The Path of The Caterpillar

Karin van Dam, Ed Pien

drawings, work on paper

2 September through 7 October 2018

Karin van Dam (1959) and the Canadian/Taiwanese artist Ed Pien (1958) met each other in Paris in the 1990s and have since developed a close friendship. Last year they went on a trip through Canada together where, they visited an underground tunnel system near the mining town of Lethbridge. In a different location they descended into a giant pit, an installation by the Canadian artist Linda Duvall. Once inside the excavation, they became fascinated by the structures and pathways the insects had made in its walls. Both visits resulted in an intense experience of being connected to the earth. In her work, Karin van Dam often refers to urban and underground structures.

For the drawings inspired by the trip to Canada, she has shifted her focus to natural shapes and their underlying geometric patterns. With thick graphite pencils she draws composite circles referring to cellular structures, as well as landscapes from which columns of soil are emerging.
Ed Pien shows a series of works for which he has applied ocean water to black paper. After evaporation the salty water leaves behind erratic patterns which he completes with white ink to create cave-like spaces from which ghostly figures appear. Nature is a force that both fascinates and humbles Ed Pien. He honours this by the use of ocean water, thus giving free hand to the proces of evaporation and crystallization of the salty water.