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Happy Sad


Happy Sad by Daan Gielis (Diest, 1988) is the first edition produced by MORPHO to support artists. Daan participated in the STRT Kit programme in 2014.

The edition is made after the eponymous work that was shown in the solo exhibition You won't get what you want (De Garage, Mechelen, 22.09 - 17.11.2019). In this exhibition, the artist departs from his own conflicting experiences and emotions, and records the accumulation of mutually exclusive feelings that contradict each other but simultaneously keep each other alive. Gielis' work suggests the untold quest for consistency or even a way out of the contradictory world we live in.

For this, Gielis applies the sign system of emoji, a recurring theme in his work. Emoji have embedded themselves in today's written communication. They are ubiquitous and an integral part of our online conversations, but mostly empty or even gratuitous. It embodies the paradox in which our social lives are entangled: expressing a deeply personal story in a ruthlessly generic language.

In Happy Sad happiness and sadness coincide, the traditional smiley face is combined with an inverted smile. Neither one nor the other, but both. (after the exhibition text of Bram Ieven)

Daan Gielis
Happy Sad, 2019
neon, 70 cm x 60 cm h
10 + 3 AP