From 13 May, Amsterdam’s Galerie de Stoker will present a retrospective by self-taught visual artist and Japanologist Philo Ouweleen, exploring the versatility of art on paper and the stories of her intimate and narrative work. This retrospective exhibition (2018-2023) showcases a varied selection from Ouweleen’s oeuvre. From large paintings to small drawings depicting Japanese stories and memories. In addition, she presents new collages and work that has not been exhibited before. The exhibition will be opened on Saturday afternoon, 13th of May, with an art lottery, Japanese music, and more.
In her work, Ouweleen experiments with various drawing and painting techniques on paper, such as gouache, watercolour, Japanese markers, and coloured pencils. Japan is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for her. She visually captures her interest in Japan in her colourful art on paper. Japan is both a thematic and visual source of inspiration: Ouweleen’s style is characterized by firm contour lines, flatness and even colour areas, drawing on the visual language of Japanese animation, comics, and woodblock prints. Ouweleen paints intimate everyday images of Japan, often based on personal memories. It is abundantly clear that Japan is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for Philo Ouweleen.
In addition to Japan-related art, other previously unseen works are also on display, such as the Intimacy series. This series of small watercolour paintings depict feelings of intimacy and affection through physical touch and body language. Additionally, many colourful collages are on display, in which young women play a central role. The collages are an associative and playful way of working for Ouweleen, in which she gratefully uses her own materials such as drawings, sketches, and photos. The framing of the collages also consists of objet trouvé’s and is the result of years of searching through thrift stores and second-hand shops.
Interesting to note is that Philo Ouweleen also shares and deepens her interest in Japan through research and writing. She is co-author of the recently published publication Shin Hanga – The New Prints of Japan 1900-1960 (2022). She particularly loves combining her two greatest passions – art and Japan – such as with her art book Stories from Kameoka (2020), self-published following an artist in residence in Kameoka, Japan.
Meet & Greet and Workshops
Philo Ouweleen is present every Saturday afternoon (2pm-5pm) to give explanation about her work to visitors. In addition, creative workshops are offered at this exhibition in a space adjacent to the gallery. Five artists will introduce you to the versatility of art on paper, with techniques and materials from the exhibition. The workshops cost €4 and will be held in English. Ticket sales and more information can be found on the website of Philo Ouweleen.
Sunday 14 May: Painting leaves with gouache by Farah Widmer
Sunday 21 May: Linocut by Edith Brouwer
Sunday 28 May: Abstract collage and watercolour by Nynke van Zwol
Sunday 4 June: Paper marbling by Kim Ouweleen and Justyna Klęczar
Galerie de Stoker can be found at Witte de Withstraat 124 in Amsterdam and is opened on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 to 17:00. The exhibition Colourful art on paper: Philo Ouweleen can be visited until Sunday 4 June.