Biography Simon Heijdens
(b.1978 Breda, The Netherlands)
Simon Heijdens' installations explore and reveal hidden narratives in our everyday surroundings. Often using light as a medium to make tangible the essence of a space, material or ritual, he creates unique technologies to explore the relationship and frictions we have with our surroundings – devising immersive installations, experiences and sculptures which question the perceptual distinction between the natural and man-made world.
With a curiosity for natural processes and intricate technology, Heijdens works balance gracefully between visibility and invisibility, exploring the human relationship to time, chance, pattern and energy in natural elements.
His unique practice of experimentation and innovation with both advanced technologies and rooted materials evolves into a new form of nature. Intrinsically blending medium and message, for each installation a custom new material or technology is developed completely anew from the ground up, creating truly distinctive and original materials, aesthetics and experiences, provoking a genuine sense of wonder that question and open a viewers perception.
Heijdens' installations are in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, Victoria & Albert Museum London, Boijmans van Beuningen Museum Rotterdam, Fonds National d’Art Contemporain France and the Israel Museum Jerusalem, and have been exhibited extensively across the world in leading museums including Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Haus der Kunst Munich and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art Moscow.
His acclaimed light projection works of living digital organisms ‘Tree’ and ‘Lightweeds’ (2004 >) have been exhibited and installed in over 50 museums, galleries and public spaces throughout Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia. This ongoing work recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with a year-long exhibition of the work in a 3 wall projection at the Permanent Collection Galleries of MoMA New York (2014 -15), and a 250 m2 site specific projection commissioned for the speech of H.M. King of the Netherlands at the Chicago Cultural Centre during the Dutch Royal visit to President Obama in 2015.
Prominent large scale commissions include 'Shade' by the Art Institute of Chicago (2010), the opening commission for the V&A London's new Sainsbury Gallery (2017) and Lightweeds on the V&A facade (2009), a museum cafe for the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum Rotterdam (2008), the Perrier-Jouet commission for Art Basel / Miami (2013), Swarovski Crystal Palace (2006), Wallpaper Handmade (2013), SXSW (2014, 2016). 'Thames Nocturne', a colaboration of Simon Heijdens and Sam Jacob was one of 6 finalists of the Illuminated River competition for a permanent light artwork for the 17 bridges of the Thames in central London (2016).
Founded in Rotterdam in 2002, Heijdens’ studio is based in London since 2005 where he lectured at the Royal College of Art between 2005 and 2010.