Stichting Berg & Van Dalen aims to depict and research the artistic, cultural and scientific relationship between The Netherlands and Japan through the means of Art. The foundation does this by organizing expositions, readings, workshops, performances, films, publications and Artist in Residency programs.
On this website you will find information on two of the foundations most recent initiatives:
- Edo Sanpu- An artist dialogue about imaging, about ourselves and the others, in japan and the Netherlands.
- Deshima AIR- An Artist in Residence project set up for the purpose of promoting the cultural exchange between Japanese and Dutch artists.
The foundation’s inspiration comes from the exceptional 250 year long relationship Japan and the Netherlands maintained in the years 1600-1859. In a period where Japan was almost hermetically cut of from the outside world, the Dutch were the only western country that had permission to trade and exchange knowledge with the Japanese. In this period both countries developed an increasing interest in each other’s way of thinking and etiquettes.
2000 marked the year where Japan and the Netherlands had a 400 year long ongoing relationship. This sparked new life in the attention and appreciation for the unique relationship and dialogue between these two countries.
The name of the foundation -Berg & van Dalen- is inspired by a small, remarkable anecdote from the rich historical, cultural relationship between Japan and the Netherlands. The story is about two mayors’ families from Shimonoseki; the most southern city of Honshu, the main island of Japan.
The family ‘’Ito’’ and ‘’Sanobu’’ were respectively called the family ‘’van den Berg’’ and ‘’van Dalen’’because of their image as ‘’Hollandophiles’’. Especially mayor van den Berg had the habit of dressing more Dutch then the actual Dutch people. His whole house was decorated like with Dutch oddities. Because of this the Dutch people called him ‘’De Malle’’ or ‘’The madman’’. Against everyone’s expectations the mayor was even more proud of his new nickname then his original Dutch name.