‘OUT OF THE OCEAN’
A solo exhibition by
Roddney Tjon Poen Gie
On October 15th the Readytex Art Gallery launches yet again another spectacular solo exhibition in her historical space in the Maagden straat. This unique exhibition with sculptures of a different type than those usually seen in the gallery is by the versatile and talented Surinamese artist Roddney Tjon Poen Gie. The artist is an adept and expert sculptor of different materials such as wood, ceramics and other natural materials, but has chosen for this exhibition to work with shapes and materials formed and created by nature-in this case more specifically and literally – derived ‘out of the ocean’. Also in the exhibition are a number of colorful acrylic paintings in which the artist has portrayed the shapes and designs of his so-called ‘Art Trouvé’ or found art on canvas.
The sculptures in this exhibition are true eye catchers. With their one of a kind whimsical shape, each piece totally different from every angle and dimension of view, and their colorful highly contrasting abstract acrylic paint detail, the works of art in this new exhibition by Roddney Tjon Poen Gie truly stand out.
Tjon Poen Gie regularly scours the deserted beaches of the Surinamese coastline for assorted finds washed ashore by the powerful waves of the ocean. Driftwood, coral and other plant materials as well as animal bones and other ‘Art Trouvé’, make the trip back home with the artist, where they are expertly manipulated and detailed to become spectacular works of art. The artist prefers to work with the shapes as they are created by nature, but he does occasionally craft the materials subtly so that they more closely represent an intended shape or object.
The paintings on the natural sculptures are not only colorful and striking but also skillfully infused with symbolism. Symbolism based on the yearlong inspiration the artist derives from his mixed ethnic ancestry and cultural background, is artfully integrated in the black contrasting lines which stand out against the colorful background of each figure.
Letters from the Chinese alphabet and from the old maroon Afaka script as well as symbols and designs from indigenous and maroon art and culture (sometimes obvious and other times subtly disguised) add interesting contrast and detail to each piece.
Roddney Tjon Poen Gie is well known in Surinamese artistic circles for his affinity for and his work with materials found in nature. ‘Natural materials can greatly contribute to lowering the financial threshold which expensive store bought art supplies can put up for artists. All it takes is creativity and inventiveness.’ The work of art in his new solo-exhibition ‘Out of the Ocean’ is a prime example of the artist’s personal philosophy. Seemingly useless natural waste materials out of the ocean are skillfully transformed into beautiful and unique sculptures, reminiscent of exotic creatures in precarious poses carefully balanced and mounted on solid wooden bases.
‘Out of the Ocean’ is open to the public in the Readytex Art Gallery from October 15th until October 25th during regular opening hours. These are from Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm and on Saturdays from 8:30 am – 1:30 pm. The Readytex Art Gallery is located on the Maagden straat 44 upstairs, in the Readytex department store.