Hope for the future immortalized in ‘One can make a difference’

Everywhere you look, you see the well-known green school-uniform. Both in the hall and on the walls, in the paintings. That’s because the pupils of O.S. Clevia, who are the focal-point of this exposition, are visiting the Readytex Art Gallery (RAG). When they are not speaking to artist Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, they’re running enthusiastically from one wall to the other, pointing out either themselves or a friend. “Mi o meki wan foto boy” [“I’m going to take a picture boy”], says one pupil. ” Kijk Sudesh!” [“Look at Sudesh!”] another calls out.

Artists speak through their work.  Some messages they transfer consciously and others they do not. Tjon Pian Gi was in search of a new philosophy, because the way things are going in the world today is of great concern to her, causing her to have a gloomy view of the future. Six years ago she became involved in a project at O.S. Clevia. She assisted the pupils in the creation of murals. A couple years later they came into her thoughts, while she was thinking of a possible solution to the contemporary world, which seems to be becoming increasingly corrupted. To Tjon Pian Gi it seems that the difference between rich and poor continues to increase, while a large part of the wealth is being obtained dishonestly.

The children’s facial expressions have remained with her. “The children seemed cheerful and not burdened by the daily problems being caused by the economic downturn.”  That does not always remain the same, however. She notices that the older the children are, the more their facial expression is marked by problems. Nevertheless, she retains the hope that even if it is only one child, it can make a difference for the future of the country.

While the artist speaks to the children about her work, Gallery assistant Lucinda Oliander explains that visits from schools have started today and it is now the turn of a fourth class. During a three-day period, five groups of pupils from kindergarten to sixth standard are allowed to come and point-out their own portrait or that of one of their friends. They are given a one hour guided tour.

Paintings from another of the artist’s collection hang just outside the exhibition hall. These have also emerged from the quest for a new philosophy: ‘ Gems from the mind ‘.

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The paintings are made of acryl on canvas and mixed media on paper. There is also a striking use of colour in the works of art. The paintings are neither full colour nor black and white. “I work a lot with contrasts”.  With this she displays a wonderful view of the future together with the  children’s current situation. The paintings have been done based on pictures taken of the pupils in which they were free to either pose or to just stand naturally by.  Some kids got their entire circle of friends involved. Pointing at one, Tjon Pian Gi says “these two always came in holding hands”. And so in this way they have also been immortalized in One can make a difference▪SAX 11 logo

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TEXT Rose-Marie Maître

Rose-Marie Maître is a freelance writer and likes to visit art and culture events. In the past ten years, she has primarily produced news items for television, newspapers, websites and also radio. She also writes poems and now also creative texts for Sranan Art Exposed.

TRANSLATION David F. Michael

PHOTOGRAPHY Courtesy Readytex Art Gallery

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What:  Solo exhibition One can make a difference – Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi – (Facebook Event)

When: Opening: Thursday, August 01, 2019, 19:00-21:00 hrs. Extra evening open: Friday, August 02, 2019, 19:00-21:00 hrs. Discussion about art with Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, Ann Hermelijn & Alida Neslo: Saturday, August 03, 2019, 19:00-21:00 hrs. The exhibition is open from August 02 until August 31. Opening hours: Monday thru Friday, 08:00-16:30 hrs and on Saturday, 08:30-13:30 hrs. Also open in the evening on Friday June 7 and Saturday June 8 from 19:00-2100 hrs

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

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