‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / ‘The Carriers of the Image’ – 3 – Winston van der Bok

June 22, 2017 at 4:17 pm (A Close Look, Been there, Exposed, Inspired) (, , , , , , , )

De Dragers van het Beeld, in English: The Carriers of the Image, is an art exhibition that was held in the foyer of Theatre Thalia, from April 28 until May 7, 2017. It was part of the celebration of 180 years Theatre Thalia. Eight visual artists worked with the theme of death, and more: resurrection from death, new life …

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi wrote a series of columns that we will be sharing on the SAX-blog. Today part 3, a text that accompanied the art work of Winston van der Bok. Please find the Dutch text under the English translation. 

Dragers van het Beeld Winston van der Bok 4 AK

On the right: Winston van der Bok, ‘Transformation – Siwalapa (war club) motifs’, acrylic on wood, 2017 – USD 300 a piece / PHOTO Ada Korbee

Dragers van het Beeld Winston van der Bok 5 AK

Nicole Smythe-Johnson, curator from Jamaica and EdKe, Surinamese visual artist, discussing the exhibition On the right: Winston van der Bok, ‘Transformation – Siwalapa (war club) motifs’, acrylic on wood, 2017 – USD 300 a piece / PHOTO Ada Korbee

Winston van der Bok and the theme ‘transformation’

Transformation is a concept that characterizes the life of Winston van der Bok.

If you ask Winston why he chose the theme ‘transformation’, he says: ‘Thalia is 180 years old and it’s no longer as it was 180 years ago. It has been through several transformations and will go through yet another transformation again.’

‘Transformation is what I focus on in the arts. I am indigenous and want breathe new life into old traditions. The indigenous tribes all over the world have been pushed aside. I want to raise awareness for the valuable old cultures of the Indigenous. It is my calling to transform that which has always lived, and still lives, within my deepest being into a contemporary art form.’

When Winston talks about his life, it becomes clear that his whole life is made up of transformations. True to his native character, Winston does not adhere to a numeric year count and essentially lives a timeless existence. He looks at his life as a labyrinth of roads that he has traveled. There is no real beginning, and every end is a new beginning.

Winston was born in 1947 in a very small village on the Cottica River, as third child in a family of seven children. Straight from his mother’s hammock, the young baby was given to two strangers who wanted the little baby very badly. His parents were convinced that the foreigners would be able to provide their child with a better future.

Winston grew up in the USA, where two strict, but fantastic foster mothers raised him, until he was about fifteen years old. Around his fifteenth birthday he was suddenly sent back to Suriname. He would ride on the Cottica River in a canoe with his father, surrounded by a muttering of languages he did not understand. Upon arriving back in his village, his mother knelt at his feet. She inspected his left ankle, saw the birthmark, and knew that her son had returned.

Winston moved to Paramaribo and married a beautiful city creole woman. Together they had two sons. His wife passed away at a young age. His sons were nine and six years old. For many years there was no woman in Winston’s life and he raised his sons all by himself.

Winston studied at the Surinaamse Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten (SABK) [Surinamese Academy for Visual Arts] and worked, for many years, in visual communications, graphic design and product marketing for businesses. He also became a graphic design teacher at the AHKCO.

He became ill. It was an acute pancreatitis that was not diagnosed as such initially. He came face to face with death. It was beautiful. A pleasant journey without barriers, straight through everything.

A successful operation brought him back into the world of the living. His son fed him like a baby and his girlfriend came from the Netherlands to take care of him. From that point on a new life had begun. A new transformation had taken place.

Characters, patterns and symbols similar to those you might see on petroglyphs, the traditional weaving and pottery of the Indigenous, are important elements in the art of Winston. Remarkable is the appearance of movements without a beginning and without an end in his work.

 

TEXT Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, 2017

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi is a female visual artist from Suriname. She works and lives in Paramaribo, Suriname, South America. Kit-Ling studied visual art in Suriname and in the Netherlands. In 2005 Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi added the short video-film as a medium to her artwork. Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi makes paintings and drawings, inspired by the tropical rainforest, and the richness of the diverse cultures in Suriname.

