CLIFTON MAHANGOE – CONCEPTUAL LIGHT ARTIST
reflections and shadow play of
running water in particular.
“I have always felt a strong source of light inside of myself. Growing up light came to me through the stories, symbols and colours of the ancient wisdom traditions of my Hindu and Buddhist family. When I built my first light installation that I knew the artist in me was born” In my photography and video work I capture the golden moments of light in nature. These stunningly beautiful moments activate our unconscious memory. By playing with their repetitive patterns, I build worlds of light that allow you to sink into a sweet space of emptiness and silence. From here, this light can touch you from within. There is evidence that time and light are relative. My art comes from a field where the future, the now and the past are vibrating with each other. We are all on discovery, and so is light. Like the moon the light is simultaneously close and far away. Like the sun , light is simultaneously earthly and cosmic. Like water, light it is nourishing and magical. My desire is to make the light of the cosmos, the light of nature and the inner light visible. We are a part of creating that which we behold . Touching with light, from the smallest molecules of the earth to the patterns in the universe and through technology to the core of our human hearts is a grounding and expanding experience. Light is the most multi dimensional instrument I can play with and uncovering the depths of its layers technically and spiritually is the essence of my work. It is a passing journey of remembrance and a form of art in service something much larger than me as an artist.
In the 90’s Mahangoe was one of the first to use video projections mapping of waterfalls and other natural phenomena on life-sized holo-, and water screens as decor pieces during commercial events. He worked together with Dutch artists like Micha Klein on enchanting installations that enchanted and stimulated the imagination of the visitors. Furthering on these applied artworks, Mahangoe developed his current autonomous works. From 2013 till 2016 art he studied with artist Reinoud Oudshoorn (teacher at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague). His oeuvre consists of videos and light installations in which Mahangoe creates especially a great attention for stillness and movement of water in particular. The installations are a succession of thousands of carefully shot and selected video images: reflections and shadow play of running water in particular. In his artistic career Mahangoe has extensively studied the working of ambient and technical light in relation to material, form and technique. In his work he explores abstraction and where the boundaries of familiarity begin to blur, he uses new cutting-edge and new technologies that give as sense of scaled images from cosmic worlds. In fact, it is the real world perceived through petri dishes, extreme close-up motion-control of drone footage geothermal landscapes and underwater shots of pristine waterfalls. Polarity in the earthly and the cosmic, polarity in in our dark and light nature, polarity in illusion and disillusion. Important to the artist is the use of the circle, the symbol of infinity.
Mahangoe’s work in recent years was shown at Light Art Dubai 2023, Rotterdam Art week 2023, Big Art Bijlmer Bajes Amsterdam 2022, Art Island Pampus 2021, Paleis Soestdijk at World Peace Day 2021
Sardinia Italy 2021, Oceanic Global in Atzaro Ibiza, 4 years in a row Westergasfabriek Amsterdam, At the periphery of the Venetian Biennale in 2019.
In the year 2017, Mahangoe has performed several meditation sessions at various magical places on Earth, for instance at islands built on crystals and where waterfalls meet jungle and sea. From the jungle of Thailand to the caves of Menorca and the magnificent rock island Es Vedra on Ibiza. There, through the prisms in waterfalls and the healing rays of the light, Mahangoe has experienced Prana directly flowing from nature and merging with his breath: the path of inner journey was created. Mahangoe grew up in a family of Hindu priests and thus the Buddhist and Hindu philosophies of life are intertwined in his work. Within the Hindu and Buddhist dharma (path / way of life), Prana represents all cosmic energy, permeating the Universe and life on all levels. According to Gautama Buddha, there is no individual identity and there is only Prana. Everything is a manifestation of Prana and Prana is the connection between everything. At the moment Mahangoe is working on a series of installations in which spiritually rich places of this world play a leading role. In these new works he will show the energy of these unique locations. Mahangoe owes its inspiration to Mother nature and artists such as James Turrell (L.A. California 1943) Bill Viola (New York 1951).
“While painters use brushes, paint and canvas, Mahangoe uses light and projection as carriers of his message to share his vision of relativity in the perception of light, space and time.”
Mahangoe lives and works in Amsterdam with his partner Anneke and their young son Manu. His persona mirrors his Suriname, Indian and Dutch cultural heritage.
2005 – 2012 Coaching & counseling
Education HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, Art design for interaction 3d Design, Animation, Illustration
Commission develops short art films for public space, to improve spatial experiences from stations
10 films without beginning or end, intrigued by the architecture of Rotterdam
Period 2007 (6 months)
Education TU Delft University of Technology, Interaction design, industrial design, strategic product design
Commission develops a visual concepts for the public space, in order to enhance the spatial experiences of public space
Goal Aims to bring video art into the public space by designing new forms of buildings and squares
Period 2008-2009 (12 months)
Videocredits Driekunstenaars – Tom van den Dool