Het Signaal

Whenever Adjie (grandma) heard an owl she would get angry. She would start screaming and cussing in an attempt to scare the owl away. She saw it as a sign that somebody was about to die. That’s why little Dhiradj was always afraid of owls. He thought: ‘the owl will come and get you, will grab you with his big claws and take you away.’
Now he looks at it differently. He sees the owl as a messenger who brings bad news. In many folk stories and myths, wise people are sent to convey messages. That is why Dhiradj’s current image of the owl, more closely resembles the western concept of the owl as a symbol of wisdom.
The painting that Dhiradj made for the Thalia 180 year exhibition is rife with symbolism.
The background of the painting has the color of old books, old photos and posters of Thalia. This color can also be seen in the eyes of the giant owl depicted on the canvas. Dhiradj has painted with ashes. Because the gray ash looked more like black on the canvas, he used white paint in order to reach the effect of various gray tones and black. The ash represents that which is left over from your body after cremation. It symbolizes renewal. When part of a forest burns down for example, it becomes food or fertilizer for new plants.
The painting is based upon memories from his youth and Dhiradj’s own interpretation of life. In addition to the owl, religious films that Adja and Adjie (grandpa and grandma) used to watch also play an important role in the painting. A recurring image in these films is a person who stands on earth and prays to God or talks to the ancestors. Or sometimes it’s the other way around and God or the ancestors speak to the person from heaven. Dhiradj sees life as a cycle, a wheel that keeps turning around. One comes and goes, and others will keep coming thereafter. People keep coming just like products on a conveyor belt. They are identical almost as if they were produced in a factory.
He has applied straight lines to the canvas, all with the proportions of an A4 sheet of paper. The dimensions of the painting measuring 1.76 x 2.50 meters have these exact proportions.
The straight lines are for balance. Dhiradj added red food coloring to the gray paint to create the lines, which is why they have a reddish brown color. The use of food coloring symbolizes food, which is a basic necessity for humans in order to stay alive.
Dhiradj is of the opinion that a lot of innovative plans will have to made in order to breathe new life into Thalia. In this day and age many people will first choose the movie theater TBL, just like children who are rather plastered to a television screen and much less inclined to draw, paint or do crafts.
With his 31 years of age, Dhiradj Ramsamoedj is the youngest artist in the exhibition De Dragers van het beeld [The Carriers of the Image]. He has however, as a young Surinamese artist, had a good and quick start, with already three solo exhibitions, various national and international group shows and a total of four Artist-in-Residencies in four different countries: the Netherlands, France (Paris), Trinidad & Tobago and Aruba.
TEXT Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, 2017


Artist:              Dhiradj Ramsamoedj
Title:                Togetherness
Dimensions:   206 x 104 x 33 cm
Medium:         Mixed media wall sculpture (textile,  acrylic, textile glue and wire gride)
Year:                2017

This work of art symbolizes the cultural bond shared by Suriname and French-Guyana. Like the neighbors that they are, the two countries are depicted side by side, and the shape of the piece is therefore determined by the outline of the borders of the two merged countries. Although the whimsical surface created by the hundreds of colorful pieces of textile looks like it might visualize an aerial photograph of the dense tropical rainforest, Ramsamoedj has intended it to symbolize the varied ‘cultural jungle’ of both countries. The two stylized hand-shapes reaching towards each other in the center of the work are symbolic of two brothers who try to find each other on a cultural level. It is for this reason that the hands are made primarily of culturally relevant pieces of cloth. According to Ramsamoedj “Suriname and French-Guyana are developing countries and development brings enlightenment. This is symbolized by the splashes of reflective paint that I have added onto the work. We still have some work to do towards our development, which is why these splashes of enlightenment are not dominant in the artwork.” 

Text by Cassandra Gummels



In My Mind's Eye

A solo exhibition by Dhiradj Ramsamoedj and team Readytex Art Gallery

Achter Onze Ruggen_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas

Alter Ego_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

An Outdated Dream_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

Blue Sunny Day_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

Brothers_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas

Desert of Technology_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

Fate_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas

Beauty of Innocence_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

Girl with the Red Nose Ring_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

Dinner with My Money_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

Dog Meat Feast_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas

Enough Already_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas

Importance of Money_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

Money Love_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

000242_My Best Friend_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

Nature and I_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

Peer pressure_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas

Playboy_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas

Player of the Hearts_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas

Reflection of the Truth_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

Seduction_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

Self Defense_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas

Selfie March_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

Soldier in Love_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

Squabble_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas

The Bow_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

The Lone Fisherman_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

The Party_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

The Perfect Mammal_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas

The Protector_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas

The Traitor_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

The Victim_80cmx113.5cm_oil on canvas

“If Only…”_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas

“Sweet Doggy”_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas

“You Are Beautiful”_80cmx113.5cm_acrylic on canvas