(above picture taken at the festive opening night reception when the artist was signing his book)
June 27 – July 09, 2005
Readytex Art Gallery
Maagdenstraat 44 – 48
Tel.: 474380 / 421750
Monday – Friday 08.00 – 16.30 hrs
Saturday 08.00 – 13.00 hrs
Signing sessions on exhibition days between 12.00 – 13.00 hrs.
Soeki’s art is a celebration of culture. He uses bright, gay colors. A lot of red, never clashing, always festive, vivid. Dancing and singing, traditional costumes, rain forest, fajalobi-flowers, Javanese elements and Amerindian patterns. In short: the wealth of our many-sided Suriname. Abundance radiating a message of pride: here we are! The colorful art of Soeki Irodikromo shows a love of life and a love of culture. “This is everything I enjoy in life. The jungle, anyumara-fish, crickets, two trees, a hammock under a starlit sky, together with a bunch of people.” Although he eagerly uses nature as a great source of inspiration, the artist is first and foremost inspired by his fellow human beings. “It is very important to me to do my job: surrounded by Surinamers, working hard, fair play, in harmony with everything.”
“Forty years of hard work: this is my life!” To honor the occasion of Soeki’s 40th anniversary as an artist and his 60th birthday, part of the results of Soeki’s lifelong labor is on display in the Readytex Art Gallery. A lot of paintings; acryl on canvas in Soeki’s own warm colors. They come in several sizes – but never small. And never empty… “People ask me why I use every inch of canvas to paint things. I have so much to tell, and never want to stop!”
Apart from the paintings, several ceramic objects are exhibited as well. Proud females in clay, and very free interpretations and variations on this theme. The mixed media-pieces are the result of a liaison between glazed ceramic work which has been attached to a wooden board. The colors which have been used to color the clay are somewhat softer, dreamier than those we have become accustomed to from Soeki. The blue of violets, a grayish sea green, a salmon-kind of pink. The patterns on the pottery and those used in the mixed media-pieces return in the paintings.
The artist has no hesitation at all when answering questions about his identity. He is a Surinamer from head tot toe, and he has chosen Suriname as the theme to work with during his entire life. “I don’t want to be known as a ‘paè’ (used tot describe a typical Javanese man), but as a ‘Srananman’ (a Surinamer). I co-exist in harmony with everybody and everything. That’s typical for the art I have produced during the past twenty years. All cultures are inspiring to me. The paddles, the batik motives… Often I don’t even know their meaning, but it’s mine! That’s what people recognize in my art. That’s my reward: I have been granted recognition as an important Surinamese artist.”
Text: Tabiki Productions, Marieke Visser, june 2005