Skip to Content Skip to Search Go to Top Navigation Go to Side Menu

"reflection" Tag


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bildschirmfoto 2017-02-26 um 15.56.29

Since I moved to Amsterdam I regularly visit the Stedelijk museum. The last time I was here it was different. Normally I just wander around but this time I was looking for something. A surface that would be interesting for me.
The last Text I wrote on the design blog was about the Iridium coated Oakley glasses with a colorful reflective surface. The object I want to write about this time, Slaapkamer-ameublement, is very much related to the previous text. It is a bedroom mirror designed by Elmar Berkovich in 1930.
A mirror is a reflecting surface, historically made of obsidian , silver, bronze, or aluminum. Today, most mirrors are made of glass, with a silvery, metallic, or amalgam backing. They serve many purposes, ranging from personal grooming to exploring the universe and they are also a common theme in art and Philosophy.[x]

Elmar Berkovich: slaapkamerameublement, 1930 [x]

At its simplest, the mirror reflects what is positioned before it. In viewing ourselves in a mirror, we see what we recognize as self although this reflection is an image reversal of what others see in looking at us.
Sometimes I have some weird experiences when I look into a mirror. You know that you are looking at yourself but sometimes it feels like it is not you that is looking at yourself but rather yourself observing another person. We recognize ourself but actually, we do not know how we really look like. We only know how other people see us with the help of a mirror.

Bildschirmfoto 2017-02-26 um 15.57.04

The philosopher  Jacques Lacan, based his ideas on the human infant’s response to its image in the mirror.
Lacan’s theory is not about the mirror as a reflection of self, but about the mirror as the constitutive element in the construction of the self and self-recognition. This theory is interesting in my opinion because it suggests that we define our selfs by what we see in the mirror and therefore what others see in us. We describe ourself for what we are, but we cannot describe ourselves from outside or in formal terms. It is not us, it is just a reflection.

Fire and broken mirrors

Monday, April 18, 2016


In Mark 9, notice that the Lord Jesus repeats three times about Hell, “where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.”


Screen shot 2016-03-16 at 7.57.26 PM


A source of inspiration: Virginia Woolf (1882 -1941).

A writer very much concerned with the transformation of life through art, sexual ambivalence and the flux of time and life (in the form of corrosion and rejuvenation). Her style of writing is experimental and somewhat playful; time and gender for example are sometimes shifted in unexpected ways. She dealt with the problems some people of her time were having with the world around; most of which people today can still relate to.

She suffered from severe bouts of mental illness throughout her life and eventually committed suicide by drowning at the age of 59.



It is all about the design of a headpiece.

First, it is always about trying to get a grip on the thing, trying to get under the skin of the object of investigation. It is the same way of working for writers in general as for me trying to crawl under the skin of a writer in order to create a kind of mask.

What does it mean to be a writer?


appropriate dressing for the process


The writer is holding up the mirror to the world, and says to herself: “Look! the world is so full of life! Think of all the passions that exist there (love, hate, anger, etc.). It is a fire that cannot be quenched.” She is sitting behind her desk in her writing shack, reflecting on the world outside – creating parallel universes. The passions of this world are powerful things, and those are the things she needs to deal with. The writer shall not remain untouched for long. The writer desperately holds up to the mirror.
Writing is a way to deal with the fire, a way of protecting oneself. The writings also make the world more aware of itself – of what it does. The message is perhaps not always pleasant, but always necessary. The world as it is is not by definition how it is supposed to be. The world (and its fire burning within) needs to look into its reflection every now and then. But the fire is aggressive and with time the mirror corrodes and begins to show signs of breaking. The first shards fall of the mirror and pierce the skin of the writer. It hurts, but the writing continues. What else can the writer do? At a certain point the frame of the mirror is empty and the entire mirror has become part of the face: A MASK OF BROKEN MIRROR. The mirror has become part of the writer. Now it is the writer herself that is reflecting the world. The writer is not of our world anymore; she has become a kind of prophet.

“[…] and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.” (Mark 9)


woolf mask painting vision

painting of the first 'vision' I had of the mask I was going to make

THIS IS A WRITERS MASK. Virginia Woolf as the source of inspiration provided direction for the choice of form and color.

The fabric of the writers mask is white. White as the color of the prophet and as the color of cleansing and purity, which are the intended aims of the process of writing and reading. Technically white would also be the color that reflects the light most strongly, creating a strong contrast with what happens in the mirroring surface (which is mostly darkness, except for the fire).

It is woven textile that creates a strong association with the Victorian era, during which Virginia Woolf was born. Also, the fabric is frayed at the ends and on the sides because it is a long process to become a writer (time withers the textile).

