Jan Pypers

Diorama

2023 – ongoing

“Diorama” is about our lost connection with nature and is inspired by the old dioramas from museums.

Dioramas are life-size, three-dimensional viewing boxes that show animals in their environment. They were built with great care in natural history museums from the beginning of the 20th century to reconnect urbanized people with nature. The use of forced per- spective created incredible depth, giving the viewer the impression of being able to see for miles across a room. Smart, incredibly beautiful but above all artifi- cial.

These artificial windows on nature are not only found in museums. The old square viewing boxes now have a modern digital version. Like dioramas, social media platforms use visual elements to give us a polished view of reality.

In many ways, modern society is completely disconnected from nature. With the advent of modern technologies and urbanization, many people are spending less and less time outdoors, away from nature, and more time in artificial environments. This disconnect has consequences including a lack of appreciation for the beauty and importance of nature, declining phys- ical and mental health, and a reduced understanding of the complex relationships between people and the natural world. It is important that people find ways to reconnect with nature.

Nightgardeners

2016 – ongoing

These are places where silence and stillness set the tone. However, the daily routine in the works of the Belgian artist Jan Pypers (b. 1982) also has considerable tension, despite its static nature. Within the desolate silence of Pypers’ compositions, there is space for questioning, memory and your own imagination. Is something about to happen? Logic is missing before our voyeurism sets in. With his background in film, Pypers approaches his images with a keen cinematographic eye, and this is in line with the work of the greatest cinematographic masters of now and then.

The decor in Pypers’ sculptures is a place where nature and people interact: where figures are in the woods, surrounded by water, or accompanied by an animal. The relationship between man and nature plays a major role in this work. It is surprising, but these forests, waters, animals, and the cinematic image in which they appear in reality show a scale model carefully built by the artist, which he provides with digital post-processing.

Much like the works of Pypers, many of our memories are carried by their vivid details. Alienated and at a distance, we watch, filling in the gaps of the incomplete story with our imagination. Like weaving together the most curious elements from a dream, of which only the details remain.

Retaining total control, Pypers uses his models and digital skills to determine aspects such as light, perspective and atmosphere down to the smallest detail, after which he destroys the model, and the photo is the only final result.