‘PE UN’ MOKSI KON NA WAN’ – ART INSTALLATION by Roddney Tjon Poen Gie

What: Thursday-Night-Feature (TNF), Pe un’ moksi kon na wan (Facebook Event)

When: Thursday August 03, 2017, 19:00-21:00 hrs. After the  TNF the installations will remain on view at the gallery up until Saturday, August 26th. Opening hours: Monday thru Friday from 08:00-16:30 hrs and on Saturday from 08:30-13:30 hrs

Where: Readytex Art Gallery (RAG) (also on Facebook), Steenbakkerijstraat 30, Paramaribo, Suriname

Simultaneously with the exhibition at RAG, there will also be a detailed wedding display installed at  ‘Het Koto Museum’ (Facebook), which will showcase all of the elements and objects associated with a real traditional Creole wedding. Opening hours: Monday thru Friday from 10:00-17:00 hrs

At the Thursday-Night-Feature of August 3rd Readytex Art Gallery opened a special collaborative exhibition called: Pe un’ moksi kon na wan [Where we merge into one]. It was a fascinating, sometimes challenging, but absolutely rewarding collaboration between art and culture, artists and cultural ‘specialists’ and of course the entire support team at Readytex Art Gallery. Seven artists took on the unique task to create an art installation based on the wedding traditions of six different Surinamese cultures. Not of current wedding traditions, but of those from several generations back, based on the information and materials eagerly supplied by enthusiastic informants from each of the cultural groups represented.  

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, installation, 2017

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie – The Creole Marriage of About One Hundred Years Ago

‘Het Koto Museum’ (Facebook) has in its possession many beautiful old items of clothing and other attributes associated with the grand traditional wedding celebrations of the Creoles in Suriname. Using these as his inspiration, artist Roddney Tjon Poen Gie took on the challenge to visualize the past wedding traditions in an artistic art installation. He chose several key elements to highlight.

He makes a large oval pedestal on which he displays a beautifully attired wedding pair. The bride is dressed in a virginal white ‘eri stel koto’ [wedding dress]. The tulle overlay is decorated by hand with beautiful embroidery. On her head she wears a fancy ‘prodo or proisi edi angisa’ and of course she also wears beautiful accessories. The groom’s suit consists of white trousers, a white shirt with a bowtie, and a black dress coat. On his head he wears a black ‘broru’ [top hat].

An important tradition in preparation of the wedding was the making of the ‘trow kuku’ [wedding cake], and also the ‘trow kuku stoet’ [wedding cake parade]. Several young ladies then walked the cake(s), neatly packaged in cloths, from the place where they were baked, to the wedding location. They carried the cakes on their heads. 

The mothers of the bride and the groom had to break the first two eggs for the ‘trow kuku’ when this was about to be made. As they broke the eggs they had to make a wish.

The open wooden carriage, in which the couple was transported to the marriage ceremony, was also an important part of the wedding.

The entire installation is black and white. With this the artist also shares the message that a marriage is not just about the beauty and the splendor, but it is above all a serious commitment that can bring with it good as well as bad experiences.

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TEXT/TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld

Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld is a freelance writer. Aside from her work for Sranan Art Xposed, she writes primarily for the Readytex Art Gallery in Paramaribo, Suriname. She writes press releases, website texts and takes care of the publicity materials surrounding the exhibitions and other activities of the gallery.

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Read about the exhibition Pe un’ moksi kon na wan on the websites of Repeating Islandsand KWK Media. And, of course, on our Sranan Art blog.

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Pe un’ moksi kon na wan – art installation by Sri Irodikromo about the Indigenous Trio marriage rituals

Pe un’ moksi kon na wan – art installation by Steven Towirjo about the Javanese wedding traditions

Pe un’ moksi kon na wan – art installation by Roddney Tjon Poen Gie – ‘The Creole marriage of about one hundred years ago’

Pe un’ moksi kon na wan – art installation by Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi – ‘A Hindu wedding of approximately one hundred years ago’

Pe un’ moksi kon na wan – art installation by Soeki Irodikromo and Kenneth Flijders – ‘A Maroon wedding – Saramaka’

Pe un’ moksi kon na wan – art installation by Leonnie van Eert – ‘A tradional Chinese wedding’

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Roddney Tjon Poen Gie – Het huwelijk bij de Creolen ongeveer honderd jaar geleden

Het Koto Museum beschikt over prachtige huwelijkskleding en attributen horende bij het grootse traditionele huwelijksfeest van de Creolen in Suriname. Kunstenaar Roddney Tjon Poen Gie ging de uitdaging aan om hier een kunstzinnige installatie van te maken. Hij beeldt enkele specifieke elementen van de huwelijkstraditie uit.

Op een ovale sokkel plaatst de kunstenaar het prachtig uitgedost huwelijkspaar. De vrouw in maagdelijk witte ‘eri stel koto’. Op de bovenste laag van tule is met de hand prachtig borduurwerk aangebracht. De bruid draagt op haar hoofd een fraaie ‘prodo- of proisi edi angisa’ en uiteraard ook de bijbehorende accessoires. Het pak van de man bestaat uit een witte broek en overhemd, met vest en vlinderdasje en een zwarte pandjesjas (cachet). Op zijn hoofd draagt hij een ‘broru’ (hoge hoed).

Voorafgaand aan het huwelijk was vooral het maken van de ‘trow kuku’, en ook de ‘trow kuku stoet’ van groot belang. Enkele dames liepen met de koek(en) die netjes in doeken waren verpakt, van de plek waar de koeken gebakken waren, naar de feestlocatie. Ze droegen de koeken op hun hoofden.

Wederzijdse moeders moesten elk eerst een ei breken voor de ‘trow kuku’ wanneer deze gemaakt werd. Daarbij spraken zij een wens uit. 

De open houten koets waarin het bruidspaar zat onderweg naar het huwelijksfeest, was ook een belangrijk onderdeel van het huwelijk.

De gehele installatie is zwart-wit. Volgens de kunstenaar is het huwelijk namelijk niet alleen pracht en praal, maar een serieuze verbintenis die goede en slechte ervaringen met zich mee kan brengen.

 

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