Bio

Eric Van Hove studied at the Ecole de Recherche Graphique in Brussels and later obtained a Master’s degree in Traditional Japanese Calligraphy at the Tokyo Gakugei University in Tokyo. He completed his PhD at the Tokyo University of the Arts in 2008.

Bordering on activism with an existentialist tone, Van Hove’s work emerges out of his interest in addressing local and global issues of concern[1]. It encompasses many media ranging from installation to performance, video, photography and writing[2]. At times insubstantial and subversive, Van Hove’s conceptually poetic interventions ponder and cross-refer to sociological, political and ecological isuues. Some instances of this are his Japanese Constitution Worm Autodafé[3], Free Trade Concrete Mixer Kaleidoscope[4], or Shark Fin Piñata. The latter relates to the illegal Taiwanese shark finning in Costa Rica during the presidencies of Rodriguez (1998-2002) and Pacheco (2002-2006), famously portraited in Rob Stewart‘s documentary Sharkwater[5]. Made at the end of 2007, Dan Liever the Lucht In is a body of works[6] responding to the 2007–2008 Belgian political crisisin situ in the Belgian embassy in Tokyo before the building was destroyed for reconstruction[7]. which was first shown

Van Hove’s working methodology owes a debt to the ideas of wanderlust, defamiliarization, psychogeography and dérive[8] – a concept first theorized by French writer and Situationist Guy Debord.

Van Hove’s work is invested in in bringing Contemporary Art not only to the public space outside of the institutional confines of the contemporary galleries and museums, but also outside of the “Western” context itself[11]. Van Hove has worked prolificly in a great number of remote regions across the globe, including such diverse places as the Siwa OasisMount Kailash in Tibet, the Laguna de Perlas in Nicaragua, the Issyk Kul lake in eastern Kyrgyzstan, the Fianarantsoa province in Madagascar or more recently the foothills of the Himalayas in the northwestern part of Yunnan Province, China. He also conducted artist’s talks (which he calls “story-telling objects” or “oral exhibits”) in locations including Ramallah, the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, the Darat al Funun in Amman and the University of Sarajevo.


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