Marcel Pinas

Full collection Marcel Pinas available at
SmithDavidson Gallery.

Marcel Pinas is a Surinamese artist born on March 22, 1971 in Moengo, Pelgrimkondre, a district of Marowijne in north east Surinam. After graduating in 1990 from the Nola Hatterman Institute in Surinam he continued his education at the Edna Manley College in Jamaica. In 2007 Pinas became ’artist in residence’ at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands: a prestigious program for a select group of promising artists.

Pinas’ source of inspiration is the cultural heritage of the Surinamese maroon community of the N’dyuka, also known as the Aucaners, descendants from runaway African slaves who in the South American jungle held on to their own culture and beliefs.

Pinas describes the cultural awareness from his past ’Kibri a kulturu’ (preserve the culture): ’My art is about experiences from the past. It deals with the destruction of the N’dyuka culture in Surinam caused by war. In my work I project that situation, paying attention to the protection of cultures in general’.

In addition to the preservation of his own past, Pinas uses colors and symbols that are a direct reference to the N’dyuka culture. These symbols taken from the Afaka syllabary (a syllabary of 56 letters devised from the N’dyuka language). Combined with everyday objects from his culture as carvings, plaid fabrics or textiles and totems they form the basis of his artworks.

Pinas believes that art is a part of every culture, and every level of society. It nurtures the community. With his paintings, sculptures and his big multimedia installations in public spaces Pinas tries to connect people and build towards a community with a critical, but also positive perspective for the future.


2010 Honoured Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland
2005 First price for outdoor installation Bewegter Wind, Saschenberg, Germany
2003 Business Finance Art Award, Utrecht, the Netherlands        
1999 Top Student 1999 - Edna Manley College for Visual and Performing Arts, Kingston, Jamaica


2018 Exhibition 'Language is the only homeland', Nestruimte, Den Haag
2016 Exhibition, Leerdam, The Netherlands
2016 Exhibition, de Nederlandsche Bank, the Netherlands
2015 Solo exhibition, Marcel Pinas, SmithDavidson Gallery Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2015 PAN Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2015 1st Moengo Triennial “Festival of Visual Art” Suriname
2014 SITElines.2014 – Unsettled Landscapes, Santa Fe, USA
2013-2014 Dance and Music Festival, Moengo, Suriname
2013 Exhibition with goldsmith Ivan Chevillotte, Munich, Germany
2013 Atelier Michel Fedoroff in Bargemon, France
2012 Havana Biënnale, Cuba
2011 Kibi Wi Totem at ArtZuid, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2011 Kibri A Kulturu, Bergen, the Netherlands
2011 Kibii Wi Koni, La camp de la transportation, St. Laurent du Maroni, French Guyana
2011 About Change, World Bank, Washington DC, USA
2009 Kibri a Kulturu,’gemak’ Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. The Netherlands
2009 Kibri wi, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, The Netherlands
2006 Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle, the Netherlands
2006 Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Born in Moengo on March 22nd, 1971

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