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Who is Djon?


Djon Louis Seedorf (Oldenzaal, 1950) is the son of a Surinamese father and a Javanese mother. His parents met in the former Dutch East Indies, where Seedorf’s father served in the Dutch East Indies Army (KNIL). When Indonesia finally gained their independence in December 1949, Seedorf’s father was demobilized and sent to the Netherlands. From here, they moved to Suriname in 1952. In 1972, Seedorf moved back to the Netherlands where he attended the pedagogical academy. In 1989, Seedorf graduated at the Rietveld Academy, while he continued to work as a teacher. After his retirement, he started to create his own art, which culminated in various exhibitions.

I want to portray my own story with my art. During my education at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, I found the art history discussed very western-oriented, useful, but also, in a way, lukewarm porridge. It was a totally pre-chewed way of doing things and everything that fell outside western art history was seen and described as 'exotic' or 'primitive'. And that's something I've always resisted. That's why I hope to go ''Into the Wild'' with my art. In other words, I want to show in a connecting, adventurous way what I have experienced from my own historical perspective in Suriname, Indonesia and the Netherlands. And with this multicultural treasure I hope to create works of art in my own visual language. Many of my paintings are about my personal background as someone who grew up with strong influences from Dutch, Surinamese and Indonesian culture, from coming together and breaking up, from being on your own and depending on the circumstances.

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