A visual impression of 150 years of Rijksakademie

Rijksakademie alumnus Kévin Bray was asked by designer Roosje Klap to create a visual impression of 150 years of Rijksakademie, commissioned by OCW (The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science).

In the OCW Etalage, an exhibition space right next to the entrance of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and opposite the Central Station The Hague, a visual impression of the history of the Rijksakademie is on display. Designer Roosje Klap was invited by OCW to give shape to the presentation consisting of a diverse selection of works and quotes from Rijksakademie alumni. Klap in turn asked Rijksakademie alumnus Kévin Bray (RA 18/19) to create a collage of the various works of art by amongst others Daniëlle van Ark, Funda Gül Özcan, Marcel Pinas and Dan Zhu.

For this French multidisciplinary artist, a commission to his liking. “I started my career as a graphic designer”, he says. “After graduating from the Sandberg Institute, I worked for Roosje Klap’s studio for about ten months. A year after I started for myself, she invited me to teach at the KABK. When she was offered this project by OCW, it seemed logical to her to involve me, as an ex-colleague, but also because I am of course an alumnus of the Rijksakademie.” In his work Bray combines video art, painting, graphic design, sculpture, 3D photography and sound design, and is interested in the way all these different disciplines influence the way we consume information. He has a track record when it comes to creating complex montage works. 'It's the perfect technique to bring together many different types of art practices”, explains Bray.

That was also the challenge: to forge these works, originating from different times, made with different techniques and materials into one composition in the best possible way. “I have strived not to correct any of the images we have used, to respect the content as much as possible and at the same time allow my creativity to flow.” Bray created an incredible depth in the collage, in which he effortlessly interweaves the various works of art with building elements from the Rijksakademies Kavallerie-Kazerne, including vistas, a painting lesson by Nicolaas van der Waay around the turn of the last century or an example of the current residency structure: a studio conversation between artist and advisor Ansuya Blom and artist (and then resident) Mu Yuming circa 2005.