collage of detail images artworks

Exhibition — 26 Nov 2022 until 10 Apr 2023

The group exhibition When Things Are Beings reveals the power of objects and sculptures in a range of visual languages. Bridging the material and immaterial realms, the projects forge connections between ideas and objects, spirituality and materiality, and link social issues to tangible phenomenon.

Spanning 13 rooms, the exhibition addresses the inner power of objects and sculptures. The 24 selected projects invite feelings of attraction, confusion, and curiosity. The works range from installations to photography and print, jewellery, object design, video, film, soundscape and performance. Some projects in the exhibition refer to a spiritual world, while others conjoin complex and layered histories between people from different generations and different places in the world. For instance, artist Seán Hannan works with the idea of the Irish curse known as piseógs, and media artist and designer Sondi’s work plays with memories of her childhood home in Cameroon. 

Book ticket

detail image of three-channel video installation with 3D animation and ceramics
Sondi, (detail) 'Home 404', 2022. Three-channel video installation with 3D animation and ceramics. Courtesy of the artist.

When Things Are Beings moves between the elusive appeal of abstract concepts, and forms of spirituality that can lie hidden in objects and sculptures. Design and art can enchant or captivate us in ways that cannot always be clearly explained or defined. For example, in FOLD, a mirror made of layered sandblasted glass, designer Sabine Marcelis explores material properties that initially escape direct observation, by playing with depth and perception. Artist Ana Navas’ sculptures titled Excuses consist of shapeshifting household objects, such as a drying rack, that ‘put on a costume’, and grew out of her fascination with the relationship between popular culture and what is known as ‘high’ art.

  • Seán Hannan, (detail) 'LUCK', 2022. Film and installation with cursed egg. Courtesy of the artist.
  • Sabine Marcelis, (detail) 'Folding mirror lights', 2022. Mirrored glass with led light. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Titia Hahne.
  • Shani Leseman, (detail) 'Talismagic', 2022. Series of 100 glazed ceramic objects. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Trees Heil.
  • Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, (detail) 'Moults', 2019. Mixed media sculpture. Courtesy of the artist.
  • Shani Leseman, (detail) 'Talismagic', 2022. Series of 100 glazed ceramic objects. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Trees Heil.
  • Yinka Buutfeld, (detail) 'AGBARA', 2021. Jewelry from bleached shipping rope. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Iris Rijskamp.

The exhibition presents 24 projects created by the following designers and artists:   

Ayo / James Beckett / Yinka Buutfeld / Jae Pil Eun / Eric Giraudet de Boudemange / Laurids Gallée / Antonio Jose Guzman & Iva Jankovic / Seán Hannan / Saskia Noor van Imhoff / Iris Kensmil / Sebastian Koudijzer / Marcos Kueh / Aram Lee / Shani Leseman / Sabine Marcelis / Chequita Nahar / Ana Navas / Hatutamelen / Wendy Owusu / Ginevra Petrozzi / Magali Reus / Sondi / Amy Suo Wu & Elaine W. Ho / Wei Yang    

The exhibition When Things Are Beings is part of the project series Proposals for Municipal Art Acquisitions, which is organised biannually with financial support from the City of Amsterdam. Makers living and working in the Netherlands are invited to respond to an open call, followed by a jury selection and a group exhibition. Some of the work shown will be acquired for the museum collection.  

Book ticket

cover of publication


The exhibition will be accompanied by an online publication with in-depth texts on the 24 selected projects and an essay by Mira Asriningtyas.
Download publication


Sunday November 27, 2022
Performances by Antonio Jose Guzman, Ginevra Petrozzi, and Jae Pil Eun who will perform his sound performance Blue Moon during the opening weekend.

Saturday February 11, 2023
Artist talks, book launch, film screenings with several designers and artist from the exhibition.

January 27, February 24, March 31, 2023
Readings by Ginevra Petrozzi. Digital Esoterism is performed as a one-on-one session in the form of Tarot-like readings. It is also possible to attend as a duo. Every last Friday of the month.

Sunday April 2, 2023
Antonio Jose Guzman & Iva Jankovic perform Messengers of the Sun a second time during the closing weekend of the exhibition.

The education program includes a free audio guide narrated by Ikenna Azuike and Zaïre Krieger, available at the exhibition and online.

Please <button class="button button--link" data-handler="cookiebotRenew">accept marketing cookies</button> to view this content.

Please to view this content.

Concept and exhibition curation: Amanda Pinatih and Britte Sloothaak, with the help of intern Jasmijn Mol.

Exhibition design: Studio L A (Lorien Beijaert, Arna Mačkić, Quita Schabracq).
Graphic design of exhibition: Eva Heisterkamp.   

Graphic design of the publication: Print the Future (Klara van Duijkeren and Vincent Schipper).

Jury: Aric Chen (director Het Nieuwe Instituut), Roos Gortzak (director Vleeshal), Prince Malik Jewiti-R (co-founder Artskop3437), Aude Christel Mgba (freelance curator, sonsbeek20→24) and the Stedelijk Museum curators Amanda Pinatih and Britte Sloothaak.