In 1991 Dutch artist Rienke Enghardt made her first trip, to Asia. That was the beginning of Hope Box, a collective mobile art project, which has so far engaged more than 150 artists from about 30 countries around the world. This network of artists is called the Hope Box Angels.
Hope Box is tailor-made; it is based on encounters with local people and artists that Rienke meets during her trips.
It all started with Rienke making travel-drawings and at the end of her trip dividing them between a local artist and 3 other artists from around the world.
The Weather Report is Hope Box's longest running project.
From this single project a worldwide programme arose, combining graffiti, fine arts, storytelling, dance, philosophy, music and other art forms in many multidisciplinary projects.
Its focus is on using art as a tool to empower people, aiming to inspire them and everyone around them.
Always supported by her crew of Hope Box Angels, Rienke travels around the globe, crossing borders, creating bonds with local people and artists, connecting them internationally.
From these encounters, works of art joining divergent perspectives of various artists arise, creating a more complete image of reality.
Rienke and the Hope Box Angels all work for free and try to convey a message of peace and friendship to their public.
Since 2002 the Hope Box Home is based on the NDSM wharf, a former shipping yard area in Amsterdam converted into a creative hub, home to many different artistic organizations, a visionary and inspiring place, which is expected to become the most important creative area of all Europe.
Hope Box Home in the NDSM wharf.
Vita International met Rienke Enghardt in the Hope Box Home on the NDSM wharf in Amsterdam.
How does the Weather Report work?
I make travel drawings in each country I go to. During that visit, which is usually the initiating part of Hope Box, I explore the cultural climate and meet a lot of people and artists. At the end of my trip I cut my drawing into four parts and I divide it amongst a local artist and 3 other artists from different continents to whom I send the piece. The fragment is the symbol of a binding factor between these artists that work simultaneously but from different places – creating whatever they want - on a totally unpredictable work of art that arises when the artists send their drawings to me and I bring the work of art together again.
Weather Report is very simple because it is just drawing on paper, it is light and not a huge investment. When I started it was before the Internet, so it made total sense to work like that.
The Weather Report is tangible; it is about personal encounters and literally sharing something.
What are the steps of the Weather Report?
The first step is about me visiting a country and wanting to include in the Weather Report the artists from that country that are visionary and talented. The principle of the project is that you go to a new place and you invite people to become part of the collective artistic adventure. Therefore I have met all the participating artists and the exhibition has taken place in all their homeports.
The second step is about involving the audience, through interactive Weather Report exhibitions in galleries and museums: we do both activities in the museum and in community projects outside.
The project grows step by step. After the first travelling exhibition in ten countries in Asia in 1994-95, I got a lot of feedback from artists asking me to bring the Weather Report to their country as well. Through this and the other Hope Box projects, Weather Report has been initiated in all continents now.
What is the result of the WR?
A more complete image of reality.
The artists involved work outside the boundaries of my work of art to be part of a totally unpredictable work of art. That is why the project is called Weather Report.
It is great for us artists as we are not in control and it is good for the public as they can make their own stories.
There are many ways you can look at these works of art.
This project also shows that art is something you can really go into: it is accessible to anyone.
The Weather Report
Can you give us some examples of the projects you carry out through Hope Box?
Roughly we work on paper (Weather Report), kites (HBX CHA!), walls (HBX P4P), trains (HBXXPRSS) and buildings/public space (HBXUP!).
We work in many different ways: Hope Box takes different forms according to the different countries, as well as the cultural and socio-political climate. For example we initiate art activities for children in a big tent made of kites, using inspiration sources such as storytelling, philosophy, music and dance.
Another project we have initiated is the Hope Box Express train, that came into existence in Georgia in 2010, thanks to the collaboration of different Hope Box Angels: besides me, Zedz (The Netherlands), Lunar (Croatia), the London Police (UK), Mamuka and Vakho (Georgia). The train is a community art project to serve disadvantaged children and to help revitalize the Kukushka train, built by the royal family of Romanov and going through the Grand Caucasus Region.
Recently, last June in Mitrovica, Kosovo, where we have developed a long-term relationship with local people and artists, we organized 'Flower your Culture’, art-activities resulting in inspiring HBX UP! (Hope Box Utopian Playgrounds) interventions in existing urban environments.
Gallery: Hope Box Express Train - and other Hope Box projects
What are your plans for the future?
