THE CONCEPT OF MA

There’s a need for Ma in every aspect of our lives

In the past months of the Covid-19 pandemic, every human being had to redefine the space in which they lived, worked and interacted. Giving much of us the feeling of being separated as well as being closed off. In the West, we look at space as creating boundaries, as lines defining edges or borders. What would happen if we could embrace Ma; the Japanese concept of viewing space as a pause in time, as an interval or emptiness? Isn’t it also the silence between the notes that make the music…

In 2019, after my residency at Benrido’s Collotype Atelier in Kyoto, I spend another 10 days in Hokkaido around Lake Kussharo, the home grounds for the Ainu people (the indigenous tribe of Japan). The beauty of nature, as well as the tranquillity and space of the landscape, completely overwhelmed me. This had to be 'Ma', the pause in time.

One can only be inspired by the power of the concept of Ma. It is the nothingness in these landscapes that enables Ma to speak to you. To wander away from the direct visual impression and to fill the emptiness with your own thoughts and ideas.

In this series my images strive to bring openness to the feeling of being closed off, to illustrate that space entails a promise of growth, of happiness, of energy in search of new horizons. A stark reminder that what isn’t there actually provides the ability for everyone’s story to be created. It is those boundaries of space that allow us and all of our ideas, hopes and dreams to come into existence.

Exhibited at IBASHO Antwerp from January 28 - April  / For information or enquiries contact IBASHO
Especially for this exhibition I made a lovely book with all these images in it. There’s a Normal edition of 50 copies and a Special edition in a perspex box of 10 copies
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BODY MAPS


The skin does not lie:
it’s a person’s age map;
it’s the paper
where his choices, failures, passions, fears
are written on.
The body defines ourselves,
it stratifies and heals passing of time
under veils, blankets and hidings.
As the trunk to the trees.

As the paper to this book:
it changes,
it is crumpled
or turns thin and transparent,
defining
- thanks to Ingrid De Kok’s words -
the map of a weathered body.

Take it, trace it, map it
Remember

In every fase of life the essence is different. But what is the essence of life when you grow older? When you pass a certain age which seems to be a signal for society to move you to its fringes? At the same time you still have the desire to be seen, to be recognised by that same society. For what you are. For who you are.

Do you hide your real age (if needed by cosmetic interventions), do you accept or do you even fight these (unwritten) rules of society. Body maps is Lansink’s visual interpretation of this ambivalence showing compassion for women in this later stage of life. When ageing and the visible traces of life are evident. Do you hide these traces and scars or do you show and cherish them as memories of life?

Lansink interconnects these very feminine images with close up of traces from Mother Nature where human intervention has left deep impact. Contemplating if we better not intervene with these natural processes of ageing but instead show respect and embrace its outcome.

For information about prints, exhibitions or enquiries, you can contact me or my gallery.




Borders of Nothingness - On the Mend


Hariban Grand Prize winner 2019


please scroll down for all the collages 


Borders of Nothingness - On the Mend

In the infinite flow of everything, people come and go in our lives. While the presence of some can be so subtle that we hardly register when it begins or ends, with others it’s far clearer: they enter, or leave, with a bang.
In Borders of Nothingness, Dutch photographer Margaret Lansink (b. 1961) dwells in the transitional ambiguity of her adult daughter’s decision to suspend contact with her, photographing landscapes and nude women whose disappearing presence raises the same haunted question: is this the moment you were gone?
As time passed, Lansink and her daughter reconnected to investigate whether their break could be mended. Lansink then began to revisit and reinterpret Borders of Nothingness in a physical practice that mirrored their emotional efforts of healing. Working from the Japanese practice of repairing ceramics with gold leaf, she combines her images, severs them, and mends their breaks with gold leaf to put hope into the possibility of a bond that is stronger and more beautiful because it had once been broken.
February 2019 written by Katherine Oktober Matthews

From January 21 - April 15 solo exhibition at Galerie XII  

For information or enquiries contact 

   for France Galerie XII Paris  

for Belgium  IBASHO Antwerp  

for the Netherlands: Galerie Caroline O’Breen Amsterdam




COLLAGES BORDERS OF NOTHINGNESS  - ON THE MEND

All collages are handmade
by myself
of Japanese handmade washi paper
and mended with
23 Kt goldleaf.

Total edition of 3 + 2 AP

BORDERS OF NOTHINGNESS



Borders of Nothingness

In the infinite flow of everything, people come and go in our lives.
While the presence of some can be so subtle that we hardly register when it begins or ends, with others it’s far clearer: they enter, or leave, with a bang.

In her delicate and powerful series of black and white images, Dutch photographer Margaret Lansink (b. 1961) dwells in the emotional state of transition between knowing and not knowing another person. In reaction to her daughter’s decision to suspend contact with her, Lansink uses the camera to feel out the sense of severing a connection. She photographs landscapes and nude women, often rendered mysterious or unreadable, seemingly asking: is this the moment you were gone?

Borders of Nothingness raises heavy questions regarding the presence and absence of others in our lives, engaging with our sense of loss as well as the everyday miracle of making the acquaintance of another.


(words by Katherine Oktober Matthews, feb. 2018)


SEE ALSO: “BORDERS OF NOTHINGNESS - ON THE MEND”

All images of Borders of Nothingness are gelatin silver prints, printed by myself.

For prices please contact me or   |    for France Galerie XII   |   For Belgium  IBASHO Antwerp   |   For the Netherlands: Galerie Caroline O’Breen Amsterdam

FEAR NO MORE

Day after day I’m more confused
Yet I look for the light in the pouring rain
You know that’s a game that I hate to lose
I’m feelin’ the strain, ain’t it a shame
Oh, give me the beat, boys, and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away

 
                 
               


                    

     


Fear no more

For as long as I can remember I had this feeling of being out of place. My presence didn’t truly matter. So I tried to be as cheerful and happy as I could be. Coloring my life for the outside world to over-compensate for my true inner feelings. Until ten years ago, when my physics surrendered and forced me into a confrontation with myself.

In “fear no more”, I have put aside my old habits. I have faced my deepest emotions. Picture by picture I broke down the fences of my fears. I dared to accept life and love. Photography became an essential necessity; via my images discovering who I really am.

Although the origin is personal, I strongly believe that there's a universal element to it as in today's society we all try to paint pretty pictures and thereby drift further and further away from our true selves.