Drawing attention


POSTED: Sunday, July 19, 2009

The works of Belgian artist Rinus Van de Velde provide quite a launch for Interisland Terminal, a community initiative group that promotes visual arts, graphic design and film in Hawaii.

Wei Fang, art curator for the organization, says “;RVDV: HI,”; a collection of 13 drawings by Van de Velde, is the perfect fit for the inaugural exhibition because “;I wanted our first contemporary art show to be a drawing show. Everyone picks up a simple pen, pencil and paper every day. It's a very democratic medium.”;

The artist, who hails from Antwerp, calls Hawaii “;super-exotic—it's a bit weird. Where I come from, it rains all day long. This is really something different.”;

Local art fans, in turn, may consider Van de Velde's work to be something different as well. The artist draws with a special type of charcoal “;that's blacker than the regular kind,”; and except for shadings of gray, his works are void of color.

That's intentional, Van de Velde says.

“;I'm not a painter. When you're a painter, you have to think about color. These are not the questions I want to ask as an artist. It's the process I want to focus on.”;

Van de Velde works from a personal archive of images of film stills, newspapers, the Internet and magazines—“;mostly National Geographic.”; He mixes various images “;to see what happens”; and draws from that inspiration.

Most of the works include text, which is deemed important by the artist because “;it pushes the meaning of the image into another context,”; he says.

“;I don't know where the original image came from, but this pushes (the drawing) into another, fake reality. It leaves it open-ended.

“;I like to examine the difference between reality and fiction,”; he continues. “;A lot that happens in society is (about the tension between) what's made up and what's an authentic experience, the truth. These are the things I try to reflect on.”;





        On exhibit: Through July 26

Place: 3583 Waialae Ave.


Hours: Noon to 7 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays and until 4:30 p.m. Sundays


Contact: www.interislandterminal.org




Van de Velde is young, just 25, but the artist has already got an art degree and a solo exhibit in Antwerp under his belt. It was Van de Velde's association with a German gallery that earned him international exposure and led to this show, his first outside of Europe.

Fang says it's important that the local community sees artists like Van de Velde, “;who can be young and still figuring out his career and is producing great work.”;

“;Rinus is prolific and a hard worker, and his drawings are exciting visually. His is a style and execution we don't see a lot of here in Hawaii.”;

And providing that exposure is exactly what Interisland Terminal sees as its mission.

“;We want to create, catalyze and support Hawaii's cultural capital,”; Fang says. “;It's important to have a vibrant cultural life for civic, economic and social development.”;

The organization seeks to present international-caliber works, but Fang says this doesn't mean they will only be bringing works into Hawaii.

“;The local work is there, but there's not been a lot of outlets to present them. We want to create that opportunity.”;

While Interisland Terminal doesn't yet have a permanent home, Fang's co-visionary, film curator Anderson Le, has struck a deal with Consolidated Kahala Theaters to screen short films every couple of months starting in September.

Until then, catch “;RVDV: HI”; through next Sunday. And expect to hear more from these enterprising cultural advocates.