In 2016 Weather Report has its 25th anniversary, and we plan to celebrate it with a wonderful interactive exhibition in Havana, Cuba in October 2016. By that time it will also be geographically complete, with the inclusion of the last continent to be explored: ‘South America’. Another project we hope to realize is a Hope Box Angels Europe by bus tour passing by refugee camps, trying to bring some color and joy to the kids there.
All pictures are by the Hope Box Angels (special thanks to: Ivo Kosanovic and Ilse Schrama).
Cover photo: HBX CHA Havana
Hope Box Home Gallery:
1 and 2: Hope Box Home by the Hope Box Angels (special thanks to : Josse Popma and Jasper van der Made. Murals: Fio Silva, TKV, Rienke and Lunar).
3: Inflatable by Lunar under Hope Box Home.
Weather Report Gallery:
1. Weather Report 1991 (Moscow): René de Haan, Feng Bin, Rienke, Tim Yu Tai Keung, Bas van den Hurk
2. Weather Report 1993 (Hanoi): Pham Quang Vinh, Nardy Stolker, Rienke, Henk Ovink, eddiE haRA
3. Weather Report 1999 (New York): Nicole Awai, Walter van Broekhuizen, Rienke, James de la Vega, Ade Darmawan
4. Weather Report 2000 (Johannesburg): Gilad Efrat, Nicole Awai, Rienke, Shigeyo Kobayashi, Titus Matiyani
5. Weather Report 2001 (Durban): Harry van de Woud, Lucy Griggs, Rienke, Ade Darmawan, Nicole Awai
6. Weather Report 2004 (Tbilisi): Irina Toronjadze, Soe Naing, Rienke, ZEDZ, Ho Tuong
7. Weather Report 2012 : Chatchai Puipia, ZETS, Rienke, Shake, Desiree Alvarez
8. Weather Report 2012 (Granada): Usha Seejarim, Desiree Alvarez, Rienke, El Nino de Las Pinturas, Mellas Jaarsma
9. Weather Report 2001 (Brisbane): Nicole Awai, James de la Vega, Rienke, Nino Sekhniashvili, Walter van Broekhuizen
10. Weather Report 2003 (Khan Yunis): Karin Bos, Mbongeni Buthelezi, Rienke, Marilou levin, Hazem Harb
Hope Box Projects Gallery:
1. Hope Box Express Train by Zedz (2010)
2. Hope Box Express Train by Lunar (2010)
3. HBX XPRSS, the Rise & Shine train by Loomit, Tak, Nak, Mamuka and Rienke (2012)
4. HBX Kukushka XPRSS with Hope Box Angel and Bboy Vaxo Lejava. (2010)
5. Kites of Life from Sarajevo, Prishtina and Amsterdam in Sky of Scheveningen in 2005
6. Children taking part in our HBX CHA! Children Art Activities in Zugdidi, Georgia, 2004
7. Weather Report Meeting in Myanmar (1994)
8. Weather Report Expo Batumi Georgia (2009)
9. The London Police piece in Prishtina
10. Street soccer: Amsterdam (The Nederlands) and Obeliq (Kosovo) HBX Legend team with youngsters from Holland, Kosovo and Georgia (2007)
11. Improvised school in refugee camp close to Tbilisi, Georgia (2010)
12. Rancho Grande Nicaragua (2012)
13. HBX P4P (Piece for Peace) in PI Scheveningen prison (near The Hague, The Netherlands), (2006)
14. Hope Box Angels Lunar, Shake, Loomit, Angel and The London Police in PI Scheveningen prison, (near The Hague, The Netherlands), (2006)
15. HBX P4P (Peace 4 Peace)Tbilisi on street children rehabilitation centre 'House of Future’ (2007)
16. Kites of life: in Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina in 2004. With a crew of youngsters from different walks of life. It was part of a Kites of Life bustour from Sarajevo, Pristina, Belgrade, Zagreb, Essen and Amsterdam
17. ‘Bee UP!’, 'Flower Your Culture!’ spin off around old greenhouse in Mitrovica, Kosovo in collaboration with 7-arte Mitrovica. (2015-16)
18. Hope Yourself!
19. Hope Box Angels MSU: the Hope Box Angels that painted the Museum of Contemporary Art Wall as a pre-opening action in 2009. Zedz, Zets, Lunar, The London Police, Lortek, Angel, Flying Fortress, Morka.
