Portrait by Florian Braakman
In his early career Teun Vonk (1986, Uden) focused on photography and video.
Group dynamics and how a group affects an individual were his main topics, as well as the interaction between the visual director, himself, and the subject. Vonk used the camera as a means of exercising power, used it to create a situation and register the spontaneous reactions of the participants.
Currently, Vonk has a radically different direction in his approach to this subject: he creates art installations that focus on individual physical experience. Following a personal experience during a residency in Shanghai, his own body and that of the viewer/participant are his focus point. This has also shaped Vonks daily practice: instead of working primarily from behind a desk, Vonk focuses on the process of making and uses his studio as playground, test site and production area.
Teun Vonk has shown his work at CTM Festival, Ars Electronica, FILE Brazil, STRP Bienniale, Art Rotterdam, Chronus Art Center Shanghai, EYE Amsterdam.
Nowadays, we can go days on end without being reminded of our bodies. The primary function of which seems to be the transportation of our head from one interface to another.
After a long time of researching the human body in his photography and film practice, Teun Vonk has chosen a radically different direction in his approach to this subject: instead of working primarily from behind a desk, he has made his own body and that of the viewer far more central.
Where before the mechanical installations in Vonk’s work served solely as a means to instigate a physical interaction, which was then documented and eventually passively viewed, the provocative constructions themselves are now at the centre of the work. By exhibiting the installations that produce the behaviour, Vonk wants to draw attention to that behaviour. Instead of just documenting it, he gives visitors the chance to undergo the experience themselves. Those who expect a spectacle, however, will be disappointed. Vonk’s work is a subtle, focused reminder of what the body is and what it is capable of.
In this way, Vonk makes his personal bodily experiences physically accessible to the public. Individually, for the visitor who undergoes a total experience, and for the visitors who see the physical interaction between that individual and the installation as a visual object. Taking his own body and his own experiences as a starting point, Vonk experiments with interaction in a process of continuous development and refining.
Studio Tony Spark
Studio Tony Spark is located in the centre of Rotterdam, very close to Centraal Station. Here, artist Teun Vonk collaborates with experts to realize imaginative projects. Our design process is best described as an organic process similar to evolution. Thinking and making nurture each other and are equally indispensable in our practice.
A seemingly simple idea, given or personal experience – that is what sparks our imagination and ignites a new project. Straight away, Teun Vonk translates his thought process into making a haphazard DIY prototype. This first phase is very energetic and focused.
The next phase is a dynamic one, in which Teun Vonk shares his process with all kinds of experts: from scientist to welder, ergotherapist to seamstress. After a period of research and collaboration, the working prototype is realized and presented to the public. This is an important part of the research project: the interactions and reactions of the audience are used to develop a second prototype.
As the prototype has developed into the final product, in the last phase Studio Tony Spark seeks suitable locations and parties to collaborate with to show the project to the public.
Please contact us if you have any questions or are interested in a collaboration with Studio Tony Spark.
Are you looking for more information about The Physical Mind? Find more information about its technical specifications here.
Studio Tony Spark is represented by Tallieu Art Office (Brussels):
Phone: +32 9 222 00 33
To contact Teun Vonk personally:
Visit the studio (appointment only): Delftsestraat 33, 3013 AE Rotterdam.
