Saint Croix Falls, WI
“Art is like science, always on the move and prone to new developments.”
Han is a driven artist and former scientist who puts his all into his work. As he says, “It’s all or nothing.” Born in The Netherlands, he came to the United States in 2005 to continue his career in neuroscience. Han was born deaf on both ears and between the age of 5-10 years old, he went through numerous operations to regain some hearing ability in his right ear. After moving to the USA, he continued his hobby of creating and dreamt of one day pursuing his dream to be an artist full time.
Han’s scientific career greatly influenced and led to his artistic career. He explains, “I worked as a scientist my whole life. As a scientist, you follow the reaction patterns in your head and try to visualize them. In art I do the same. I have the 'final result' in my head and can follow the individual steps to the end product.”
Han retired from neuroscience at the age of 74 and immediately began to organize a studio and gather materials to create. A lifelong collector of stamps, as well as old letters, newspapers and bank notes, he began using these items to create his work. He became captivated by mixed media and his goal was to find the ultimate form and combination with a limited number of colors and unique materials.
At the start, Han sometimes struggled as he had no formal art education. He explains, “You have to learn the behavior of colors and brushes and particularly creating the colors you want.” However, he took the time to learn and practice, eventually building confidence in his abilities. Han also relied on the experience of his late brother, who was a gifted painter and art teacher.
In addition to mixed media, Han enjoys exploring chemical art. As a scientist, he has a license to work with chemical substances and uses his knowledge of their properties to understand how to use them to create beautiful work. Han shares, “It is a trick to get them in solution and find out how they interact with each other.” He is intrigued and motivated by this challenge.
Han dreams of expanding his art practice to continue building connections and meeting interesting people. Since he chose to continue his career in the U.S., he had to sacrifice seeing his family and friends from back home as frequently. For this reason, making connections through his art is especially meaningful. He dreams of making large scale, impactful work and even painting the sails of a ship one day. When Han is not creating, he enjoys reading, cooking, walking his dog, and talking with his family and friends in Holland.
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