Klaas Rommelaere’s solo exhibition ‚Dark Uncles‘ at Galerie Zink closed a few weeks ago. Now we are preparing for the next stop of this traveling exhibition that opens on October 3rd at TEXTURE Kortrijk, Belgium. An expansion on the show with us, the new exhibition, still titled ‚Dark Uncles‘, will include an installation of sixteen larger-than-life embroidered puppets and two dogs staged in a procession format. Also included will be framed tapestries, intricate flags, and embroidered totems.
The show features all new works that are deeply personal; each work is made up of an intricate web of imageries that form an autobiographical narrative. The stories of his childhood spent at his grandparent’s cabin, or a horse riding accident, are personal and mundane. Yet the spirit of these memories recalls universally shared experiences.
The artist’s works appear like tribal tapestries upon first glance, but the imagery is humorously childlike, with references to pop culture and the everyday life of Antwerp. The kind of simplified and cartoonish aesthetic echoes and highlights the concept of personal memories for me. Whether I’ve had a European suburban upbringing, or a childhood in an Asian metropolitan city, it is the same. Memories are recalled in vague (and very likely inaccurate) images, embellished with certain sharp details that stick out. Things appear in our consciousness through the lens of our experiences, and childhood memories are often approximate broad strokes. Memory is the original augmented reality.
This exhibition celebrates the ordinary people that had extraordinary roles in Klaas‘ life – his partner, family, friends. Each work is also a direct product of Klaas‘ support system – his troop of elderly embroiderers around Belgium. From the beginning of his career, he amassed a community of „expert embroiderers“ to help him produce his works. A show of this scale is truly a feat that could not be achieved without them. „It takes a village“ could not be more true for Klaas‘ baby – his body of work.
Born in 1986, Klaas lives and works in Antwerp. He works with a traditional craft through a contemporary and creative perspective, rooted in the everyday life. The results are a perfect match for Texture, a museum that celebrates the heritage and innovation of craft.
For those who missed it at our gallery, you can still make it to Belgium for the show!
We’ve written about some of the individual works in some of our earlier Instagram posts, and here are some highlights. Please check those out for a deeper dive. All the works that were at our gallery will also appear in Texture.
Details on the show could be found here
design and editing: Jurgen Maelfeyt
texts: Jozefien Van Beek, Luk Lambrecht
photography: Benjakon, We Document Art
edition of 1500