2008-2012 / BA, Photography Bachelor, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (NL)
2004-2008 / MBO, Fotonica, Koning Willem I College, Den Bosch (NL)
2003-2004 / MBO, Grafische Intermediair, Grafisch Lyceum, Eindhoven (NL)
2018 / Mondriaan Fonds, Projectinvestering for A Sense of Gravity
2017 / CBK Rotterdam, O&O research grant
2014 / CBK Rotterdam, O&O research grant
2013 / Mondriaan Fund, Stipendium Emerging Artists
2015 / Summersessions, Chronus Art Center, Shanghai (CN)
2014 / VHDG/SRV Mobile residency (NL)
2013 / Kunsthuis SYB, Beetsterzwaag (NL)
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS (g)=groupshow (d)=duoshow (s)=soloshow
2019 / (g) smART! XTRA 4.0 Trafó, Budapest (HU)
2019 / (g) STRP Biënnale, Eindhoven (NL)
2018 / (g) DIP FEST Melkweg, Amsterdam (NL)
2018 / (g) Maintenant Festival Rennes (FR)
2018 / (g) FILE electronic language international festival Disruptiva, Rio de Janeiro (BR)
2018 / (g) CTM Festival Club Transmediale Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlijn (DE)
2018 / (g) FILE electronic language international festival Disruptiva, Belo Horizonte (BR)
2018 / (g) FILE electronic language international festival Disruptiva, Brasilia (BR)
2017 / (g) FILE electronic language international festival, Sao Paulo (BR)
2017 / (g) Route Du Nord, Rotterdam (NL)
2017 / International Festival of Technology, TU Delft (NL)
2017 / (g) Autophoto, Fondation Cartier, Paris (FR)
2017 / (g) STRP Biënnale, Eindhoven (NL)
2017 / (g) Intersections / Art Rotterdam, V2 Lab for the unstable media (NL)
2016 / (g) Turtle 1 – building a car in Africa, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NL)
2016 / (g) Ars Electronica 2016, Represented by V2 Lab for the unstable media, Linz (AU)
2016 / (g) Slaakhuys open, Slaakhuys, Rotterdam (NL)
2015 / (g) Cinedans festival, EYE Filmmuseum, Amsterdam (NL)
2014 / (s) VHDG/SRV Teun Vonk, VHDG, Leeuwarden (NL)
2014 / (d) Katrin Korfmann & Teun Vonk, Onomatopee, Eindhoven (NL)
2014 / (g) Rhythm is a shape, rhythm is a beat, Galerie Bart, Amsterdam (NL)
2014 / (s) The human figure in motion, Tweede Kamer der Staten Generaal (NL)
2014 / (g) Turtle 1 – building a car in Africa / museumnacht, V2 Lab for the unstable media, Rotterdam (NL)
2014 / (g) Prospects & Concepts / Art Rotterdam, Mondriaanfonds, Rotterdam (NL)
2013 / (g) Impakt festival 2013, Utrecht (NL)
2013 / (g) 6e Sybren Hellinga kunstprijs, Kunsthuis SYB, Beetsterzwaag (NL)
2013 / (s) Beelddragers, Project Management bureau, Amsterdam (NL)
2012 / (g) Nieuwe oogst 2012, Galerie Bart, Nijmegen (NL)
2012 / (d) Teun Vonk & Gonul Albayrak-Vural, Heden, The Hague (NL)
2012 / (g) Kunstrijk Emmen, Stichting Grote Kerk, Emmen (NL)
2012 / (g) Best of graduates 2012, Ron Mandos Gallery, Amsterdam (NL)
2012 / (g) TENT Academy Awards, TENT, Rotterdam / Melkweg, Amsterdam (NL) / Pera Museum, Instanbul (TR)
2012 / (g) Graduation show, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (NL)
2011 / (g) Getuigen, Nutshuis, The Hague (NL)
2011 / (g) Storing, Hoop, The Hague (NL)
AWARDS / COLLECTIONS
2016 / Plancius art collection The Human Figure in Motion
2013 / 6e Sybren Hellinga Kunstprijs (nominee)
2012 / TENT Academy Awards (nominee)
2016 / Turtle-1 – Building a Car in Africa, book published by Paradox
2013 / Turtle-1 – Building a Car in Africa photo series, published by Vrij Nederland
2013 / De Auto uit Afrika, digital longread, published by Fosfor
2010 / C’est la vie, online publication, published by VPRO Dorst
2017 / Member of Curatorial Committee, Kunstinitiatief VHDG, Leeuwarden (NL)
2014 / Guest teacher, Koning Willem 1 college, Den Bosch (NL)
2013 – 2014 / Turtle-1 – Building a Car in Africa Collaboration with Melle Smets and Joost van Onna
2013 / Guest speaker, Hogeschool Utrecht, faculty of Society and Law (NL)
2011 / Assistant, documentary project Dream King by Wendy Oaks (FR)
2011 / Internship, Melle Smets, Visual Artist (NL)