20. Heavenart Cameroon, Part of the HBX CHA! (Children Art) in Douala with children from Bessengue community. (2003)
21. Flower Your Culture! HBX UP! action on Mitrovica train station in 2015. piece by Tak
22. Flower Your Children! piece by Tak and Rienke (2015)
23. Hope Box Angel crew from Batumi by Bus tour: Mamuka Khunashvili, Bakuri, Fridon, Phirus and Pheliks Lipartia, Kodala, Lunar, Smack.
24. Lunar working at (mixed) school in Plementin, Kosovo.
25. Prishtina Central Station by The London Police, Jetik Doli, Lunar and Rienke (2012)
List of Weather Reporters & Hope Box Angels:
Aaron Seeto, Ade Darmawan, Alejandro Castillo, Aleksander Lortek Slivnjak, Aleksander Angel Milivojevic, Alice Tung Tze Yung, Alioum Moussa, Antoine Timmermans, Anton Claassen, Arone Meeks, Ava Seymour, Bas van den Hurk, Bragga, Bruno Pogaenik, Beka Bolkvadze, Carolien van der Donk, Charles Robb, Chatchai Puipia, Chau Giang, Chu Chu Yuan, Dang Xuan Hoa, Danis Fejzic, Desiree Alvarez, Djordje Pesevski, Dusan Rajic, Diek Grobler, Do Hoang Tuong, EddiE haRA, Elias bin Mohd, Erzen Vala, Ewoud van Rijn, Feng Bin, Fenneke Weltevrede, Fernando Reyna, Flying Fortress, Francisco Anka, Gilad Efrat, Goddy Leye, Gordana Baskot, Greg Streak, Hannah & Aaron, Hans van Bentem, Ha Tri Hieu, Harry van der Woud, Hazem Harb, Henk Ovink, Hong Viet Dung, Ilse Edit Pahl, Inal Jussoer, Inti Hernandez, Irina Toronjadze, Ivo Kosanovic, Ilse Schrama, James de la Vega, Jasper van der Made, Jawad Al Malhi, Jesús Zurita, Jetik Doli, Jetmir Grezda, Josje van Doorn, Josse Popma, Jovan Mikonjic, Karin Bos, Karski, Kongphat Luangrath, Konstantin Sulaberize, Langa Magwa, Loomit, Lisbet Ballart, Luong Dung, Lucy Griggs, Lulzim Hoti, Leila Cmajcanin, Luka Beselia, Malam, Marko Prpic Zets, Marilou Levin, Mamuka Samkharadze, Mamuka Khunashvili, Mbongeni Buthelezi, Mehmet Behluli, Mella Jaarsma, Micha Daniel, Moh’d Al Farra, Morka, Mounir Fatmi, Mjellma Goranci, Muhamed Gas, Nadica Dekic, Nak, Nardy Stolker, Nathan Pohio, Nguyen Dam Thuy, Nguyen Dieu Thuy, Nicole Awai, Nindityo Adipurnomo, Nino Lomadze, Nino Sekhniashvili, Nguyen Van Cuong, Patries van Elsen, Pascal Griffioen, Paul Johns, Paul Wrigley, Peter Verheul, Pham Quang Vinh, Phouvong Chanthavong, Pinaree Sanpitak, Prais, Quynh Jiang, Rakis, Renate Schepen, René de Haan, René Francisco Rodrigues, Resi van der Ploeg, Richard Brouwer, Rienke Enghardt, Roger Roke Roque, Rudina Xhaféri, Séraphine Pick, Sergo Tbileli, El Niño de las Pinturas, Shake, Shigeyo Kobayashi, Slaven Lunar Kosanovic, Soe Naing, Soe Win Nyein, Sopo Tabatadze, Sikounnavong Kanha, STRMR, Taulant Taki Qerkini, Teuta Gacaféri, The London Police, Titus Matiyane, Tim Yu Tai Keung, Tran Luong, Tran Trong Vu, Usha Seejarim, Valessa Monk, Vincent Leow, Wade Schaare, Wally Wallwork, Walter van Broekhuizen, Zakaria Sharif, Zedz, Zhao Jianren, Bad Brya, Def P., Bim Bimma, Warlock, Bizzo, Marvel, Mayer, Dzenan Selmangic, Jimmy van den Nieuwenhuizen, Deniz Dogan, Nerko Hadziarapovic, Marvel, Warlock, Girshel Javakhishvili, Mayer, Aleandro Paolillo, Ahmed Mahrach, Jur Bouterse, Pheliks, Phirus, Phridon and Bakuri Lipartia, Kodala, Vaxo Lejava and many more. There is also a youths network Hope Box Angels with members too numerous to mention.