Kit-Ling was the featured visual artist at the 13th International Conference of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars. This conference, The Caribbean, the Land and the People; Women’s Efforts, Women’s Lives, was held in Suriname, in May 2012. Kit-Ling was the recipient of the Bridget Jones Award for 2013.

TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2017

PHOTOGRAPHY Ada Korbee & Marieke Visser, 2017

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‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / ‘The Carriers of the Image’ – 1 – Introduction

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 2 –  Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 3 –  Winston van der Bok

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 4 –  Razia Barsatie

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 5 –  Soeki Irodikromo

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 6 –  Dhiradj Ramsamoedj

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 7 –  Sri Irodikromo

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 8 – Anand Binda 

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 9 –  George Struikelblok

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Winston van der Bok en het thema ‘transformatie’

Transformatie is een begrip dat het leven van Winston van der Bok kenmerkt.

Als je Winston vraagt waarom hij heeft gekozen voor het thema ‘transformatie’, zegt hij: ‘Thalia is 180 jaar en is niet meer zoals het 180 jaar geleden was. Het heeft meerdere transformaties meegemaakt en zal ook weer een transformatie ondergaan.’

‘Transformatie is waarmee ik in de kunst bezig ben. Ik ben Inheems en ik wil oude tradities nieuw leven inblazen. Inheemsen zijn overal in de wereld weggedrukt. Ik wil de oude waardevolle cultuur van de Inheemsen onder de aandacht brengen. Het is mijn roeping om wat altijd in mijn diepste wezen heeft geleefd en nog steeds leeft, te transformeren naar een hedendaagse kunstvorm.’

Als Winston over zijn leven vertelt, blijkt zijn gehele leven uit transformaties te bestaan. Eigen aan zijn Inheemse karakter, kent Winston geen jaartallen en leeft in principe een tijdloos bestaan. Zelf ziet hij zijn leven als een labyrint van wegen die hij heeft bewandeld. Er bestaat niet echt een begin en elk einde is een nieuw begin.

Winston werd geboren in 1947 in een heel klein dorp aan de Cotticarivier, als derde kind uit een gezin van zeven kinderen. Als baby werd hij zo vanuit zijn moeders hangmat meegegeven aan twee vreemdelingen, die de kleine baby heel graag wilden. Zijn ouders waren van mening dat de buitenlanders hun kindje een betere toekomst konden geven.

Tot ongeveer zijn vijftiende jaar, groeide Winston op in de USA, streng opgevoed door twee fantastische pleegmoeders. Rond zijn vijftiende werd hij plotseling teruggestuurd naar Suriname. Hij voer met zijn vader in een korjaal op de Cotticarivier en werd omringd door een geroezemoes van talen die hij niet verstond. In zijn geboortedorp aangekomen, knielde zijn moeder aan zijn voeten. Ze inspecteerde zijn linkerenkel, zag de moedervlek en constateerde dat haar zoon was teruggekeerd.

Winston verhuisde naar Paramaribo en trouwde met een prachtige stadscreoolse. Ze kregen twee zoons. Op jonge leeftijd kwam zijn vrouw te overlijden. Zijn zoons waren negen en zes jaar oud. Jarenlang was er geen vrouw in Winston zijn leven en hij voedde zijn zoons helemaal alleen op.

Winston studeerde aan de Surinaamse Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten (SABK) en was jarenlang werkzaam op het gebied van de visuele communicatie, vormgeving en productmarketing voor bedrijven. Hij werd daarnaast ook docent grafische vormgeving op het AHKCO.

Hij werd ziek. Het was een acute alvleesklierontsteking die in de eerste instantie niet als zodanig werd onderkend. Hij heeft de dood gezien. Het was mooi. Een prettige reis zonder barrières dwars door alles heen.

Een goed geslaagde operatie bracht hem terug naar de wereld van de levenden. Zijn zoon voedde hem als een baby en zijn vriendin kwam uit Nederland om voor hem te zorgen. Daarmee is een nieuw leven begonnen. Er heeft een nieuwe transformatie plaatsgevonden.

Tekens, patronen en symbolen zoals je die kunt zien in de rotstekeningen, het vlecht- en aardewerk van de Inheemsen zijn belangrijke elementen in het werk van Winston. Opmerkelijk is de verschijning van bewegingen zonder begin en zonder einde in zijn werk.

