Van betovering tot wanneer
Landingslaan, Den Haag
52.0458348, 4.3785236 View on map
Milou van Ham's work of art for the 60-metre-wide Landingslaan in Ypenburg is not striking. But it is grand. On 32 retaining walls on either side of the bridges over the water, words have been carved in a sans serif font. Words such as enchantment, once upon a time, desire, violet and polka dot stimulate your thoughts and cause all sorts of associations.
Van Ham makes art out of words. Her works are usually collections of words or combinations put together and designed graphically on all kinds of surfaces such as paper, stone, a window or a mirror. She makes booklets - one of her first self-designed editions was even bought by New York's Museum of Modern Art - but mostly she makes works as part of the architecture or the landscape. She calls her work 'an integrated presence', 'clear, casual and human'.
Van Ham, who also studied philosophy for some time, is fascinated by words and the associations they cause. According to Van Ham, words are therefore the most objective visual means; they leave as much room as possible for the viewer's fantasy and thoughts. She is constantly looking for new material. She often asks her audience for new words and meanings. In the meantime, she has built up an immense collection of proper names; no one can be left out.
In order not to get bogged down in uncontrollable infinity with her passion for collecting, she determines categories beforehand. For Ypenburg, she chose Time, Love, Colour and Detail. In this environment where everything is big, she felt the need for nuance, humanity and contemplation. Each category consists of eight words. You can read them in order, like colour going from ultraviolet to pebble-grey, but chosen at random they make new connections for every viewer. Slow - Desire - Sky-blue - Memory: the lone walker along the water takes in the words almost unconsciously, as part of his reflections. In passing.