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Hello, I am Thom van Hoek!

Where are you from? What are you doing in Amsterdam?

I grew up in Rotterdam, studied in Utrecht and then moved to Amsterdam to attend the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Sandberg Instituut. I've always felt very at home here so then I stuck around – because of my friends, the vibrant creative scene and a specific kind of coziness that Amsterdam provides! Now I have my studio next to the Sloterplas and I live on the other side in Nieuw-West. Alongside my own practice and assisting at SAMA I also work for Dutch publishing houses.



Can you tell something about the place where you come from?

The part of Rotterdam where I come from is basically full of water and relatively wealthy (very white) families. The happy and pretty boring life haha. Nothing wrong with that, but I think I've always looked for a bit more adventure and challenging certain standards. That's also why I started doing graffiti, to make things more interesting and back then I was in a band as well. 


What are your favorite activities/things you like to do during your free time?

Music music music. Always listening, sometimes dancing a bit. Yeah, but also cinema, photography, cooking, walking, reading. So many things! I can also spend hours on Wikipedia, researching some obscure archeological object from antiquity or a type of fruit I never heard about before haha. 



What fascinates you the most about the city? About Nieuw-West?

Pfew! I could write a whole essay about it. The most fascinating I think, is how this part of Amsterdam was envisioned and how it turned out to be. I really wonder how Cornelis van Eesteren would think about it now. Globalisation and migration had such a big impact. I imagine the grandfathers of many young people here are the ones that basically built a lot the appartments Nieuw-West and dug out the Sloterplas. Of course they stayed and made it their new home. A similar thing happened in many other cities of The Netherlands of course, but still Nieuw-West is special because it's always been more progressive, partly due to the heritage and philosophy of de Amsterdamse School.


What is your relationship to street art? Art in general?

As a teenager I was trying to create art on the streets, but I think it was more just some doodles using spray paint. It did make the surroundings sometimes a bit better though, more colourful especially. Now I am an artist, so I believe I am practically in a relationship with art – especially with sculpture – which is not easy, but always interesting. Maybe one day we will get married...



What are your responsibilities at SAMA?

I am now assisting in setting up the Community Living Lab, proofreading texts and translating here and there (from English to Dutch). Soon I will also be taking care of what happens in the Lab, see how people use the space and how we can influence that together with the neighbourhood. I am very curious how it will come to life, also with the garden. There are so many possibilities!


Do you have a favourite artist in the SAMA collection?

I really like the woodcuts from the Monareta Colectivo from Colombia that were exhibited recently. I think some of those are now in the collection of SAMA. They are extremely refined and rough at the same time.



What interests you most in the concept of SAMA?

The idea of a museum that doesn't have only one place. You have to go out and look for it, experience it for yourself – either with a (virtual) tour or all by yourself. This is by default more adventurous than most other museums of course. Also the Community Living Lab is like a 'project space', but more communal and less like a white box, which sparks a lot of new ideas.


Which artwork of the SAMA collection do you like the most?

A woodcut from Steve Ruiz, featuring his grandmother on a little horse somewhere in the (I assume) Colombian mountains. Beautiful.


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Colby Adkins
Colby Adkins
09 พ.ค.

I really like the woodcuts from the Monareta Colectivo from Colombia that were exhibited recently. doodle jump

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