In this conversation, Bibi talks us through ‘Houses’, one of her earliest art series. With its intriguing name and unique structure, each house invites who observes it to reflect on feelings of belonging and life transition.
Matilde Bignotti: ‘Moving through’, ‘Hiding in my castle’, ‘Inner feelings’. What do these names reveal about the Houses series?
Bibi Smit: House is belonging somewhere, right? Whether it be your house or your community or your town or your country. It is also who you are and if you feel rooted and you feel strong and you feel that you are where you belong.
MB: Does the colour suggest something?
BS: Some houses are dark, they do not allow you to see what is inside. Other houses are transparent, you can see through. And some of them are crowded: other small houses are placed inside.
MB: It is intriguing to 'read' your experiences by interpreting the symbolic meanings suggested by the house. How did you get the idea of connecting the house to the soul?
BS: In Thailand outside of each house, school, even gas station, there is a spirit houses, a little miniature house that works as an offering table. Every week, the owner of the building places an offering in the spirit house. It is a gift to the Gods to thank them for their protection. This action makes the object, these small spirit houses, not only meaningful, but alive.