Born in Eupen in 1965, Romain Van Wissen lives and works in Membach, a small village at the foot of the Hertogenwald.
"As far back as I can remember, I have always drawn.
My family and friends were not really interested in art. My grandmother, on the other hand, was attentive and supportive and encouraged me to pursue drawing.
I remember a painting in her living room, a landscape, which I admired a lot, a house by a lake. I remember it very clearly, it reminded me of faraway places. She later told me that she had bought it at the weekly market and that they were selling it, in the same kind of way, at every turn. Mass-produced, no doubt... first disillusionment.
When I was 12 or 13 years old I took part in an oil painting workshop during an afternoon with the scouts. This initiation was like a revelation, a trigger, which awakened my curiosity and made me want to paint.
However, this desire remained on the back burner for a very long time,...very slowly it became an intention, but still no action,...second disillusionment.
I was 21 years old when I finally decided to enrol in painting, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Verviers in the evening. It was after my studies as an occupational therapist and during my civil service.
Five years in painting, plus one for the Verviers prize, followed by five years in engraving.
Creating an image is an adventure!
Reproducing, inventing, imagining, experimenting etc...
To master or not, to let oneself be guided or not, bright colours or not... many questions are in the balance and remain without precise answers.
Not at all, on the contrary, it's very good that way!
Certainties do not mix well with creativity. I prefer doubt, I need it to progress, but I had to tame it. It usually arrives by surprise and slyly advises me to erase everything. It's time to let go of everything, to observe and reflect. Is this really bad or just unusual?
Gradually, over the years of pictorial work, the desire to merge different universes, opposed by definition, has emerged as an approach. Provoking the meeting between figuration and abstraction or more precisely, between identifiable and non-identifiable became my challenge.
The pictorial space is for me a playground. It obeys my own logic, which is not always in line with reality. Everything becomes possible if you make it plausible, even if this little uncertainty, which titillates the mind, persists.
The combinations of images imported from all over the world produce a kind of magic by interacting with each other. Their apparent oppositions boost the senses and give rise to multiple interpretations.
Little by little, we enter the universe of the canvas by constantly going through other doors.
Perplexities gradually fade away in favour of illusions.