Part of the
exhibition

In the Presence of Absence proposals for the museum collection

5 Sep 2020 until 31 Jan 2021

Artist Page — 2 Sep 2020

In the Presence of Absence, the bi-annual show of proposals for the museum collection, presents 23 artists (collectives). This artist page includes a text on the work and an artist contribution.

DOMINIQUE (Dominique Latoel) combines street art with a symbol-based script comprising icons used by the Alifuru people, the original inhabitants of the Moluccan Lease islands in Melanesia. 

DOMINIQUE incorporates his distinctive script in a variety of media, including painting, clothing, mural work, and jewelry. The arrangements and compositions the artist makes with the symbols are influenced by his own Moluccan roots; they connect with Moluccan history and describe his quest for his own identity. DOMINIQUE sees it as important that he uses his art to keep the culture of his ancestors alive, and to share with the world a sense of pride about his origins. His mural Sama Ite Wele Telu (2020) is a site-specific work made for the exhibition. The three rivers of the title are central to the history of the Alifuru. According to their origin myth, it was through the Tala, Eti, and Sapalewa rivers on the “mother island” of Seram that humans spread around the world.

DOMINIQUE’s (b. 1980) background in graphic design and multimedia design remains part of his practice alongside his solo work. Levi’s, Adidas, Shimano, Nike Europe/NYC, and Patagonia have all commissioned work from him. Murals by DOMINIQUE can be found in Willemstad in Curacao, at Burnside Skatepark in Deventer in the Netherlands, and in Bali, Indonesia.

Illustration by Haitham Haddad after DOMINIQUE’s “Sama Ite Wele Telu,” 2020.
Illustration by Haitham Haddad after DOMINIQUE’s “Sama Ite Wele Telu,” 2020.
DOMINIQUE, “Laut Banda,” 2020. Courtesy the artist.
DOMINIQUE, “Laut Banda,” 2020. Courtesy the artist.

Artist Contribution

Geronimo Matulessy, Indigenous Drum Ceremony, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.
Geronimo Matulessy, Indigenous Drum Ceremony, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.