picture by Marcel Buunk
Whilst spending a considerable amount of time behind a laptop herself, with AFK | Away From Keyboard *, choreographer and graphic artist Aafke de Jong (Den Haag, The Netherlands) invites us to step away from our screen for a moment and take a closer look at the world around us.
How can looking, hearing, tasting, listening with more care and attention inspire us in our day to day life? Perhaps we’ll discover a new world? Or perhaps it’s just the same old world, but we look at it differently?
Recently De Jong has developed some inspirational workshops on visual art, dance and nature (or a combination) to discover
our surroundings together. They are open to anyone. Just bring your passion and curiosity!
Aafke blends dance and any other imaginable art form in her bespoke performances. Sometimes her work is site specific.
Her work shows a close attention to detail and resonates a sensitivity towards her surroundings. Processes in nature - and therefor within ourselves - are a great source of inspiration and comfort for Aafke's life and work.
Aafke also makes images in multiple mediums that express her love of subtlety of beauty and the diversity of life. Nevertheless there is often an unexpected twist that raises questions about our inner thoughts, our acts and outer appearance.
De Jong spent five years of her life in Indonesia - mostly on Bali - to study and work. Immersed in the Island life she has gained a deep appreciation of ways so different than her own. Balinese culture provided a large influence in her outlook to life and dance, although this is not always visible in a direct way. Her performances, inspired by the the gods and demons of the volcanic island chill your spine and energize the audience with it’s mystical atmosphere.
During the years previous to her journey to Bali she was formally educated in western contemporary dance styles at Codarts Dance Adademy (Rotterdam, The Netherlands).
This study, combined with her experience in Indonesia, paved the way to an alternate perspective on the traditions that gave birth to her current work.
Here you can learn more about Aafke's motivation and background and how she implements in an associative way her vision on various aspects of life.
* AFK is an abbreviation of 'away from keyboard', which is used
in computer gaming if one needs a break to go to the toilet e.g..
A son of a friend, who is very much into gaming, found it hard
to remember Aafke's name. He then started calling her 'AFK".