Visual artist Yubi Kirindongo (Curaçao, 1946) is internationally renowned for his artworks made of chrome car bumpers and other discarded materials like iron or rubber. His ingenuity, humor and craftsmanship are acclaimed and unsurpassed. Artworks made by Yubi are much in demand, both locally and abroad.
Yubi has now been an artist for almost 40 years. In 1973 he participated in a fairly large visual art exhibit in a church in The Hague, the Haagse Kerk. One of the newspapers mentioned that out of the 300 participants, the works of 6 newcomers were standing out and worth mentioning. When Yubi realized that he was among those six it made him not only feel good, but it also gave him a determination to further pursue his artistic career.
Initially Yubi set out to become a painter. His first exhibit on Curaçao, in 1975 at Gallery RG, was a series of oil paintings. He switched to three dimensional art only after he discovered the possibilities of the chrome car bumpers. This material was steadily available, at no costs and in all kinds of different sizes. After working with it for a little while the bumpers somehow clung to him. The uncommon material allowed him to express his artistry more freely and add a unique subtleness to his work.
At this moment (2012) art curator and writer Thomas Meijer zu Schlochtern from the Netherlands is doing research for a biography. He shared with Yubi that his art is much in demand and well appreciated (gewild en geliefd). He is economically and artistically quite successful. His fans and buyers have great appreciation for the ingenuity and rough simplicity of his sculptures. Part of his artistic produce is sold to tourists and foreigners from all parts of the world. These pieces are naturally taken away with the buyers, off the island.
Yubi Kirindongo loves the island of Curaçao. He built the house he lives in by himself, with his own hands. The building includes a gallery to display his art, but the whole ensemble of house, studio and sculpture garden also functions as a ‘Galeria’ or museum. He points out that Curaçao is in dire need of a museum for the visual arts and an art academy. The government of Curaçao doesn’t seem to recognize the duty is has to provide the island with a local Museum of Modern Art.
The same Government must in his eyes also take up it’s responsibility in adding art to public spaces like traffic squares and round a bouts. These are mostly designed with concrete and greenery whilst so much more is possible and needed. Yubi appeals to the Government to fill these locations with art because otherwise the island will be left behind in current global development and even the tax payer is not receiving return value. He emphasizes that it’s his opinion that if Curaçao is able to beautify public space it can really show tourists and the world who and what she is.
2014 Yubi Kirindongo. Rebel in Art and Soul
In 2014 Yubi is honored with a solo show in Museum Beelden aan Zee, in The Hague, the Netherlands. Yubi Kirindongo. Rebel in Art and Soul showed is work from 1973 till 2013: 40 years of being an exceptional artist. The oeuvre catalogue, written by Thomas Meijer zu Schlochtern, was presented at the opening of the exhibition. The show ran from January 30 till June 1, 2014 and attracted 30.000 visitors.
2012/2014: Text by Josée Thissen-Rojer.
2014: Surinam: Yubi Kirindongo: Identidad, Independensia y Respet
Click below to see video's of Yubi: Zegu Plenchi Yubi Kirindongo and Yubi Kirindongo 35 jaar als kunstenaar op Curaçao.
Solo exhibits (selection)
1975 ‘Jubi’ KIRINDONGO, Surinam Gallery Srefidensi. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
1977 The Curaçao Museum, Curaçao.
1979 Cultureel Centrum Curaçao (CCC), Curaçao.
1979 Cultureel Centrum Aruba, Aruba.
1983 Bumper Zodiac, Galerie Bloemhof, Curaçao.
1986 Arte di Bumper, The Curaçao Museum, Curaçao.
1992 CARBUMPER ART, Gallery ’86, Curaçao.
1997 ‘Yubi Kirindongo’ Universiteit voor Humanistiek / St. Fuente Di Arte. Utrecht, The Netherlands.
2001 ‘Yubi Kirindongo’, The Curaçao Museum, Curaçao.
2007 Yubi ’s Yard Café, Solopresentation Art Miami, Miami International Art Fair, Florida, USA.
2011 ‘Made in Curacao’ 35 years art of Yubi Kirindongo, Gallery Alma Blou / Museum in de wijk/Museum den Bario/ Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, Willemstad Curaçao
2014 'Yubi Kirindongo. Rebel in Art & Soul', Museum Beelden aan Zee, the Netherlands.
