(Suriname, b. 1986)
Dhiradj Ramsamoedj was born in Paramaribo, Suriname, to a family of Indian descent. In 2004, he graduated from the Nola Hatterman Art Academy in Paramaribo, and went on to study at the Workshop of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in the Netherlands (2007-2008). He is currently studying at the Institute for Educational Training, Paramaribo.
Ramsamoedj is in love with the creative process of making art: “When I’m working on my art, I am completely in charge of what I create from beginning till end. I am totally in control, and that gives me a very gratifying sense of power.” His paintings, sculptures, and installations are inspired by everyday people and everyday issues. His works employ a wide variety of media and materials, including textiles—an important part of his identity, as he grew up in a family of tailors—as well as tin cups, wooden sticks, and plastic bottles.
In 2010, Ramsamoedj created the wall installation Adjie Gilas in honor of his paternal grandmother. This installation was part of the group exhibition Paramaribo SPAN (2010) and was set up at his grandmother’s house. The main elements of the installation are dozens of aluminum cups identical to those used by his grandmother and her house guests for coffee. Ramsamoedj stamped and careen-printed a portrait of his adjie ("grandmother") on each cup, inscribing the backs with her initial ("R"). Building on the framework of wooden slats that his adjie had long used to hang objects on her walls, Ramsamoedj created a remarkable geometric grid of squares and rectangles as a setting for the cups—a pattern designed, he says, after the floor plan of her house. The installation incorporates images of Lord Ganesha and Lord Krishna that were originally part of the house’s décor, which the artist uses to highlight his grandmother’s heritage and cultural identity. For the exhibition, this elaborate piece has been recreated in the museum.
Ramsamoedj has exhibited several times at Readytex Gallery in Paramaribo, and has participated in projects such as Paramaribo SPAN (2010) and Alice Yard (2013). In 2011, he exhibited at the AMA | Art Museum of the Americas as part of the exhibition Wrestling with the Image: Caribbean Interventions.