The work of Surinamese-Dutch artist Remy Jungerman (b. 1959, Moengo, Suriname) can be described as the result of various forms of cultural expression encountered during his travels, and impressions gained in the various places in the world where he has lived. At first glance, the resulting work appears to be firmly in the tradition of the Modernism of artists like Piet Mondrian and Malevich, but at the same time it has its roots in the rituals of Winti and the designs of the Maroon peoples of Suriname. This creates a certain tension in Jungerman’s work, between the universal visual language of Modernism and the spiritual power of Voodoo and Winti. Jungerman has produced a number of new pieces specially for Gemeentemuseum Den Haag’s Projects Gallery. They include a series of panels. Crossing the Water is the first time Jungerman has shown this type of work in the Netherlands.
Born in a small Maroon community in the town of Moengo in Suriname, Jungerman studied mechanical engineering in Paramaribo, and later attended the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. His work should not however be regarded solely as a reflection of a Surinamese artist and his relationship with the Netherlands. Jungerman is interested in the global journey made by patterns, designs and form language. Globalisation, a trend much discussed at the moment, has been occurring for years in the world of art and objects. Exchange of knowledge between cultures and forms of communication and transnationality are important themes in Jungerman’s work.
The title Crossing the Water is a reference to Jungerman’s own passage from Modernism to the African diaspora perspective in his study of the geometric. Since 2014 he has been working on panels, abandoning the restrictions in terms of shape and colour dictated by the De Stijl movement – his great inspiration – and, using specific textiles, reintroducing the influences of Winti rituals. Jungerman uses traditional fabrics, and also batik-based fabrics made by the Dutch manufacturer Vlisco. For him, this symbolises the economic ties and exchanges between the different cultures in which he lives.
Jungerman previously exhibited a small selection of the panels in Glasgow. He has added some new works specially for the Projects Gallery. The exhibition will also include earlier (wall) sculptures, to highlight the artistic journey Jungerman has made.