Authority from admiration or fear
Uniforms of dissimilar ilk, Yumesaito
depot Deshima Restoration Office Nagasaki

‘dragon of the white’
Guus Rijven

19 September - 20 December 2020

opening Saturday 19 September 2020, 12.00-18.00 hrs. tickets

In line with corona measures we work with time slots during the opening day. Book your ticket here.

When does fact turn to fiction, past to present, imagination to concrete matter? It is the thread through the panoramic oeuvre of photographer Guus Rijven (The Hague, 1947). Over the past years, Rijven has been travelling to Nagasaki, Japan, for a major research project. There, at times as a strolling street photographer, at other times as a conceptual artist, he explored the ties between the modern city and the artifical isle of Deshima, which, for centuries, served as the only gap through which knowledge and riches could flow from hermetically sealed feudal Japan.

The dragon of the white is a solo exhibition by a photographer with a sharp eye for the moment and for detail, who does not shy away from the mystery of what was, is and shall become.
Rijven has also documented, as factually as possible, depots at museums in Nagasaki, Leiden and The Hague, containing that which was excavated from the soil of Deshima as well as what the Dutch tradesmen brought home with them in terms of ‘depots’ during the seventeenth century. So ensues a collection of testimonials and sometimes clashing rest fragments, the combination of which form something complete and new.

distillation Sum of the Parts

Saturday 31 October 2020, 13.00-18.00 hrs.
Wennekerpand, Vijgensteeg 2, Schiedam 

A polyphonic afternoon in which music, photography and Japan set the tone. In collaboration with Stan Rijven, Frits Gierstberg, Daan Kok and Zanggroep Rumorosamente. Kim Everdine Zeegers creates a video portrait of the artist.

Costs: € 25. More information about the programme via the website. Booking is mandatory through


The booklet dragon of the white, will be published to complement the exhibition, containing three image stories and an accompanying text by Guus Rijven as well as an essay by Matthi Forrer, advisor to the city of Nagasaki for the reconstruction of Deshima. The publication is available in two languages (Dutch and English).