Jan van Esch is an Amsterdam-based multi-media artist whose practice spans performance, drawing, curation, and social engagement. Drawing on his background in social and health sciences and international development aid, Jan’s work questions processes of ‘giving’ by delving into the subliminal psychological motives involved in the powerplay between giver and receiver. Exploring specifically how the Western world deals with (re)used clothing, Jan’s most recent work uses performance, installation, and drawing to subvert traditional conceptions of the gift.
For six years, Jan was the managing director of ‘Nafasi Art Space’ in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Through his socially engaged art, Jan has worked with several art collectives and institutions, most recently as the community program curator on the citizenship project presented with ZK/U Berlin at documentafifteen. His individual works have been exhibited and purchased in private collections and public institutions, including Alliance Française Dar es Salaam, Kampala Biennale, ZK/U Berlin Art Week, OSCAM, Anna Nordlander museum and the Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin.