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January 10, 2011

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Home » Feature » Art and Culture

Dutch artist turns grief into abstracts that reaffirm life

DENNIS Philipoom was just age 24 when he lost his newborn, his first child, a loss that he channeled into art.

"I never received any academic training," says the 30-something Dutch artist. "But when my first newborn passed away in front of me, I released all my anger and torture on my first canvas titled 'Oxe' (old Norse word for ox), which reaffirmed life."

Today , Philipoom is a father of three and a famous abstract artist in the Netherlands.

A solo exhibition of his works is underway at Shanghai's Xintiandi through the end of the month. It is divided into three sections: Unlimited, Portraits and Chinese Elements.

"Love at first sight is a perfect description of my passion toward China," the artist says. "I was so startled when I first saw traditional Chinese calligraphy in my hometown. Although I had no idea of its meaning, I was drawn by its rhythm, its curving and its beauty beyond words."

Philipoom even tattooed his Chinese name on his arm.

The highlight of the Shanghai exhibition is his work depicting Shen Yili, a famous Kunqu Opera performer.

"I am quite interested in Chinese folk opera, which always inspires me about Chinese culture and art," he says. "The elegant movements of the performer and the melody are really subtle and impressive."

The exhibition also features a series of paintings of China's terra-cotta warriors in Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province. He uses bold, energetic strokes and strong, vivid colors.

"The art I create is purely a mirror of myself," Philipoom says. "Art should be the real release of one's inner side, while technique is only the mode of expression."

This exhibition is his first international show and will travel to Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, London and New York.

Date: through January 31, 10am-7pm

Address: No. 1 Xintiandi, 181 Taicang Rd, North Block

Tel: 5382-9898


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