Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide) started her series of cabinets on 14 October 2010, the day of the installation of the government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, a combination of VVD, CDA supported by the populist right-wing Freedom Party (PVV). Everyday, she makes a drawing of another ‘Hollands Kabinet’. Hollands Kabinet is a colloquial term for the Dutch government, but also the name for a traditional Dutch storage cabinet. The collection of cabinets grew daily and became more varied with every day and every drawing. With the fall of the Rutte government on April 23, 2012, the work has reached its final form and the 558th Cabinet was added that day.

The pluriform nature of the Dutch history is shown through the history of these examples of the Dutch cabinet. The wood cabinet has its origin in Asia and, via the influence of Moorish culture in Spain, found its way to Holland around 1600. Most of these cabinets were fabricated in Holland using Dutch oak, but there are also many examples of cabinets produced with ‘exotic’ wood. Additionally, and during Dutch colonial times, cabinets were also made in former colonies, for example in the Cape of Good Hope (currently South Africa); Ceylon (currently India); Batavia (currently Indonesia and Sri Lanka), Curacao and New York. These silent witnesses of the personal and national history of the Netherlands have been present for centuries in many Dutch households and were (and sometimes still are) passed on from generation to generation.

[exhibition text 2012]

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