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‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / ‘The Carriers of the Image’ – 1 – Introduction

June 8, 2017 at 11:01 pm (Been there, Exposed) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

De Dragers van het Beeld, in English: The Carriers of the Image, is an art exhibition that was held in the foyer of Theatre Thalia, from April 28 until May 7, 2017. It was part of the celebration of 180 years Theatre Thalia. Eight visual artists worked with the theme of death, and more: resurrection from death, new life …

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi wrote a series of columns that we will be sharing on the SAX-blog. Today part 1. Please find the Dutch text under the English text. 

Dragers van het beeld
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A Sparkling New Life

Alakondre [literally meaning: of all countries] is the word that we should use to brand Suriname’, said Alida Neslo. With that statement she found an immediate ally within me. This alliance would be continued, as I became the coordinator for visual arts of a team dedicated to celebrate the 180th anniversary of Theatre Thalia in a fitting way. The celebration of 180 years Thalia should breathe new and sparkling life into the theatre.

The Theme

In many cultures death is seen as the end of one life and the beginning of another new life. As a team dedicated to the celebration of 180 years Thalia, we initially spoke more about death and the way in which different cultures process death. But almost simultaneously, the discussion started to revolve around what happens after death: reincarnation, the afterlife, rebirth, etc. The most dominant question that came up was: How is this interpreted by different people and by different cultures? The theme for the celebration of Thalia 180 years, started to develop from here. Eros, Thanatos and Phoenix were brought forward as points of departure for the theme of the celebration. Eros as life energy, Thanatos as the non-violent peaceful death and the Phoenix as the symbol of eternal life; a cyclical life of passing and rebirth.

Visual Art

The theme was presented to the eight participating visual artists: Razia Barsatie, Anand Binda, Winston van der Bok, Soeki Irodikromo, Sri Irodikromo, Dhiradj Ramsamoedj, George Struikelblok and Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi. Each artist was inspired by an entirely different aspect of the theme.

The diverse interpretations of the theme are elaborated upon in various short columns, which will help the public to better understand what the works of art displayed in the celebratory exhibition of Theatre Thalia 180 years are actually about. This visual art exhibition was on display from April 28 until May 7, 2017. In addition to the visual art exhibition there also was a Living Art Show, which was presented within the dance program in the weekend of May 5-7, 2017. It was a collaboration between visual artists and performance artists. The artistic concepts, created by the visual artists, were interpreted and performed by the performance artists. The coordination of the Living Art Show was in the hands of Dweight Warsodikromo.

TEXT Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, 2017

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi is a female visual artist from Suriname. She works and lives in Paramaribo, Suriname, South America. Kit-Ling studied visual art in Suriname and in the Netherlands. In 2005 Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi added the short video-film as a medium to her artwork. Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi makes paintings and drawings, inspired by the tropical rainforest, and the richness of the diverse cultures in Suriname.

Kit-Ling was the featured visual artist at the 13th International Conference of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars. This conference, The Caribbean, the Land and the People; Women’s Efforts, Women’s Lives, was held in Suriname, in May 2012. Kit-Ling was the recipient of the Bridget Jones Award for 2013.

TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2017

PHOTOGRAPHY Ada Korbee & Marieke Visser, 2017

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‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / ‘The Carriers of the Image’ – 1 – Introduction

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 2 –  Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 3 –  Winston van der Bok

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 4 –  Razia Barsatie

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 5 –  Soeki Irodikromo

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 6 –  Dhiradj Ramsamoedj

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 7 –  Sri Irodikromo

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 8 – Anand Binda 

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 9 –  George Struikelblok

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Een sprankelend nieuw leven

Alakondre is het woord waarmee we Suriname moeten branden’, zei Alida Neslo en daarmee had ze in mij een bondgenoot gevonden. Dit bondgenootschap zette zich voort door als coördinator van beeldende kunst plaats te nemen in een team dat zich zou inzetten om 180 jaar Theater Thalia op gepaste wijze te vieren. De viering van 180 jaar Thalia moet Thalia weer nieuw en sprankelend leven inblazen.

