My Oma

Book Tickets

My Oma is a curatorial project focusing on the figure of the grandmother.

The project overall explores personal and cultural legacies mobilized by affection as much as by conflict. It convenes artists and narratives, as well as artworks and theory that articulate central issues of our time: experiences of immigration, dissonant heritage, and changing gender roles.

My Oma gives special attention to embodied knowledge and micro narratives. In the light of increasing political polarization, My Oma promotes historical learning, strengthened intergenerational bonds and celebrates knowledges held among diaspora communities. The bilingual title—with the English my and the Dutch oma for grandmother—is meant to communicate this personal approach. As such, we address grandmothers as plural protagonist imbued with agency as well as being the subject of social projections. The figure of the grandmother thereby allows for various approaches to histories, traditions, and ancestry. It also welcomes the reconsideration of gendered and ageist determinations surrounding cultural and material legacy.

Organized by Kunstinstituut Melly, My Oma involves a large group exhibition of contemporary art including new commissions, existing work, performances, and events. Participating artists include: A Maior (Portugal), Funda Baysal (Turkey), Yto Barrada (France), Meriem Bennani (Morocco), Nurul Ain Binti Nor Halim (Thailand), Lia Dostlieva and Andrii Dostliev (Ukraine), Shardenia Felicia (Curaçao), Susanne Khalil Yusef (Germany), Charlie Koolhaas (The Netherlands), Liedeke Kruk (the Netherlands), Marcos Kueh (Malaysia), Berette S Macaulay (Sierra Leone), Silvia Martes (Curaçao), Hana Miletić (Zagreb), Jota Mombaça (Brazil), Sheelasha Rajbhandari (Nepal), Anri Sala (Albania), Stacii Samidin (the Netherlands), Katerina Šedá (Czech Republic), Buhlebezwe Siwani (South Africa), Judy Watson (Australia), and Sawangwongse Yawnghwe (Shan State, Burma).

During the opening weekend, from December 8th to 10th, a number of performances and presentations will take place at Kunstinstituut Melly, including Ola Hassanain (Sudan), Yoeri Guépin (the Netherlands), Melike Kara (Germany), Raimundas Malašauskas (Lithuania), Amanda Moström (Sweden), Maria Pask (Wales), Asa Seresin (United Kingdom), and Julia Scher (United States), among others. A complete list of participants and program schedule will be published here in November. Additionally we present a new collaboration with Amarte Fund, Music for My Oma. In this program musicians and sound artists perform at Kunstinstituut Melly as part of the opening-weekend festivities. More details of this third edition of Melly X Amarte are online here.

My Oma is the closing exhibition and public-engagement project of Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy’s tenure as the director of Kunstinstituut Melly. It marks her six years of transformational institutional work here. The exhibition and its parallel projects result from curatorial research and public outreach conducted by her and her team—including curators Rosa de Graaf, Jessy Koeiman, Julija Mockutė, and Vivian Ziherl—during this span of time. Curatorial advisors to My Oma include: Diana Campbell Betancourt (chief curator Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh), Edward Gillman (director Auto Italia, London, UK), Sun A Moon (director Space AfroAsia, Dongducheon, South Korea), and Manuela Moscoso (director CARA, New York, USA).

During the My Oma exhibition opening weekend, Hernández Chong Cuy will present a report of her tenure that began in 2018 and is concluding at the end of 2023. This event will be organized in the format of a Town Hall, a public forum that will welcome questions and encourage discussion. Throughout the exhibition period of My Oma special programs will also take place; please stay tuned for a calendar of events published here.




Supported By

Amarte FoundationAMMODO, Creative Australia, Hartwig Foundation, Droom en Daad, SAHA Association (Supporting Contemporary Art from Turkey provided support for Funda Baysal), Teiger Foundation.


Coming up! 22 September 6-9pm, Finissage 84 STEPS and Silent Auction, and also Mama Aisa with Boris van Berkum, Alexandra van Dongen, Marian Markelo and Gloria Wekker