AAFKE DE JONG
picture by Jaap Berends
Aafke (1971) graduated in 1993 from Rotterdam Dance Academy (now Codarts University for the Arts) in The Netherlands, where she was formally trained in western contemporary dance styles. After this she spent five years studying dance on the Indonesian island of Bali. Immersed in the local life she has gained a deep appreciation of ways so different than her own. Balinese culture provides a large influence in her outlook to life and work, although this is not always visible in a direct way.
As a child Aafke always had a hunger and curiosity for all kind of art forms and as a young adult she found it almost impossible to choose between going to art school to become a graphic artist or to devote herself to a dance career. For her all the art forms are expressions of the same ‘thing’ and it is all about finding the right form to fit the content.
AFK’s multi-disciplined dance performances, drawings and murals show a close attention to detail and resonate a sensitivity towards her surroundings. Aafke has always felt a deep fascination for the past, as there is so much we can learn from history. And from nature. As a child she loved going to the limestone quarry in the east of Holland, digging the earth in search for fossils together with her father. Processes in nature - and therefor within ourselves - are a great source of inspiration and comfort for Aafke's life and work. She is intrigued by our hidden inner world and the actions that we choose to show. Both 'worlds' often do not synchronize, which is a recurring element in her performances and drawings.
The ultimate sense of freedom
The process of making a performance or other kind of art work is her way to show her unfiltered view about this world. Wether an empty stage or a blanc piece of paper, for Aafke it is the ultimate sense of freedom and the right way to satisfy her curiosity and to express her ideas.