Arriving in Paramaribo

On March 6 I arrived in Paramaribo – the capital and largest city of Suriname.  Suriname is a country in northern South America.  It is bordered by French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west and Brazil to the south.  The Atlantic Ocean is to the north.  I arrived at night and decided to walk around the next morning.  These are pics of the streets close to where I was staying.  Very generally – Paramaribo was a trading post started by the Dutch.  It changed hands a few times with the English until the Independence of Suriname in 1975.  The city is very clean, the influence of Dutch Colonial architecture everywhere.


Artists I met in Paramaribo

After walking around town I met with a few interesting artists.  They talked to me about their practice and how they see their work moving forward.  Sunile Puljhn is a mixed media artist whose work contains images similar to silhouettes of people and some structures that sit on the surface of his dark, “crushed”, yet stretched canvases.  The work shown here is in process. I later saw larger pieces of his at  de Hal – a contemporary art gallery located in Paramaribo and exhibits the work by local artists.

Sri Irodikromo’s batiks are quite beautiful.  She stains, paints and sews together her canvases as well as collages and twists in fabric.  A recent theme of her work focussed on the typical Surinamese woman.  Here she is showing me her work that is being held at Readytex Art Gallery.

Dhiraj Ramsamoedj and I talked about his plastic bottle installation in which the artist collected plastic bottles “thrown out mindlessly”, assembled them in pyramid forn on top of a slab of wood that was pushed out to float on top of the Surinamese River.  He also talked to me about his performance piece “Flexible Man” in which he wears a bear-like suit made out of various cut textiles and situates himself in different environments to represent the flexibility of the Surinamese person who can be represented in so many different ways culturally through physicality and language.  At Alice Yard Dhiradj performed Flexible Man:  ACT 5: Dhiradj Ramsamoedj: Flexible Man.

All 3 artists attended Nola Hatterman Art Academy, an alternative art institution that provides a 4-year program to young people wanting a career as an artist.

Sunile, Sri and Dhiradj were all part of Paramaribo SPAN – a conversation of contemporary art and visual culture in Suriname, February 2010.


Playing at Nola Hatterman Art Accademy


I’ve never seen the construction of a building using bamboo.  I took this shot as we drove past, catching the window rims in the corners however the images did inspire me to use the breeze block image of the Christopher Cozier in Development project.  I wanted to leave something in Paramaribo – at Nola – before I left.

Paramaribo, Suriname | 2013 | Uncategorized