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Heeren van de Thee / Tuan-Tuan Teh

Embroidered emblems, had rack

2012

Most tea companies are currently in the hands of Chinese (as is the tobacco industry). I collected packages of Javanese tea. The package designs are derived from the colonial period, mixing Dutch, Javanese and Chinese elements. I made three jackets out of these emblems, with sleeves that connected the jackets, thus representing generations of a family business that is a reality in this community, but is disappearing rapidly amidst global developments.
The title, Heeren van de Thee, is inspired by Hella Haassen’s bestseller, which is set in the colonial Dutch era, and concerns the lives of Dutch planters’ families who exploit tea plantations in the Preanger region.

Collection: Museum Sampoerna, Surabaya