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

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.

The photos, black and white and in color, that are shown are all for sale.


digital distillation Sum of the Parts

Where we had previously planned an afternoon of lectures and music in a theatre, we are now switching to a digital and written variant of this distillation. The goal of all Distillations is to add extra depth to De Ketelfactory’s exhibitions. This depth is mainly provided by the content of the programme, but also through coming together and exchanging questions and stories. Because we value this exchange greatly, we have organised a digital version of this, too.

The planned programme will literally be split into four sections, sent to you in four separate links.

As of Saturday the 31st of October you will receive a link each week to the Vimeo video of a lecture, including the matching password. Firstly to a lecture by Daan Kok from the National Museum of Ethnology: he will tell you everything about the exciting restoration of the Keiga folding screen. Subsequently, a lecture by Frits Gierstberg from the Photo Museum will take you through Guus Rijven’s work. Finally, Stan Rijven will treat you to some polyphonic gems of world music.

These three digital lectures will be dressed up with videos, music by Rumorosamente and introductions by Guus Rijven and Winnie Teschmacher. Additionally, we will provide you with the digital link to a video portrait of Guus Rijven, created by Kim Everdine Zeegers. You can view all of these at a time of your choice and from the comfort of your own chair.

For those who are interested, we conclude with a zoom conversation involving all of the speakers, Guus Rijven and yourself, the participants, on Sunday the 22nd of November. We will send you a link to the video call, which will take place from 4pm to 5pm. You will be given the opportunity to send in questions per email in advance. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions or start a conversation during the zoom meeting.

Send an email with your address details to before the 30th of October. For just € 15 you will receive our publication dragon of the white as well as the links and passwords.


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).