Surinam / Netherlands
One of the main themes of my work is born from my sensitivity as to
how cultures remain at a distance created by historical reason and
conditions; a clash that results in forms and patterns of hybridity
specifically in the realm of the culture of politics, music and art. My
heritage is of a multi ethnic background and in my work I often resolve
various issues by challenging conventional stereotypes which have been
used to describe places of multiplicity. I rework this historical burden
by involving the audience in a lighthearted ‘nod and a wink’ manner
but underneath this strategy are serious concerns. Strategically I use a
number of different styles, genres, to expose and explore what remains
at stake within the history of diversities. Ensuring a chatter of ideas and
ideals, providing a constant ebb and flow for the context to resonate with
the viewer. In refining my visual and conceptual vocabulary I try to reach
the intersection between this long history and the mediums that best
assist in my explorations, which include painting, graffiti, photography,
illustration and graphic design.
I am fascinated by the way the ‘West’ shapes the world, it’s perennial
declaration and of the perverse account of history as global fact or
truth. How these are present in the everyday and the everywhere, that
allow the exploitation of true heritage with colonial and imperial centre
partiality; often revised culturally, and the way the media and academia
repeats and frames our world as part of the western ‘situation’, its
peoples bravado and its countries heroism.
I hope to bring through my work new insights for the viewer to consider,
starting conversation about decolonization and the remains of the status
quo. Key to this enquiry is the question, what is history?, or whose
story?, and how does this continually impact the prevailing narratives of
the Western world.
My current work is a journey through research about intellectual history,
the remorse found within the stereotype, and how the world views the
place and effects of the process of ‘orientalising’, of its subjects. The
focal point are a series of portraits of people of Chinese origin, which I
have used to make an installation using found doors and partitions from
destroyed neighborhoods and suburbs where immigrants had lived.
A secondary work are a series of drawings and animation based on
‘traditional’ Cowboy and Indian toys, here the memory of childhood play
and its effects are questioned in regard to role-playing and decisionmaking.
Both of these themes have an overriding and suggestive place
in our global psyche, very little of it good, mostly detrimental even bad,
framed and framing as the other of a ‘we and them’ and/or ‘us versus
them’, or more violently as the savage versus the civilized.
What seems to be appropriate is to return the Western historical gaze
and ask blatantly and humorously, “Are you serious?” by that raising the
issue as to how do these images and themes fit into the ‘contemporary
western’ world view of itself. Does it fit in? If so, where, how, why and for