Het thema

In veel culturen wordt de dood gezien als het einde van een bepaald leven en het begin van een ander nieuw leven. Als team dat zich wilde inzetten voor de viering van 180 jaar Thalia, spraken we eerst meer over de dood en het verwerken van de dood binnen verschillende culturen. Maar bijna simultaan werd er ook gesproken over wat er na de dood gebeurt: de reïncarnatie, het hiernamaals, de wedergeboorte etc. Daarbij werd vooral de vraag gesteld: Hoe wordt dit gezien door verschillende mensen, verschillende culturen? Van daaruit is het thema rond de viering van Thalia 180 jaar zich verder gaan ontwikkelen. Eros, Thanatos en Phoenix (Feniks) werden als uitgangspunten voor het thema binnen de viering van 180 jaar Thalia naar voren geschoven. Eros als levensenergie, Thanatos als de geweldloze zachte dood en de Phoenix als symbool van een eeuwig leven; een cyclisch leven van heengaan en wedergeboorte.

Beeldende kunst

Het thema werd voorgelegd aan de acht (8) deelnemende beeldende kunstenaars, te weten Razia Barsatie, Anand Binda, Winston van der Bok, Soeki Irodikromo, Sri Irodikromo, Dhiradj Ramsamoedj, George Struikelblok en Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi. Elke kunstenaar werd geïnspireerd door een geheel andere aspect van het thema.

De diverse interpretaties van het thema zijn in verschillende korte columns uiteen gezet en op deze manier kwam het kunstminnend publiek meer te weten over de inhoud van de kunstwerken die in de feestexpositie van Theater Thalia 180 jaar te zien waren. Deze beeldende kunstexpositie was te zien vanaf 28 april tot en met 7 mei 2017. Naast de beeldende kunstexpositie is er ook een Living Art Show gepresenteerd binnen het dansprogramma in het weekend van 5 tot en met 7 mei 2017. Het betrof een samenwerking tussen beeldende kunstenaars en performance artiesten. De kunstconcepten kwamen van de beeldende kunstenaars, maar werden geïnterpreteerd en uitgevoerd door de performance kunstenaars. De coördinatie van de Living Art Show was in handen van Dweight Warsodikromo.

 

 

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Five elements presented in an artful way

November 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm (Been there) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Five participating creative minds, five Feng Shui elements: on the eleventh night of the eleventh month in the eleventh year of the 21st century, art & craft giftshop Icana NV presented an artistic showcase to its loyal customers. The presentation, for the seventeenth year in a row, revolved around the theme of Feng Shui, an Eastern philosophy. Ivette Adams, director/owner of Icana, invited five creative minds to participate in this annual event: Linda Landbrug, Kim Sontosoemarto, Gudrun de Vries, Jeranie Tam-Smit and Winston van der Bok. 

Harmony / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2011

Ivette Adams: “The date 11/11/11 is, according to the Asians, especially the Chinese, the ultimate date to do business. This day brings wealth and prosperity. This year Icana presented the audience a fusion of all the Feng Shui elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth.”

The five elements / PHOTO Collection Linda Landbrug, 2011

Feng Shui is all about harmony. Literally it means: wind and water. According to Chinese philosophy a good Feng Shui in your living environment is very important because this has effects on all other areas of your life: your health, your family, your work and so on.

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Linda Landbrug is a sinologist, a China expert. She regularly gives courses in Mandarin-Chinese, where the subject Feng Shui invariably comes up. Her company also offers translation and interpreting services.

Visual artist Winston van der Bok provided frames for the calligraphic presentation of the Feng Shui elements by Linda Landbrug, inspired by those same elements. “I participated because the challenge appeals to me to work with concepts and elements from other cultures. The elements are universal and also play an important role in indigenous culture. This is reflected in my work in the symbols, shapes, colors, and movement.” Van der Bok feels most connected with fire.

To versatile artist Kim Sontosoemarto the theme is familiar territory. “According to Feng Shui masters November 11, ’11 is one of the most favorable dates of the 21st century, a time when the pillars of heaven and earth will be in balance. For this once-in-a-lifetime event I wanted to combine old skills with new skills.” Sontosoemarto’s jewelry, mostly made of silver clay, was presented along with the collection designed by Jeranie Tam-Smit, by dancers choreographed and styled by Tanuya Manichand.

