In 2018, Kerstin Winking curated an exhibition of Indonesian modern art from the collection of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The Djaya Brothers: Revolusi in the Stedelijk was conceptualized around the paintings and drawings of Agus Djaya and Otto Djaya, two Indonesian brothers and painters who lived in the Netherlands during the Indonesian Revolution (1945-1949). The artists came to the Netherlands by secret order of the new Indonesian government led by Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta. They were given a solo exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum by its director Willem Sandberg in 1947, at a time when the Dutch people’s opinion about whether to abandon the colony was highly divided. For the next 70 years, the work of the Djayas was kept in museum storage until it was shown again in The Djaya Brothers. The press reactions to the exhibition showed that polarization about the Dutch colonial legacy continues into the present.
During this talk, Winking will introduce the work of the Indonesian modernists and the revolutionary war. Winking will address questions and issues in relation to working with political archives, engaging with postcolonial memory, and the importance of this line of inquiry for museums of modern and contemporary art.
Kerstin Winking is an Amsterdam-based curator and scholar of cultural studies. She has curated and organized exhibitions and programs at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA) and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Nubuke Foundation in Accra, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Kunstfort in Vijfhuizen, and the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. Her writing appeared in connection to numerous exhibitions and in journals like Art Asia Pacific, Flash Art, Metropolis M, and Third Text. She is co-editor of Project 1975: The Postcolonial Unconscious (2014) and currently works with the artist Sawangwongse Yawnghwe on his first monographic publication.