A rectangular shaped surface filled with the luminous shards of the broken mirror is covering the face and extending downwards across the chest. The rectangular shape of the covering broken mirror suggests the mirror when it was still framed.
The mask is put on more or less like a kerchief: (1) first the mirror part is put in front of the face, (2) then the scarf-like extension goes over the head, (3) and under the chin and/or over the face, and (4) then finally back over the head to fixate the mirror part. The fabric is long enough so that it covers the whole body by (5) drawing it two or three times around the neck and head.


woolf mask pic outside 3 woolf mask pic outside 2
the sun is the perfect fire


The essential thing about the mask is the refection of fire in the mirror-pieces. The fire symbolizes the passions of life, or the Hell, of the world around. This fire has an immaterial quality, and this is important. Emotions and passions and other things that concern writers are often things that exist beyond our material reality. Many many words and/or a good deal of symbolism are needed to make them sensible. The light and the aggressive nature of fire would be a good way to illustrate those immaterial forces.

So in its completeness THE MASK IS REFLECTING THE FIRE.

But even though the fire is essential, ultimately, the fire is only a metaphor for the burning fire of life itself, and we can say that this fire of life originates from the sun and is sustained by the sun. Therefore the sun is the perfect fire to illuminate all that is reflected in the mask.

Behind the mask is a living being. It moves. It is communicating, but the language is of another world. The intensity of the fire seems to change all the time. We hear the fire burning. We see the flashing reflections in the mirror. In fact we can see ourselves, fragmented, through the mirror, in the fire. Fire is burning away all the time, consuming the life that is inside, but the fire cannot be quenched.

Get the Flash Player to see this content.


only a scale model

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The impact of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe on modern architecture is of similar magnitude as that of Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. With his timeless, rational architecture and eternal quest for the essence of architecture his influence can still be felt today. The career of Mies van der Rohe falls into two parts; until 1938 he played a major role in the German architectural world and after 1938 he influenced a totally different world on the other side of the ocean, in the United States.

In the 30’s of the last century the architects of the bauhaus were very aware of their dangerous position in Nazi Germany. In 1938, Mies van der Rohe emigrated to the United States where he was appointed director of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). The work of the architect changed, but related topics returned regularly. He studied in the United States how he could coordinate the technical and constructive capabilities of the U.S. construction industry architecture.


From the Wendingen issues I chose the Glass skyscraper desiged by Mies van der Rohe, Due to the nazi rule it was never actually build. Van der Rohe stated about the building “the exceptional form of the plant stems from the structure of the site and the result is due to the properties of transparent and reflective glass facade, which the architect admitted openly: “Tests on a model of glass showed me the way and soon I realized that by using the crystal is not achieving an effect of light or shadow, but rather to achieve a great game of reflections of light. ”

I do think that is one of the reasons why these buildings are seen so frequent until this very day. The scale model shows how far ahead of his time Van der Rohe was.


Wendingen 5-3 1923 Rijksacademie Amsterdam

Captured in the infinite

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The  three figures on the cover reminds me of a person that is structured in life.

A person that is good in maths and can calculate a drawing.

M.C. Escher for example.

I’m the total opposite.

I just passed my maths exam with a 6,5 out of 10 and a lot of effort.

Some people are capable to make an other dimension with just a pencil, ruler and their knowledge.

Precision it what it takes and a huge focus.

The music of Nujabes a Japenese hiphop producer reminds me in the way of producing a whole other world.
[audio:|titles=Nujabes – Aruarian Dance]
His songs are for me a translation of certain feelings and atmospheres that we don’t even have a word for.

A lot of times people describe those moments as nostalgic.

But far away you know it’s something that you can’t describe.

Because there is no word existing for that feeling.

That’s why language always will have this barrier.

Rudolph Otto a German religious historian has a beautiful quote about the moment in history that people could provide their own food while none of the 3 monotheistic religions were there yet. The book which holds this quote is about the history of the three monotheistic religions.

quote: The symbolic stories, cave paintings and sculptures were a try out to express their amazement for the ubiquitous mystery and to connect it to their own lives. Nowadays poets, artists and musicians are driven by that same desire.
-'das heilige 1917'

For me that is the best explanation that I crossed awareness about what an artist is.

We try to translate fragments of the ubiquitous mystery that there is.

There will never be one work that will explain what the ubiquitous mystery is.

It can be the cliche question like why are we on this earth?

But for me the same mystery is that I can connect a song with a certain atmosphere for which there is not a word.

Such a translation of that atmosphere recognizable in a painting, sculpture or a song etc. is a mystery that doesn’t work for everyone.

So if you connect to and experience that certain feeling of recognition that is a fragment of that ubiquitous mystery.

Rietveld Library 004 Lau 1



Sunday, December 6, 2009

Log in