De Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam announces the theme of their winter exhibition for 2023–24: Indonesia

Next year, De Nieuwe Kerk, in collaboration with its partner the Tropenmuseum, will present a major overview exhibition of the history, art and culture of Indonesia and its inhabitants. It promises to be an unforgettable exhibition, for which De Nieuwe Kerk and the Tropenmuseum will work closely with numerous organisations and individuals in both the Netherlands and Indonesia. This includes the Dutch Embassy and Erasmus Huis: the cultural centre of the Netherlands in Jakarta. In addition, we are planning to cooperate with the National Museum of Indonesia, the largest and oldest museum of the country.

The exhibition will present well-known, but more importantly also unknown aspects of Indonesia to a wide audience. Oral history will play an important role and contemporary perspectives and current themes will also be discussed. The exhibition will be open from October 2023 to February 2024.

Historical objects, art, film clips, photography, fashion, music and much more will transport visitors to the largest archipelago in the world, inhabited by many different ethnic groups. An important part of the exhibition comprises collections from the Tropenmuseum and Museum Volkenkunde.

With countless ancient civilizations, the history presented goes back to 2000 BCE. Dutch colonial rule is discussed in its confronting and multifaceted nature. So too is Japanese occupation and the painful separation years. Today Indonesia is one of the countries that are flourishing in Asia. The exhibition is a journey through time and forms a diptych together with The Great Suriname Exhibition which attracted more than a hundred thousand visitors to the church on Dam Square in 2019/20.

Bureau Caspar Conijn has been asked to design the exhibition together with Lies Willers’ design studio. A rich programme of events is also being developed.

For decades, the Nieuwe Kerk has been well-known for its high-profile exhibitions. In 1992 and 2005 De Nieuwe Kerk presented, respectively, The Divine Countenance of Indonesia and Indonesia, the Discovery of the Past. Both exhibitions had an art-historical orientation, with a focus on the temple cultures of ancient civilisations. Then too, many objects from the collections of the Tropenmuseum and Museum Volkenkunde were on display. Museum Nasional Indonesia was also a partner in 1992 and 2005.

De Nieuwe Kerk currently presents World Press Photo Exhibition 2022 and in October it will open The Century of Juliana, a Queen and her Ideals. The church also has a national function which includes royal ceremonies, official gatherings and cultural events. Inspire, commemorate and celebrate, in one of the most impressive historical monuments in Amsterdam On Thursday 23 June the Tropenmuseum opens the exhibition Our Colonial Heritage.