The great passion of Jeranie Tam-Smit is jewelry. For this collection she has worked with pearls, wood, glass, metal and shells. Tam-Smit took great effort to integrate the elements of Feng Shui in the precious pieces.

The contribution of Gudrun NV consists of a collection of jewelry which was shown in a stylish manner, in line with the theme. Black and white were the colors used for the table but also for the dresses of the presenters. Gudrun de Vries works primarily with pearls and precious stones. The element of water is reflected in the drop shape of the gems of including rose quartz, amazonite and crystal.

Icana works with the principle ‘people, planet, profit’ in mind. The welfare of mankind and of the earth always comes first.

Text: Marieke Visser, 2011

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Elsewhere … in CBK Rotterdam – “Schaafijs en Wilde Bussen, Straatkunst in Suriname”

May 3, 2011 at 9:55 pm (Elsewhere) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Schaafijs en Wilde Bussen, Straatkunst in Suriname“, or, in English: “Shave-ice Carts and Wild Buses, Street Art in Suriname”. The name of a book, published in Dutch, but also the name of an exhibition in Centrum Beeldende Kunst Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The exhibition runs from May 3 to May 29 2011. Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 12:00-17:00, Nieuwe Binnenweg 75, Rotterdam. A festive opening has been planned for May 13 2011.

Suriname has known a flourishing culture of street art, with the painted buses and the colorful shave-ice carts as eye catchers that make a lasting impression on people who visit this Caribbean country on the South American continent. This resulted in a beautiful book, until now available only in the Dutch language, but in the near future hopefully in English too, by Chandra van Binnendijk, Paul Faber and Tammo Schuringa. And with the book came a unique exhibition, taking street art to another level, and bringing the street to the gallery …

Invitation

The exhibition has traveled, from Fort Nieuw Amsterdam in Suriname, to The Netherlands, where it could be seen in CBK Zuidoost, Amsterdam, Heden in The Hague and now in CBK Rotterdam. On display, work by Winston van der Bok, Ramon Bruyning, Ray Daal, Manoodj Gangadin, Johnny Khodabaks, Nishar Khodabaks, Bietje Kramer, Amatsoedir Mohamadigsan, Dennis Riebeek, Hendry Singoredjo, Elvis Sim Sjoe, André Sontosoemarto and Lloyd Wolff.

In 2010 three street artists from Suriname enjoyed a residency in The Netherlands. One of the projects in which they were involved was the painting of a former Köln city bus in the frontyard of the Partizan Publik residence by André Sontosoemarto and Ramon Bruyning.

Painting of a former Köln city bus in the frontyard of the Partizan Publik residence by Ramon Bruyning, 2010 / PHOTO Tammo Schuringa, 2010

The third artist in residence was Nishar Khodabaks who was inspired by postcards of girls in tradtitional clothing, a so called “Zeeuws meisje”, a girl from the Zeeland province, and a girl from Volendam, a small town where even today some people wear traditional clothing.

Old postcards

Girl from Volendam by Nishar Khodabaks, 2010 / PHOTO Courtesy Tammo Schuringa, 2010

‘Zeeuws meisje’ by Nishar Khodabaks, 2010 / PHOTO Courtesy Tammo Schuringa, 2010

An interesting oneminute movie about the painted buses was made by artist George Struikelblok and placed on YouTube. The short movie was nominated for an award in Shanghai, China, 2010.

Author Tammo Schuringa also mentions the exhibition and the book on his website. A quote: “In this book the history of Surinamese street art is reconstructed and its most important practitioners are presented. But above all Schaafijs en wilde bussen leaves an overwhelming visual impression of this little-known artistic explosion.”

In oerdigitaalvrouwenblad, an online magazine, ‘Volkse reclame’, a Dutch article by Grardus Boon.

The book is promoted, in Dutch, on the website of the Publisher, Kit Publishers.

A book review, ‘Schaafijs en wilde bussen’, in Dutch, by Justine Brunsmann, on the website Ooglijm.

In English, in the Caribbean Review of Books an article by Nicholas Laughlin: ‘Moving pictures. A portfolio of images from Suriname’s painted wilde bussen’.

And in The New York Times, by Simon Romero: ‘Traveling in Suriname. With Marley and Bush on the bus’.

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