Lieve Dejonghe


Lieve Dejonghe

The more you look the larger the world becomes

Lieve Dejonghe

The more you look the larger the world becomes

Lieve Dejonghe

About her recent works - Installation World Expo

About her recent works

Initially Lieve painted large abstract works. But in 1995 she became an enthusiast adept of realism. The work has since 2008 a unique modern language of images and shapes. In her recent works she often combines a hyper realistic reproduction of objects with empty spaces or areas in special compositions. Her work is exclusive, contemporary, technically perfect but still radiating human warmth by a particular color use. All of them have multiple layers of interpretation. One may call it unrealistically realistic paintings. The images she creates may be critical of men or society but can be just poetical or emotional as well.

In her latest large paintings called 'Turning point' and 'Envoys of Light', your look, your thoughts and your feelings will flow from one dimension to another, literally and figuratively. This are captivating pictures where areas, depths, voids, envoys of light, shadows, the presence or absence of forms and details lead you into a world of rest, unrest, peace, battle, uncertainties, confidence…

The paintings called "The (un)bearable Fastness of Being" are also large and invite you to "discover heaven", to get lost in circles (the Chinese symbol for heaven) or in unlimited space, in shadows, all painted in subtle colours. Some may suck you in their own universe; others will help you to find rest. Never mind, you often have the little square (with two pralines or empty, it doesn’t matter): the square is the symbol of the earth, the part of universe for which you are responsible and that you can fill your own way to turn the unbearable fastness of being bearable.

Since 25 years Lieve has a strong relation with China. She lived there for two years (2006-8) and uses plenty of Chinese elements in her works. In her studio in Shenyang, she made a series of paintings called "Vrij-er" which in Dutch means "more free" but also "lover". In these small erotic works she opposes in a humoristic way the Western prejudices against China and the Chinese.
The paintings of the series 'Red thread' were also realised in Shenyang. In these works she illustrates that even if the contemporary society changes everything, reducing houses to old wooden planks, basic human values, conflicts and characteristics always pop up again. Several paintings in this series are called 'Never far away': they mean that women's oppression is not something from the past in a far away oriental country, but something hanging on a small nail just in front of us, ready to be unleashed today and here in every society.

Never before painters used chocolate as a theme, but for Lieve, a baker's daughter who grew up with the smell of hot chocolate, it is an obvious topic. She uses chocolate in large paintings and still lifes is a symbol of the love and comfort, that everybody needs or that each person has to create himself. In every exhibition she also displays one or more miniature paintings with just two chocolate pralines. This miniatures are called "Love is"" and are an ode to love. She promised her parents she would continue painting them to pay respect to her youth! In the meanwhile they found their way throughout the whole world.

pixelDe (on)draaglijke snelheid van het bestaan

"de (on)draaglijke snelheid van het bestaan"
120 x 90cm

Installation World Expo

About the installation for the Belgian pavillon at the Shanghai World Expo:

In her typical unrealistic realistic style Lieve Dejonghe created an exclusive installation for the Shanghai Expo 2010. She designed it taking profit of a 4m high and 1.3m wide partitioning wall. In this ‘box’ we can see four freely suspended paintings and a picture. A glass panel with the engraved commercial slogan ‘The art of chocolate’ written in six Chinese characters closes the installation. It is this slogan that Lieve uses as starting point to explore the question ‘What is Art?’

The work is to be read from top to bottom; the three upper paintings have a different pictorial character than the bottom one. The attention of the spectator is guided through the three ‘white’ paintings by a splendid red Chinese brush; but this brush, however artistic it may look, is not ‘Art’, just as chocolate is not ‘Art’.

The background of the paintings , pure white and every possible shade of white, blends with the plate silver lining of the box, forming a borderless space for the fourth painting. This warm, intimate painting refers to the parallelism between Art and the Art of Living.

Lieve considers the World as one, a global present, a global problem, a global premise; it is evident for her to mix Eastern and Western elements in her paintings. E.g. on the fourth painting there is a red sheet of paper with the Chinese character for happiness, a basic need of every living soul.Art and the art of living (symbolised by the presents) are strongly influenced by individual, subjective as well as collective experiences (symbolised by the horizontal and the vertical red thread); one may not underestimate the role played by the temporal environment and the media (symbolised by the brush)

Finally the picture at the bottom shows the quiet environment of the painter’s studio, strongly contrasting with the hectic activity at the Expo. Through this picture Lieve Dejonghe wants to emphasize the lonely position of the artist, the necessity to forget the immediate reality around her and engage all her energy in creating.

By launching the question ‘What is Art?’, the artist deliberately defies her artistic environment: Living in a country where it is trendy to consider only conceptual art as real art, she has stubbornly been going her own way and perfecting her own style since 15 years.
What is Art? The discussion is exciting but difficult. Lieve Dejonghe has her own humorous solution for difficult problems: the chocolate pralines, bringing comfort under all circumstances, are an essential element of this installation.

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The location of Lieve’s installation in the Belgian pavillon at the World Expo, with the Chinese slogan; the four paintings (50x50cm) and the picture (30x30cm) that are part of the installation of 4 m high and 1,3 m wide.