By Lieneke Hulshof

Mankind has a daily relationship with objects. A never-ending series of relationships with coffee spoons, telephones, trains and items of clothing. But we almost always look at this phenomenon in the same way: what does an object mean to us? Mankind is the focus of attention and the objects are strewn around him. But if we look beyond our actions, then we see that our encounter with the things is a matter of moving and being moved.*

Artist Jay examines our existence, behaviour and observation through objects and a lot of her work shows that the object is not ‘the thing’, but the person. In her installation, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, small everyday items tell a story. The possibility of family life is portrayed not by a human form, but by a simmering rice cooker, the smell of which reminds us of arriving home. And a wardrobe adorned with pictures of famous people makes us think of the warm, safe bedrooms of teenagers. Jay Tan gives objects an ego like the one we normally reserve for ourselves.

* Klein Zandvoort, Bernke. Ruijgrok, Caroline. How things move us. Amsterdam: Trebelsee, 2016.