2014 'Yubi Kirindongo. Rebelde di Alma i Kurpa', Gallery Alma Blou, Curaçao.
Group exhibits (selection)
2014 Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, Pérez Art Museum, Miami, USA.
2014 Exploring the Past to Envisage the Future, the Curaçao Museum, Curaçao.
2013 Tropical Kingdom, Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle, the Netherlands.
2012 A Breast or Two, Mon Art Gallery, Willemstad, Curaçao.
2012 Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, El Museo del Barrio, Queens Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem. New York, USA.
2012 Door het oog van Egberdien ‘A mixed media exhibition of Curaçao artists’, Landhuis Bloemhof, Curaçao.
2012 Nieuwe Beeldentuin, Kasteel Het Nijenhuis, Museum de Fundatie. Heino/Wijhe, The Netherlands.
2011 Art Zuid, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
2011 Island Reflections. The Contemporary Art of Curaçao, DePree Art Center, Holland, Michigan, USA.
2010 ‘Antepasado di Futuro, Visual Arts 1900-2010', The Curaçao Museum, Curaçao.
2008 9th China Changchun International Sculpture Symposium, Changchun, China.
2005 ‘Extraordinario’, Yubi Kirindongo & Mo Mohamed, Acces Art Gallery, Willemstad, Curaçao.
2003 ‘Laman 2003’, 50th Anniversary of the Prince Bernhard Culture Funds, The Rif Fort, Curaçao.
2002 XX Festival del Caribe, Santiago de Cuba.
2002 Contemporary Antillian & Caribbean Art (a selection of ARTE ‘di nos e ta’), Central Bank of the Netherlands Antilles, Willemstad, Curaçao.
2001 ARTE ‘di nos e ta’.16 contemporary artist from the Caribbean. TENT CBK, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
2000 The Boat Project ‘Laman Chiki’, Willemstad, Curaçao.
1999 Arte ’99 Identity… yesterday today tomorrow, Willemstad, Curaçao.
1999 KunstRai - Art Amsterdam, Art Kitchen Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
1998 CARIFESTA, Yubi Kirindongo, Nelson Carillho, Ciro Abath, Barbados.
1998 'Nos Arte VI', Defining Caribbean Identity. The Curaçao Museum, Curaçao.
1997 ‘Art & Music’, North Sea Jazz Festival. Nederlands Congresgebouw, The Hague, The Netherlands.
1996 Art without Borders, Carib Art Gallery, New York, USA.
1995 1st Biennale of Johannesburg, Johannesburg.,South Africa.
1994 XXII Biennale de Sao Paolo, Sao Paolo, Brazil.
1994 Karibische Kunst Heute, Kassel, Germany.
1994 5th Biennale of Havana, Havana, Cuba.
1994 Westkunst WTC Rotterdam. 75 years KLM. Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
1993 Ingenuity and Creativity, UNESCO House, Paris, France.
1993 Yubi Kirindongo & Annemiep Oltheten, Gallery’86, Curaçao.
1993 Carib Art. Contemporary Art of the Caribbean, ITC, Curaçao.
1991 Gala di Arte, International Trade Center (ITC), Curaçao.
1988 Bida i Koló (Live and Color), Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam, The Netherlands.
1982 Third New world Festival of the African Diaspora, Paramaribo, Surinam.
1980 Manifesto Kultural ’80, The Curaçao Museum.
1979 XV Biennale in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
1977 Eksposishon di nos arte, The Curaçao Museum, Curaçao.
1972 Group exhibit in the Grote Kerk, The Hague, The Netherlands.
Publications and Awards
1998 1st Prize, 'Nos Arte VI', Category: 'Theme'. The Curaçao Museum.
1997 Premio Colá Debrot, Curaçao.
1994 1st Environmental Prize, Chamber of Commerce, Curaçao.
1992 Rotary Wheel Award, Curaçao.
2014 Publication 'Yubi Kirindongo. Rebel in Art & Soul' by Thomas Meijer zu Schlochtern and Jennifer Smit.