The strength of women – Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi
From July 1st until July 14th Surinamese artist Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi will present her latest art collection and new book in a solo-exhibition named The strength of women.
According to the artist the strength of women knows many subtle nuances and can be manifested in countless ways. It was however the inner strength of women that most inspired Kit-Ling in her latest art collection and the stories in her book which will be presented at this exhibition. At the same time this exhibition also exposes the many creative strengths and the versatility of Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi herself. Aside from displaying her talents as a visual artist, the exhibition also shows the artist’s talents as a writer and filmmaker.
In the past the main concept and driving force behind the art of Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, was her immense love of nature and her appreciation for its spiritual powers. This is hardly surprising since this love of nature was mostly influenced by her father who infused her with its values at a very early age. “Nature gives me the strength to deal effectively with my emotions and it inspires a sense of peace”. Although the emphasis in this exhibition is primarily on the strength of women, nature will always play a significant role in the art of Kit-Ling just as the relationship between women and nature is also familiar aspect in her work. Other subjects such as a significant sense of nationalism, love for her country and a genuine appreciation for the cultural diversity represented in Suriname, have also greatly influenced Kit-Ling over the years. These values were largely inspired in her school going days by people such as our current president Ronald Venetiaan, then a teacher at her high school AMS (Algemene Middelbare School), and popular Surinamese poet Dobru.
Gradually, as the artist progressed and she began to critically evaluate her own role and position as a woman and an artist, the interest in the subject “women” became more significant. More and more she wanted to use her art to focus on women and their role and position in society. There are still far too many women who live in suppression and even for the so-called emancipated woman there are still hurdles and challenges to overcome. Nevertheless the strength of women in all layers of society is obviously present and many strong women are successful and motivated multi-taskers. An interesting debate will be held on this subject on the 14th of July, the last night of the exhibition. The panel consists of representatives from several disciplines who will each elaborate upon and discuss the position of women in their particular fields of expertise.
The paintings in the exhibition are primarily figurative works of art, but some realistic works are also present. The distinctive style and character which is so uniquely Kit-Ling’s are easily recognizable in the collection. On the opening night the artist will also present the public with her book The strength of women. Her book includes all of the paintings shown in the exhibition and gives the public the opportunity to familiarize itself with the artists growing love for the art of the written word. With her fictitious stories dealing with the same theme as the paintings, Kit-Ling presents a publication in which word and image are (consciously) equally important. During the exhibition Kit-Ling’s movie UMA will also be shown. This movie was first shown last year during the Backlot festival. This art form is also one that holds a special interest for Kit-Ling and the movie is a fitting compliment to the exhibition.
There is also a fun competition associated with the exhibition. An interactive piece of art, the “female hero reading board” is at the center of this competition and provides the clues to the quiz that is to be filled out. Five portraits of each a female hero, have to be matched with five boards containing a name and five other boards with a profession, title or position. The correct information must then be entered on a form in addition to a short description of the achievements or activities for which these women became famous. Upon completion of the exhibition the winners will be chosen by a jury consisting of three persons.
The opening of the exhibition The strength of women will take place on the 30th of June in the presence of President Ronald R. Venetiaan, and will be performed by first lady Liesbeth Venetiaan-Vanenburg. The exhibition is open to the public from the 1st until the 14th of July, daily from 9:00 am until 9:00 pm in the new VAT-building at the Kleine Waterstraat 1.