Hester van Tongerlo


In my work, I'm trying to understand mankind. There are many things we copy or we just use or accept and never ask ourself why we do it in a certain way. We live in a world that is created by opinions from our surroundings. I believe that we, as humans, are a reflection of our environment. The human has a copying behavior instead of rediscover behavior. We prefer to use things from people we trust, instead of doubting their experiences and re-experience them. This is the core of my work and what inspires me.

When we were kids,our surrounding(parents, teachers etc.) were telling a lot about what we can and can't do and we saved this information in our brains. But is this really true, are the boundaries that our surrounding have been teaching us, really the boundary of humans? In my work you see the struggle with this question and I project this on my own personality.

In my video work I use myself as a test subject in a unpredictable situation. By doing this I am forced to trust on my on behavior.

On my website you see a video from a girl in the ocean. In this work I am trying to understand where my boundaries are, the mental part(our brain) or physical part(our body). If you quit, is it because you think you can't go any further or, is it your body that says you can't go anymore. There's a big difference between a choice made in your brain or in your body. Your body is reacting to the situation and your brain is reacting to your experience or, what other people told you who it would be.

All my videos are experiments with research into our own boundaries. There are many boundaries such as mental, physical, social and so on. But do we really understand when we cross the boundary or do we just think we know?

In my photography, I am continuing to study the humankind. By capturing things that people create in their environment, I try to understand people more. Why we do certain things and what we actually create unconsciously. The pictures I create, are a reflection of the humankind. You see a installations that people have unknowingly created. Stacking stuff is only seen as a functional act by people, but they create a site-specific work in the middle of their living environment.

By researching the humankind in all my works I try to find answers. Answers to the reason why we behave like we do and what are the reasons for this. Are we all that autonomous that we think or are we just a herd of animals that copy to survive.



2011/2015                                      Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design, autonomous, Maastricht

Work Experience:

2016 till Now                                   Founder and organizer of artist initiative "Destination Unknown"
2014                                                  Co-founder and organizer of artist initiative "This is where we should start feeling at home."


29/10/2016 till18/12/2016       "Copy Paste" Solo exposition, Sea foundation, Tilburg

29/10/2016                                    Cultuurnacht Tilburg, Sea Foundation, Tilburg

2/09/2016                                      “Bring Your Own Beamer”, Stedelijk museum, Amsterdam

22-24/07/2016                            “Destination Unknown: Tilburg”,Valtentijnstraat 31 till 33, Tilburg

15/04/2016                                   “Bring Your Own Beamer”, Jan van Eyck, Maastricht

2-5/07/2015                                  Graduation Show, Maastricht

30/04/2015                                   “We will be captain(s)” Led by Matylda Krzykowski ,Jan van eyck, Maastricht

30/01/2015 till 14/02/2015    “OURYOURTHEIRMYSPACE” Academiegalerie, Utrecht

14/12/2014 till 15/03/2015    “Ijzigwekkend” in Kunsthal45, Den Helder

3/12/2014                                     “When people were shorter and lived near the water” led by Paul Devens, Den Helder

4-6/04/2014                                “This is where we should start feeling at home”, Maastricht

21/06/2014                                   Drawing exhibition, Sam-decorfabriek, Maastricht

14/06/2013                                   Ceramics exhibition led by Marco Jurien, Sam-decorfabriek, Maastricht

07/06/2013                                    Sound Exhibition led by Paul Devens, Intro insitu, Maastricht



23/07/2016                                    Kunstblijfteenraadsel - about “Destination Unknown”.

1/06/2015                                       “The Eyes, They see” - book publishing

5/04/2014                                        Lostpainters - about “This is where we should start feeling at home”.

1/04/2014                                        Dagblad de Limburger – interview about “This is where we should start feeling at home”.

15/05/2014                                     Guru Magazine – about “This is where we should start feeling at home”.