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BALANCING ACT

An interview with Koywe Kollage

Chilean artist Hans Möller based in Berlin began creating colour based artworks as a form of therapy and self-exploration.

"How did you begin working in the field of collage?"

Collage came to me as some sort of creative therapy in 2014. I was working a lot and going through a stressful time. I would come home at 1 or 2 at night with the need of expressing myself. It needed to be something just for me, to connect with myself and express my messy mind. Suddenly I found myself cutting and glueing pieces of paper without knowing exactly what was I doing. I didn’t know too much about the collage world at that time but it brought me tranquillity and gave me a sense of achievement. Which was what I needed. The years passed and it slowly became my obsession and I started to research the topic in order to understand it better. With the years this became my passion and now is my second career. 

"I love that. I believe great art comes from a need to create it, you have to let whatever that is out creatively. Why did you decide to go with the name Koywe Kollage rather than your own name?"

From the moment I decided to be serious about collage I wanted to create a sort of an alter ego. This alter ego would create some mystery on who the person is behind the art on the one side, and on the other, it was a way of protecting myself from the unknown art world I was entering. 

It was then that I also decided to name my Collages. Behind Koywe Kollage I created the liberty to explore new techniques, 3D pieces, unconventional materials and larger scales. I then also launched a website and started showing my work. 

"How does being Chilean and German influence your creative practice?"

I grew up in a conservative classist Chilean society that was ruled by censorship, shame and sexism. As a young gay guy I never really felt comfortable with any representation of what my culture forced me to believe or do. This oppressed feeling restricted me expressing myself the way I wanted and kept me from finding myself. It wasn’t until 2009 when I studied in France that I discovered a new world. This open European mindset made me understand who I wanted to be. A few years later I came back to Europe. Since my family is from German descent I ended up in Berlin. It is respect, equality and organization in German culture that gave me the push to follow my passion. I believe that moving from this repression and chaos to a city that celebrates freedom and creativity generated the confidence in me to love what I do. If it wasn't for this cultural contrast I probably won't be doing what I am doing now. 

"What is the perfect composition?"

For me, there is no such thing as one perfect composition. For me, In each piece needs to be a balance between colour, shapes, movement and emotions. I play with these topics and explore how to combine them in different ways.

"So, how do you know when the piece is completed?"

I normally go with the flow and work spontaneously with the limited material that I own. At one point there is this moment where the piece comes together and speaks to me. Then I know it is time for me to move to the next one.

"Where do you draw inspiration?"

There are many topics that inspire me: nature, human body, queerness, sex, and fashion to name a few. I´m in constant search for things that fit with my perspective and aesthetics. In my art, I put a lot of attention to colour, textures and shapes. I love to play around with that because I refuse to be the one who always does the same thing. 

"That definitely comes through in the diversity of your work. Finally, is your work political?"

I do not create to make a political statement but many pieces relate to the LGBT+ community. This you might consider as an indirect political statement. I embrace the beauty of queerness even though not everyone might be comfortable looking or talking about it. For me, it is important that we show the world that we are everywhere and that we are proud of our community, that we can do every type of work and we deserve the same respect for it. 

See Instagram and website for more on Hans Möller.

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