— Experiment. Innovate. Create. Verbs that apply daily on artist James Chiew.
His mixed media art forces him to seek for new boundaries. Moreover, he regularly exceeds boundaries to discover new limits. James’s choice of material is also outside the box. He combines acrylic paint, epoxy, wood, metal and even cowhide with photographic images and objects in a unique way. And with everything else that seems possible… His challenge is trying to do the impossible. ‘Either I will find a way or I will make one’ is James’s motto.
James was born in Singapore. As a gifted autodidact (he did not follow any design or art course) he and his family emigrated to The Netherlands when he was 17 years old. In the course of time he has developed into a professional art director and photographer. His constant impetus to creative expressions has turned him into the artist he is now. There is a lot of immersion in his artwork. James’s objets d’art contain multi layers literally and figuratively. Photography, a discipline which he dedicated only in recent years, has a very important role for this artist. His contemporary vision and use of camera and photo material ensured that he was selected from 2,100(!) artists for the exhibition Image of Beatrix in Paleis Het Loo in 2013. This exhibition showed his most recognized work to date: Beatrix 3-D.
For James, this digital age in combination with his perspective offers unprecedented possibilities. I cheerfully experiment all the time because I am always looking for new approaches.’ He mixes modern graphic techniques with classic procedures and analogue materials. This allows for both physical and psychological depth. ‘To me the restriction of a material type is a challenge. However I don’t see restrictions but possibilities.’ His work(mode) did not remain and does not go unnoticed. He was invited by a car lease company to transform a VW Passat into a piece of art (The Population) for ArtCar 2015. That year this unique car was officially presented in the Louwman Museum in the presence of former Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende.
Visual artist James is a natural innovator. He doesn’t follow but sets trends. Everyday life is his inspiration. Common ‘things’ that James meet on his worth can be an inspiration for a new piece of art. These can be people or objects but also cartoons, movies or other forms of art. Repeatedly it starts at home: ‘I would like to show trivial objects such as doors or chairs in a special way. Then I will pimp them. The result is that people look different at it and start to think about it.’
Highlights James Chiew
- 2013 3D artwork selected from 2,100 artists for the exposition Beeld van Beatrix on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Princess Beatrix
- 2014 Photography Awards, winner Fashion nude category
- 2015 Opening exhibition Under Construction (Eindhoven) with two other artists
- 2015 Exposition Kruisherenhotel (Maastricht)
- 2015 Volkswagen Passat creation for ArtCar 2015, Louwman Museum (Den Haag)
- 2016 Exposition Gallery Zandi (Berlijn)
- 2016 Exposition Ibermaison Showroom (Ibiza)
- 2017 Exclusively at Cobra Brandstore (Amsterdam)