Dutch artist J.P. Hol studied mass media in Netherlands. After that he moved to Milan, Italy for studying decoration, began activities as an international artist.
Hol's world is full of fairy tales presented by diverse measures such as drawing, object, book, cutout, animation and installation. At first glance his work is alluring, playful and cheerful, but it's disturbing at the same time. It consists of embalmed animals with Mickey-mouse heads, armies made out of little porcelain half mouse - half man figurines, paper cut outs of human and not so human heads combined with images of cosy teacups and ferocious animals.... It reads like an inner portrait that opens up to the outside world, self reflective and intimate.
The underlying theme of Hol's work is human desire. He says: "I use embalmed animals to represent humanities desire to control and manipulate every aspect of our environment. We domesticate and dominate. This is further underlined by the use of Disney hats – literally Disney-fying the animals - moulding them into our own image; humanising them. In the meantime, human are being trapped in the paradoxical contradiction: wanting to be different from the rest but at the same time, experiencing a deep longing to be part of a group, to be a social animal."
Hol's work spotlights the ones forgotten by everyone and everything but themselves: closets, attics full of abandoned toys, dusty playroom went wrong, embalmed animal that was killed in its prime, now out of place standing in a shady corner.
In the exhibition "FORGOTTEN", Hol's first exhibition in Tokyo, he presents embalmed animals, cutouts, and short animation films. The venue itself, built in 1868, is a hidden old storehouse behind the urban canyon. It miraculously survived huge earthquake (1923), Tokyo Bombing (1945) and constant re-development. Hol felt sensation and the expansion of his imaginary world when he entered the space for the first time.
"This exhibition is a tribute to the ones that are lost to the eye of the world - the forgotten. The ones that do not shine but are still standing there. Sometimes strong, head up high, holding their last breath. I would like to use the particularities of the space to the fullest, and invite audience to the feeling like an Alice, following the rabbit into the hole."
Also, studio J, contemporary art gallery in Osaka holds "HARDSHIP", starts from the 6th of October, mainly presents Hol's animation works.
email interview with J.P. Hol >>
Daily Yomiuri review >>
supported by Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
in collaboration with studio J
Johan Peter (J.P.) Hol
Johan Peter Hol (1964) was born and grew up in the Netherlands. He graduated in Mass Media (Utrecht, The Netherlands, 1990) and in Decoration at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera under Vincenzo Ferrari (Milan, Italy, 1999). He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions all over Europe and in Japan (studio J, Osaka, 2005). He works and lives between Milan and Amsterdam.