The Hilvaria Studio’s have a turbulent history. The film studios were built in 1964 with a steel structure from the Kodak pavilion, which was part of the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. In the early years, the studios were used by the NTS (now NPS) and later by filmmakers of all kinds, including renowned director Lasse Braun, the Swedish / Italian ‘Porn King of Europe’.
In the 70s, the studios hosted the Relight Studio sound recording studio. The Relight Studio was a real hype, and famous groups and artists from all over the world such as Black Sabbath, The Boomtown Rats, Genesis, Cat Stevens, and Peter Gabriel came to Hilvarenbeek to record their music. At that time the studio was one of the most modern sound studios in the world. The Relight Studio ended ingloriously in 1981 and the building suffered from deterioration.
’When I started to research around the Hilvaria studio’s, I was inspired by many curiosities about the place which I couldn’t have imagined initially. For example, Johannes Goropius’s claim that the language spoken in Paradise was Dutch. I had never seriously thought about “What kind of language was spoken in Paradise.” or even ”where is the ‘Paradise’?”
Goropius came from Gorp, which is near the Hilvarenbeek. The nature in this area was like paradise. The scenery is blessed with beautiful nature and winding rivers, naked people in the forest, various animals, with exalted love and at the same time hell, and filled with dreamy sounds. These are typical images of “Paradise” according the Bible and many paintings that depict it. Therefore, I decided to reconstruct my image of ‘Paradise’ and the so-called “Language in Paradise” inspired by Dutch landscape, the people and their stories.’
Watanabe visited Safaripark Beekse Bergen and the nature area Gorp and Roovert surrounding the Hilvaria Studio’s with her camera. She also talked with the writer Ed Schilders about his book on the language of paradise. These investigations are reflected in a unique presentation with exciting movie montages and sound. Watanabe produced three textile carpets in cooperation with the TextielLab of the Textile Museum in Tilburg not far from the Hilvaria Studio’s. The carpets are also part of the installation and refer to Lasse Braun.
The result of Watanabe’s research is the multi-disciplinary installation ‘Language in Paradise’ now presented in Kers Gallery.
Chikako Watanabe (Aichi, Japan, 1969) lives and works in Amsterdam.
She studied at Kyoto City University of Arts, Japan (BA/MA), in Amsterdam at Sandberg Instituut applied art department (MA), and was resident at the Rijksakademie (2001-2002), Ruangrupa, Jakarta, Indonesia 2003; Akiyoshidai International Art Village, Japan 2006; Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy, Amsterdam 2009
She participated in exhibitions at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo 2004; Museum the Lakenhal, Leiden 2009; Mo & Frisese Children short film/ 29thInternational short film festival, Hamburg, Germany 2013; Open source Amsterdam 2009; Mapping Flevoland, Museum De Paviljoens, The Netherlands 2012; Benten Salon gallery, Saku Island, Japan 2014, etc.
Opening door Suzanne Oxenaar, artistiek directeur Lloyd Hotel, Amsterdam
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