“Fragments In Time”-A Dutch Artist’s Visual Ode To Mother And Memories

“Fragments in Time” starts and ends with his mother

Time is fleeting as it is constant. Time is what people make of it, and to an extent, people are what time does to them. In between times, there is change, keepsakes, and—in a bigger perspective—memories. 

Pop artist and sculptor Dominik Haring knows this for a fact—illuminating it more concretely through his first solo exhibit “Fragments in Time” at Alliance Française de Manille in Bel-Air, Makati City. 

As Dominik acknowledged it, time is a shared and universal human experience. But what makes it more personal and intimate for him is the fact that his late mother is at the center of his exhibit.

In an exclusive interview with FreebieMNL, Dominik shared, “A big part of this collection is my mother who passed away one and half years ago. It has affected me quite heavily. I’m over it now, and I needed to do some sort of homage or something [like] respect towards her to end this time of grieving.” 

Dominik Haring
Dominik Haring
IMAGE: studioharing_official on Instagram

The Dutch artist said that the first-ever piece he crafted for the series was the Sodapop Teddy Bear—a green sculpture made of soda bottles and epoxy resin. For him, teddy bears have a special place in his childhood, which then prompted him to create one that’s reminiscent of his earliest memory as a kid. 

Recognizing teddy bears as a fond relic of his childhood, he even had one tattooed on his face. And to make it more symbolic, he had his mother’s ashes mixed into the ink to signify his ever-dynamic approach to art. 

He says, “I started with the teddy bear, which I also have a teddy bear on my face where I used ink mixed with her ashes. So, it shows as an artist, we always try to do new things—things that are not so common.”

“Fragments in Time” starts and ends with her mother. According to Dominik, the last piece of the collection is a skull, which can be taken as an allusion to her mother’s death and a figurative representation of what comes after. 

He shares, “The collection ends with a skull, which has a lot of wine bottles that was a favorite drink of my mom. And then in graffiti style, I put ‘Semper Lucet,’ Latin translated to English is meaning, ‘May you forever shine.’

“And basically, that’s a beautiful end to the collection but also an end to a time of grief, and you know, to move on to the next stage.” 

Dominik Haring on his creative process 

Just like time, Dominik acknowledged that art is also an ever-shifting concept. In fact, he views it best as a “constant process of experiences and implementing them into [his] craft.” 

He shared, “I’m a mixed media artist, so I make paintings, I make sculptures. The sculptures I made here are made from glass with a bit of resin, but now I’m also working with steel and copper, so it’s evolving.” 

Twenty years deep in the art scene, Dominik says that his inspirations mostly come from fashion, interior design, pop culture, and music. With these influences at the forefront of his craft, he then somehow considers his art as timeless pieces. 

Dominik said, “Is it timeless? I think it is. I think this particular collection is very colorful and very bold. But the next one could totally be different. Timeless, it’s hard to say. Those are big words.” 

Going from one project to another, the 41-year-old artist revealed that he is very excited to share a new project, which is already in the works. As teased by Dominik himself, this is the first time he ventured into welding. 

“I’ve moved on already to a new project, this is a finished collection. So now, I’m working with copper and brass, which is totally different.

“For the first time…it’s something that I haven’t tried at home because I don’t have the equipment, and we’re living in a condominium—you cannot really do welding there. 

So, I make samples in our studio, and I think things are coming out, something is coming out like a bespoke bench. And then, I think, a few months for a few pieces to be there—sculptural pieces. 

“But it’s challenging to work with natural materials like steel and brass, so it’s hard to say how long it will take. “

Dominik Haring at the Fragments in Time exhibit
Dominik Haring

Mastery of technique ushers Dominik to venture on new creative projects. As for him, he doesn’t put anything out without the sufficient command on the materials and process. However, there are challenges that make it difficult to estimate his timeline. 

He said, “If I make a small sample, and it works, and you blow it up to a teddy bear, there’s a lot of things you’re bumping into—problems. So it’s constantly… the first one takes two months, the second one maybe two or three weeks. But then the third one can take again one and a half months.

“It really depends on so many factors. It’s just hard to say how long it will take. It’s not like, I’m doing production and we’re doing the same thing over time. We constantly do new things, and it comes with trial and error, mostly error. So, it’s a process.” 

“Fragments in Time” exhibit runs until June 29, 2024, at the Alliance Française de Manille. For more information about Studio Haring, visit its Instagram page or official website studioharing.com.ph. 

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