Isa van Lier (1996) is an artist from Amsterdam currently living and studying in The Hague. Her work consists of paintings, ceramic sculptures and room-filling installations.
Trough her works she explores the boundaries between form and non-form. Promoting a way of understanding through intuition, body and soul instead of ratio, hierarchy and concepts.
During her exchange in Japan, she found herself surrounded by the ancient wisdom of Zen that had always been deeply present in her work but not yet totally understood. Now full of new wisdom and aesthetically and spiritually inspired she came back with an endless amount of inspiration to work from and since then tries to recreate the feeling she gained when she went to the zen stone gardens. There, where nothing really is to see, only some stones and rocks…. But what a peaceful state of mind you enter when you are sitting in in this simple timeless environment. However living in 2020, a world of abundance, fastness and technology, the stone gardens feel often far away. Supermarkets with endless rows of plastic packaged foods, in all the shapes and colors you can imagine. In her work she opens up a play between these two opposites, to find out that maybe they are more alike then you would think.
''My work is a play with the boundaries of form and non-form. Through painting and sculpture I translate metaphysical ideas into physical substances. When does a form begin and where does it end? The direct making process is the base of this exploration. To play with the abstract is for me a way to provoke an image that lies in between recognition and alienation. Between the supernatural and the materialistic. Between the natural and the human-made. By doing this I try to open up an awareness of the non-conceptual understanding of form we all have, to promote the intuitive bodily experience instead of understanding trough reasoning. To search for the unknown I create images that are hard to look at because of their chaos and abundance and at the same time open up a playground of fragments that wants to be touched and shaped like a puzzle. My installations allow you to step in without thoughts in a world that is a combination of the abundance and fastness of a supermarket in 2020 and the ancient wisdom that lies within the zen stone gardens you can find in Japan.''
In the installation ZEN SUPERMARKET I search for a balance between the silence, calmness and wisdom of a Zen stone garden, as I encountered during my time in Japan last year, and the abundant colorful richness that you can find in a supermarket in 2020, with it’s endless rows of plastic-packed colorful shapes; to come to a new philosophy where these two opposites merge together. Trough this I try to create a new positive language that combines the eastern values and aesthetics with the western. Making a playground where your mind can rest from the dominant intellectual structures we have developed in our minds, to open your self up to a playfulness that speaks to your intuitive, bodily understanding of form.
In my thesis I explore the boundaries between form and non-form through 4 different chapters.
Form - Connected to Objects - Nothing - In Between.
Through a visual story I explain a range of subjects, eloborating on questions like: What is form? What is non- form? How do people relate to form? What is nothingness? What is Ma?
To explain in a short summary what it is about would degrade the real experience of seeing it. So feel free to download the thesis by clicking on the thesis link, and get enchanted with the endless drawings and information I layed out for you <3