DDW: Anatomy of Identity and Secundus - Victor Sonna: guest @ Van Abbe

Victor Sonna, Anatomy of Identity
Victor Sonna, Secundus
Victor Sonna, Anatomy of Identity
guest @ Van Abbe

DDW: Anatomy of Identity and Secundus Victor Sonna: guest @ Van Abbe

22/10/2016 - 30/10/2016

During Dutch Design Week designer Victor Sonna shows two of his projects in the Studio of the Van Abbemuseum.

Anatomy of Identity

'The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it ''

For a long time Sonna was searching for his identity. Both as a Young African in a Western Culture and as Westernized African in an African culture. His origins and identity are an a constant state of tension. This poses a challenge for him to retain his origins on the one hand while continuing his artistic development on the other hand. Individuals, organisations and countries present their identity as a fixed entity.

Meanwhile, there is an ongoing search for progress and innovation. What is the colour of Holland? Does anything like ‘typically Dutch’ even exist? In a world in flux, we are slowly losing our ground due to a multiplicity of ideas, attitudes and political points of view. Because of conflicts, we are getting to know ourselves and we are beginning to doubt the assumptions of old. Something has got to give before it can be rebuilt again. A flag as a symbol of our national identity is only a colourful rag. Still, it has something to say about the country we  belong to. A rag of limited dimensions but with unlimited power.  A flag is just a rag but it is still a piece of cloth to which we feel connected. The conceptual level of a flag, which everyone understands, goes beyond the extent to which the work can communicate itself. To what extent does the audience feel connected and implicated?  It's a symbiosis between the body and its dissection.


Design often aims at an utopian idealism by creating reflections of a perfect life. However, in objects the less perfect aspects of life should not be ignored. Moreover, they should be recognized as being part of the human condition and, as such, be integrated into designer/artistic objects.

For Sonna, reality is a struggle between holding on to your origins and a continuous development. Secundus is about an object getting a ''second'' lease on life, acquiring powers of transformation in the process.