Raised in Rotterdam, Boy van der Wal (1994, NL) grew up in the ever-changing modern architecture of this metropolitan port city. Rotterdam is known for its hardworking mentality and remarkable reconstruction after the bombing of the second world war. The post-war reconstruction runs in Van der Wals’ family; his grandfather designed buildings during this time from which details, such as windows, now find their way in van der Wal's paintings and sculptures.
Using building materials and inspired by the architectural methods from the 1950s, Van der Wal creates series of windows and balconies with simple and cheap materials. He sees a rough, raw quality in concrete, similar to how he experiences Rotterdam. Every time he starts a new work, he learns by doing, rolling up his sleeves, channeling the characteristic Rotterdam work ethic. In this way embracing the title of the series, Hard Werken (Working Hard), as a mantra, and maybe also a promise to himself.