Jennifer Tee, Tampan Natural System of Souls, 2019, Collectie Stedelijk Museum Schiedam  Schunck (1)

Art piece of the month: Jennifer Tee

Every month, curator Virginia Hameleers chooses a work from the SCHUNCK collection that inspires her, fascinates her or intrigues her in another way. Work that is too beautiful not to share. In the month of September, that work is by Jennifer Tee.  

After Romy Finke's work, this time I choose another work currently visible to the public, which is Tampan Natural System of Souls (2019) by Jennifer Tee from the joint collection of SCHUNCK and the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam.

Jennifer Tee often works with historical objects and symbols that connect different cultures. The work Tampan Natural System of Souls is based on the Tampan rugs that used to be used on the Indonesian island of Sumatra for official ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. The leaves Tee uses symbolise a now purely Dutch product - the tulip. However, its origins are originally in East Asia. Usually, Tampan rugs depict a ship with human and animal figures. In doing so, the mast simultaneously forms a tree of life and marks the different cycles of life.

Personal touch

I like the personal touch of this work. The ships and tulips refer to the moment when Tee's father fled from Indonesia to the Netherlands on a ship with his parents, sister and other Dutch East Indies people in the 1950s. The technique used is also special: Tee carefully collected and dried various tulip leaves and compiled collages from them, from which a high-quality scan was then made.

I cordially invite you to go and admire the result for yourself in the main hall of the town hall during the exhibition The collection from then to now to ever.

Jennifer Tee
Tampan Natural System of Souls, 2019
Piezograph on 315gsm museum etching paper
Joint collection Stedelijk Museum Schiedam and SCHUNCK, municipality of Heerlen
Acquired with support from the Mondriaan Fund