If you exit through the front door of
Arnhem’s train station during SONSBEEK ’16, the first thing you’ll see is a
mural by the Indonesian artist Marishka Soekarna. Her visual language softens
the hard concrete, giving visitors a warm welcome. You feel even more at home
when you return from your train trip.
With the theme of “at home”, Marishka willingly romanticizes the remnants of the colonial era, when the Dutch made Indonesia their home. They undoubtedly still recognize certain dishes, loanwords, and Dutch buildings in colonial ruins. Yet Marishka quickly felt at home during her visit here. She recognizes the language, food, and even certain habits of her grandmother.
Marishka thinks “feeling at home” is the best feeling there is: comfortable, warm, and familiar, like a mother’s gentle touch. These feelings are reflected in her work. Her murals, in which “the female” is often represented, are in line with the feminine curves of the ultramodern train station, and with the city itself. She compares the city to a mother. That word often stands for something encompassing, like “mother earth”. In Javanese, the literal translation of “capital” is “mother city”, or “ibu kota”.
If Mariskha still has some paint left, she will use it for more spots in front of central station.