From 19 September, De Ketelfactory will be showing the solo exhibition of photographer and designer Guus Rijven under the title Dragon of the White – the island of Deshima in the Bay of Nagasaki.
In 2017, Rijven (The Hague, 1947) travelled to Japan with two cameras when the land bridge between Nagasaki and Deshima was reopened. One camera was intended for narrative colour shots, the other for more abstract black-and-white images. This is how Rijven went in search, as he calls it himself, of the legendary Dragon of the White.
From 1641 to 1859, the Dutch trading post was located on Deshima, an island in the Bay of Nagasaki, Kyusu, Japan. For centuries, Deshima connected Japan with the Netherlands. The bridge was officially reopened in the autumn of 2017.
The exhibition consists of 3 dissimilar series, which complement each other. The Dragon of the White inhabits the blank areas on the map. His habitat shifts through discovery or conquest. Cartographer, adventurer, trader, artist and photographer – they are each in search of the Dragon of the White. When the dragon is discovered, the traveller is home. What remains is imagination.
Guus Rijven is a photographer who has a keen eye for the moment and the detail, but the mysteriousness of what was, is and will not shy away from it. In museums in Nagasaki, Leiden and The Hague, Rijven also recorded as factually as possible what was excavated in the soil of Deshima and what the Dutch merchants brought home from Deshima to ‘depots’ during the seventeenth century.
The exhibition will be on display at De Ketelfactory in Schiedam until 20 December. To visit the exhibition, it is necessary to reserve a ticket in advance. This is because of the measures taken by COVID-19. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with the same title in Dutch and English. More information about the exhibition can be found at the website of De Ketelfactory.
Source: De Ketelfactory