Mella Jaarsma

Mella Jaarsma is a Dutch-Indonesian artist who creates clothing for installations and performances that deal with the themes of ethnic differences and the situation of refugees.

Born in 1960 in Emmeloord, The Netherlands, the Dutch artist moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1984, where she has been living ever since and now works both as an artist and as a curator.
Her costume installations and cooking performances deal with ethnic, cultural and religious differences and diversity, and also with human rights and the situation of refugees.

The installation “One Man Tent” portrays the refugee as a harassed being, constantly forced to be mobile and prepared for expulsion at any moment, never allowed to rest and feel home, and left to survive by his own devices. It also gives an ironic hint to hierarchy building in refugee society by an object of fashion: who owns more and shows more strength and is in a superior position. Having to deal with hierarchic structures enhances the stress and harassment.

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