Xiamen as a guest teacher at the Art Department of the TTK-university he has to realize that making oneselfs personal life common is all but usual. They are different ?the Chinese and the Dutch artist- in expressing their feelings. That?s not only in art, but also in the behaviour in everyday life. It is amazing how extremely good some Chinese students can copy the works of old Dutch masters, how they work virtuous with brush, paint and pencil. But however, it hurts to see how difficult it is for them to make a ?new work?, out of their own, without an example they could copy. Most of the time it is their art-education that seems to be the reason of being unsure about their own possibilities: as if they not to have learned to speak and to develop an visual language of their own.
The birthday calendar
Fellow artist Zhixing Jia was commissioned by Bart Drost to make a Chinese version of the Dutch phenomenon 'the birthday calendar', featuring images of gay bridal couples: the happy birthday calendar