Origin of the Beginning


Written by Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by Levi van Veluw
11 Monday 11th July 2011

Room 3

Room 3

What have you been up to since Landscape, when not working on Origin Of The Beginning?

I was busy creating the some of my other series: Light, Veneer, Monere etc.

What is Origin of the Beginning all about?

For about 3 years I made several series with self portraits. These portraits consisted of different materials and patterns. In Origin of the Beginning I try to visualize the period in my life where these fascinations for textures and patterns came from. In these works the camera zooms out, and you see the world behind the portraits that where more abstract instead of personal. I created my bedroom 3 times. Each room is inspired from a different period of time. These periods contain a small story which are key moments in the beginning of my own brand of self-portraiture.

We can see your self-portraiture style's expanded into bigger, sculptural territory. What do you think brought about this shift to working on a canvas beyond your own body?

Yes, it has. During the process I got a lot of new ideas. It's just really interesting to work with different disciplines like photo, video and installations.

Room 1
Room 1

How long did it take to build all three installation rooms?

About 6 months of hard work.

What does Origin of the Beginning say to you, and about you?

In Origin of the Beginning 3 you see a room (below) with wooden balls. At the left all the balls are organized in a symmetrical pattern. All glued one by one so you can see the struggle to get everything straight. At the right all the balls became part of chaos. This refers directly to a recurring nightmare where I desperately try to control the rolling balls to prevent chaos. This work is about finding control, obsessive idea's, and structuring and organizing the world around me.

These works explain my obsession and fascination with materials and patterns. I hope it will give new meaning to my older works.

What drew you to documenting that particular time in your life (aged 8-14, according to your site)?

As for me that was the time where these fascinations came from.

On a physical level, how did you make the wooden block suit? Is it made from the same materials as the respective rooms it's placed in?

Yes, just wooden blocks with glue. Everything is made from scratch, from the suits to the plant and all the furniture.

Room 2
Room 2

Finally, what's next on your agenda? Any plans to show Origin outside Amsterdam?

A vacation! And yes, there are some plans to show the installations outside Amsterdam. I will let you know if I have more information about location and time!


See the rest of van Veluw's awesome portraiture on his site. And we'll be keeping you posted if he exhibits in our neck of the woods any time soon.

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