Let’s see what is happening at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam via Solidliquids. Solidliquids never stops exploring what is around her. She is based in Amsterdam and always has a pulse on what is happening in the city. Enjoy!
The Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk , and the Van Gogh Museum are some of Amsterdam’s most recognised museums. Less famous but not less interesting is the Tropenmuseum (The Tropical Museum). This museum shares insightful stories about the huge cultural diversity to be found around the world. It is a museum about people.
Currently the Tropenmuseum has three special exhibitions alongside their permanent collection that are worth checking out: Cool Japan, The Bitter Chocolate, and Africa Fashion Cities (sadly ending Jan 6th).
The Cool Japan exhibition is all about the world’s fascination with everything associated with Japan. This particular exhibit is broken into small installations. Two highlights are Kawaii and Otaku. The Kawaii installation focuses on the growing protest among girls rebelling against the pressure to growing up, working hard, and conforming to the strict demands of society. Hello Kitty known throughout the world and one you are most likely familiar with represents the commercial success that developed from this rebellion. Now known throughout Japan as a Kawaii icon.
The gallery of Otaku is a cozy Japanese corner that is set up for you to experience on a small-scale what it would be like if you were to attend a con. Otaku was once a term of abuse, but now it is embraced as a nickname similar to what we refer to a “nerd” or “geek”. The devoted fans to this culture spend hours gaming, reading, watching, and participating in the development of cultural products.
The Bitter Chocolate exhibit reveals the ugly story of child labour on chocolate plantations. Fifteen children share their compelling stories and it will change the way you look at chocolate forever!
The African Fashion Cities is an impressive exhibit told through the eyes of fashion experts from Africa and The Netherlands. Visitors explore the lively and diverse fashion scenes that shake up the world of fashion. Local stylists share their perspectives on what drives local styles. Additionally there are videos of local retailers, photographers, and bloggers from different regions that share their design stories. One example is the brother and sister team behind 2ManySiblings. They take you to a market in Nairobi where they buy and restyle second-hand designers clothes.
The Fashion exhibition features creations by The Sartists, a multidisciplinary creative collective from Johannesburg, Said Mahrouf, a Moroccan-Dutch designer, and Maki Oh, an African based fashion label appreciated by Beyonce and Michelle Obama. By the way did you know Maki Oh’s designer Amaka Osakwe’s inspiration for her Spring 2019 collection came from hanging out in hole-in-the-wall joints know as Bukas in Lagos, Nigeria? It also happens to be Amaka’s hometown, where these Bukas are typically run by women. Check out her latest collection.
This is just a peek into Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum. It is a rich and grand museum that stimulates curiosity. Just exploring the website will capture your interest. A collection of installations that will draw you in through interaction and personal stories. The Tropenmuseum is worldly and one to experience if you find yourself in Amsterdam. A hidden treasure!
(All images and videos are from the Tropenmuseum)