C.J. Hood, 2011, Floating Spears


Maria Sluierhof, 2011, Show-Hide 1-3


Rolo Pong, Quality built on passion

C.J. Hood, 2010, Packed Palets, variable composition

Maria Sluierhof, 2011, Show-Hide, 4-5

Lexie Ping, Pin Up (Protector), BW photos

new talent: Work from Upperground
'Access above ground and beneath the sky' 

press release

J.C. Hood, Maria Sluierhof, Rolo Pong
march - april 2011
NEW TALENT has the curatorial intention to show visual experiment evolving from Kwasiafrikani  made by three artists given access to the cultural archive of anthropologist Klaas de Jonge in collaboration with Studio Paris. NEW TALENT will showcase the work of: Rolo Pong, Maria Sluierhof and J.C.Hood.  The artists have not shown work together before and originate individually from different countries, culture and national identity.

The idea for curating the exhibition NEW TALENT began in 2007 in a large empty factory and artist studio where Wim Vonk, Marja van Putten and Lieve Prins make their own practice. In the same building - now called Studio Paris - an extensive collection of over one thousand artifacts from Africa (masks, domestic items and ritual objects) are stored in seventy aluminum crates. The anthropologist Klaas de Jonge has worked for over forty years in many countries in Africa, mostly in war-zones. He collected, some would say rescued, these authentic and important cultural artifacts.

As practicing artists Vonk, Van Putten and Prins were greatly influenced by this collection and in 2008 took responsibility for curating the exhibition Kwasiafrikani, showing the work of fifteen artists from across African and Europe. Visitors to the successful Kwasiafrikani exhibition included Veronica H. Layers, curator at the Museum of Modern Art in Seattle (Seattle Art Museum USA), who, in direct dialogue with practitioners at the exhibition conveyed her appreciation of the work on show, and commended above all its visual quality and coherence. Seeing this exhibition first hand proved to be an enduring and memorable experience, acknowledged by Layers sustaining her contact with the curators and exhibitors - ‘Kwasiafrikani is like coming home’ (Veronica H. Layers 4-2-2011)*

For Studio Paris the positive response to Kwasiafrikani  has resulted in artist practitioners from around the world: England, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, USA, Australia, Burkina Faso and Aruba making visits to the studio; making work in the studio, joining in with studio projects - the youngest participant being nine years of age - all now frequent visitors at Studio Paris undertaking collaborative research with the Klaas de Jonge cultural archive as primary source material.

Facilitating direct access to the cultural artifacts in the de Jonge collection in conjunction with Kwasiafrikani  exhibits and the working space of Studio Paris demonstrates a repositioning of visual pre-conceptions, working practices and perceptual approaches. New visual work being made echoes the cultural legacy of Africa, is mirrored in a transnational heritage and is a research outcome that resists being confined by terms that seek alignment with any single national identity. Or indeed origin.
Hetstedelijkisweeropen will show Upperground Art, Art that does not hide.
* Review Weesper Courant