Selamat Sjabbat


“This fall the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam presents the exhibition Selamat Sjabbat – Malay-Hebrew for peaceful Shabbat – which tells the unknown story of the Jews in the Dutch East Indies. The exhibition takes the visitor on a journey to the beginning of the colonial period, the war in the Pacific and the post-war situation. Unique historical objects, photos from family albums and personal interview fragments make the stories from the Dutch East Indies in this exhibition come alive.” see website JHM
Inspired by moving family histories, OTW created a warm and intimate setting that reflects the bitter-sweet memories of living in the colony. The typical exotic elements such as the bleached blues and the lush greens, sharp contrasts and shadows and tactility of materials were leading in achieving the right balance of atmosphere and abstraction.

The journey though the exhibition is like a voyage to one of the many Indonesian islands. As one moves further into the exhibition the open, airy vistas of the sea voyage are gradually replaced by a swelling green of the foliage. We see the horizon moving up gradually swallowing up the light; fertility of the nature being replaced by menacing darkness. A game of light and shadows complements the abstract horizon line.





The highlight of the exhibition is a display of the precious personal possessions, produced and collected by mothers and children who were interned together during the Japanese invasion. Captured in the vast space of one showcase, these tiny objects breathe vulnerability. Some of these objects were replicated to allow the visitors a more immediate experience.



Eventually, the route takes the visitor back to the present day. In this epilogue, the current life of Jews in Indonesia is captured in the photographs of Pauline Prior.

Exhibition is curated by Hetty Berg and ValerieTouw, Jewish Historical Museum Amsterdam

Lighting design by Frank Hulsebosch, FWFrank

Logotype of exhibition by Barbara Dijkhuis, De Nieuwe Collectie

Surface area: 180m2

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