“At Het Hem, we don’t give our programs a title, we like to give them a motto”, says the main curator, Rieke Vos. “We like the idea of a motto because it gives you a direction”, she continues. This direction, right now, is marked by the work, passion and interests of the guest curators, Guillaume and Edson from Patta, a project that started as a streetwear shop and has expanded to a clothing brand, a soundsystem, a running team, and a foundation. “Culture happens in communities. Edson and Guillaume leave a unique mark on the cultural life of Amsterdam, always seeking adventurous collaborations in a dynamic circle of known and lesser known creatives”, says Kim Tuin, Het Hem’s director.
We’re welcomed to the impressive building by Piet Parra’s huge black sculpture of an anthropomorphic animal covering its head. In front of us, a bright, clean and cosy space calls for exploration. Divided into various areas, it features a sort of ‘living room’ – a relaxing area to sit down and listen to music, and a space for reading and working –, a library with art and photo books and magazines, a bar, and a restaurant. “We wanted to place as little walls or barriers as possible”, explains Rieke. “Just keep it as open and plain as we can so visitors feel that they can move freely when they come here”, she continues.