Gilleam Trapenberg*


22 June - 10 November, 2024

On 22 June 2024, the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam will be opening Playa, a solo exhibition by photographer Gilleam TrapenbergWith a mix of existing and new works from his long-running series Currents, Trapenberg depicts the soul of Curaçao, influenced by his relationship with the island. Playa presents a quirky and personal take on Curaçao, in which Trapenberg brings to life the experience of living between two worlds. He will transform the museum’s attic into an installation that transports the atmosphere of the island to the Netherlands.

The soul of Curaçao
In his photographic work, Gilleam Trapenberg captures his personal experience of life on Curaçao, the place where he was born and grew up. He combines personal memories of the island with a contemplative gaze, subtly highlighting the colonial legacy that is deeply intertwined with local culture. Trapenberg seeks to convey the soul of Curaçao through the people and their environment. His photographs primarily depict the island’s inhabitants and the way in which they live and express their identity. To him, it is important to go beyond the clichéd tourist image of the island. His work is a beautiful, idiosyncratic and personal portrayal of Curaçao, revealing the young photographer’s position between two worlds – the world of his native Curaçao and the world of the Netherlands, where he now lives and works.

In Playa, Trapenberg illustrates this mainly through a rocky beach – a far cry from the idyllic spots often found in travel brochures. This volcanic beach on the north side of the island is a haven for local islanders to relax after a long day’s work. Trapenberg often photographs them from behind: with the sun at their backs, facing both the sea and the European continent.

The exhibition is curated by Sanneke Huisman.

About Gilleam Trapenberg
Gilleam Trapenberg (1991) moved to the Netherlands at the age of 19 and graduated from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Since then, his work has been exhibited in several museums, including Foam and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. His first photo book, Big

Papi, was published in 2017, and in 2020 Trapenberg received the Florentine Riem Vis Grant, an initiative of Foam.