Kees van Leeuwen / Visual Artist


My work is for a large part related to my research for isolated underground spaces. The foundation for this research is my fascination for blueprints. Blueprints for me are a language which show spaces in a universal way. What is architecture: it is nothing more than isolation, nothing else than a barrier or a partition between spaces. The space without content which comes into being fascinates me. I search for isolation. I lose myself into spaces which have no context, spaces without content and on which visitors can project their own ideas.

I hereby see a relation between 'The White Cube' the modern museum space and the nuclear bunker. Both these buildings which have been constructed in the same period and both serve the same purpose: to isolate the public from the outside world, are the subject of my research. Due to this connection I have started my research on the period of the Cold War and specifically on nuclear bunkers.

Nuclear bunkers are invisible from the outside, the spaces are only revealed once you are inside. To me these are spaces where time seems to come to a stand still, in contrast to the white cube in which time is determined by the exhibited works of art.

My research has led me to visit a number of these objects and buildings in and outside the Netherlands. The experience and the perception of spaces give me inspiration for my works of art. It is an important part of the origin of many of my works and my experiments with sculptures and installations. In doing so I play with objects and walls with which I manipulate the space and create suggestions of what the visitor will come across.