Johan van der Dong. Born 27 april 1962, artist, performer, poet.
Artist Johan van der Dong connects and is crossing disciplines within the Visual Arts, he is an artist who is able to act without old fashioned borders. He is always busy in thinking from out a different angle. In his works he often touches a large audicience by introducing projects like P.O Box of God or the Hotline of God. This projects were largely known by a global audience because they became world news. The hotline of God was called for approximately 300.000 times. It was his most succesful project ever.
His world often affects people and their points of view on many social problems such as the position of religion in this time. A lot of questions about the daily use of rituals and symbols is triggering him in his art, all the time. Why do people have to use them in the way they do or did, why aren’t there efforts to change or alter specific rituals which are causing troubles is a question he asked himselves a lot. Why aren’t we solving modern problems in a way our society needs, why are we always looking fort he same answers. Its troubling him a lot. The Feet Washing on the Museumplein in Amsterdam is in example of how he tries to work. He was making interviews while washing up peoples feet in order to hear stories of them, affected by every day life and their cultural backgrounds.
His huge love for the coasts, seascapes and shores of Europe and the wadden sea area in the Netherlands is another prominent thing in the art he makes. He constantly tries to capture shores, being surprised by such beauty of mother earth and the way we are living in it. We as people have to preserve it, be careful with it, caring for its wonderful views. Life makes us reponsible to take care of all species who are living it. That thought is always ocurring on his mind when he draws a new piece of art, lets preserve.
Johan van der Dong was raised up in Hoogkerk Groningen, an industrial village in the neighbourhood of the city of Groningen. It was a village on the border of farming and having various industries like a Sugar Factory. It makes him wonder how ordinary people are surviving this globalized world. He has made some movies about it. Also a project like the Empty Chair is seeking about answers containing how society matters in every day life