Kin and kuro is Japanese for gold and black. These colours are emphatically present in the work that Trees De Mits displays at Light Cube Art Gallery. De Mits loves Japan. She travels there regularly and is fascinated by what she sees. She takes photographs on the move, because a certain rhythm is fascinating to her, or because she finds structures or details intriguing. She visits places a number of times to photograph them, as light and shadow are always different.
The photographs shown in Light Cube are all taken in Japan yet there are few direct references to the country (with the exception of the girl dressed in yukata and the view of Mount Fuji). The images could be photographed in an entirely different place. The work is mainly concerned with the poetry that Trees De Mits recognises in reality before the camera and how she subsequently manipulates it. The photographs are converted to black and white, and are digitally edited. Sometimes the change is minimal and hardly noticeable but the manipulation is always intuitive. Trees De Mits describes it as an intervention of the surface: the grain, the colour, the matter.
The black images are on the borderline of what can still be called a representational image. Things that are stable in a stronger light lose their structure in the dark. The ink seems to dissolve for a moment to permeate some of the space with grey. ‘To watch’ becomes ‘to search’ in an undefined space of impenetrable darkness.
Extract text catalogue Lut Pil – translation Miranda La Fleur
Trees De Mits (1951) graduated at Sint-Lucas campus - Luca School of Arts Ghent where she taught from 1989 until 2009.
She lives and works as a visual artist in Zwalm and worked as an artist in residence in The Netherlands, Iceland, USA, Canada and Japan.
De Mits actively exhibits nationally and internationally.