Blanda — Noor von Winckelmann

Autonomous Context  2021—2022

I tell the story of my family history by bringing together the 2 cultures of colonial Indonesia and noble Germany in an artistic way that forms a harmony where there was none before. I do this by experimenting and combining with traditional techniques such as batik and etching in a personal way.

For my master's project, I shaped my love of printmaking techniques through a personal, family story. My grandfather was born in Indonesia, but with the German surname 'von Winckelmann'. My family lived in Indonesia for 250 years, but with a colonial history. The German surname originated from a baron in Germany in the 18th century, who was recruited for the Dutch army heading to Indonesia. That noble name also came with a coat of arms. This coat of arms was my starting point in my artistic journey. One of the basic printmaking techniques, etching, emerged while creating coats of arms in armor and shields for knights. I combine this primal technique in a contemporary way with a traditional art form of Indonesia, batik. This work consists of a sculptural etching with the outline of my coat of arms filled with patches of beeswax randomly created by fire flames and acidified layer by layer. My next work will focus more on Indonesian batik. In a series of flags inspired by medieval flags with coats of arms, I present the batik process step by step. I color the flags myself and screen print a pattern on them using beeswax. Here I transform the traditional technique into a more modern execution. The pattern is inspired by batik Sekar Jagdad. This pattern symbolizes the diversity in Indonesia, and in another way also the diversity in my family history. The stains in this pattern are a reference to the wax stains in my previous work and each of these stains are filled in with a pattern of my own design. These smaller patterns are each an element taken from the coat of arms. To this I added 1 additional pattern consisting of pearl necklaces. This symbolizes myself and the position of women in batik and passing on the noble family surname. The 2 colors I use here, blue and red are the most used colors in West-Java. This is again a reference to my grandfather, he was born and raised in the city of Bandung, this is the capital of West-Java. Finally, as the last part of my master's project, I present an analogue photo series on canvas, consisting of nature photos from my grandfather's photo archive from Indonesia with faded silhouettes of family portraits of my grandfather and his family in Indonesia on top. This refers to the colonial part of my family history. The 3 works in total tell my personal story and vision of my cultural background and everything that comes with it.