Shift of Meaning

What Is Your

Next Step?

In these challenging times the message is clear. We all need to do our part to create a better future for our planet and everyone on it.

Art has long played a role as a messenger of global issues. ING fully supports that idea. This exhibition takes the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as the starting point to address pressing problems, such as poverty, inequality and pollution. Besides being visually challenging, these works of art show that we need to shake up our economic and social models on the way to an inclusive society. To put prosperity within the reach of just about everyone.

What do you think of when you see a photograph of an igloo made of frozen fizzy drinks? Or a painting of what seems to be a colourful, intimate scene between two women? It’s time for a shift of meaning.

Press the play-button to listen to the audio fragments by Harm Edens, Dutch tv-presenter and passionate warrior of a sustainable society.

Enter the online exhibition.

Harm Edens - Introduction

English only

©Dirk-Jan van Dijk


TV-presenter, ambassador of the Wereld Natuur Fonds and passionate warrior of a sustainable society.

Harm Edens - Brigitte Kowanz

English only

Brigitte Kowanz (1957-2022) Shift of Meaning, 2020 glass and neon.

Brigitte Kowanz

Brigitte Kowanz’s art is all about light and space. That’s also the case with this work of art, where neon lights fill a glass box. Kowanz says that light makes things visible, but that light itself often remains unnoticed at the same time. She seeks to change this by forming neon light into words. These illuminated words are reflected to place even more emphasis on the message. However, the mirrors might cause you to become a bit disoriented.

This disorientation symbolises the rapidly changing times in which we live, and Kowanz emphasises this message with the words ‘shift of meaning’. Our times call for change. Maybe this work will help us on our way by getting us to see things differently.

Harm Edens - Eddy Kamuanga

English only

Eddy Kamuanga (1991) Nature Morte, 2023 acrylic and oil on canvas, 169 x 149 cm.

Eddy Kamuanga

An embrace, clothes in cheerful colours and flowers: a nice, intimate scene. This colourful façade hides a less cheerful message, however. The skin of the two figures provides a clue. It has the texture of a printed circuit board from a piece of electronic equipment. This is how Eddy Kamuanga calls attention to the circumstances around rare metal ores, which can pretty much only be found in Congo. These ores, such as coltan, are essential for keeping this digital era going. Multitudes of underpaid labourers – some of whom are children – are involved, who dig these ores out of the ground by hand.

In addition, the colourful clothes refer to the plantations and textile mills that arose when Congo was a Belgian colony in the 1920s and 1930s. And in the spiritual world, eucalyptus is known to be purifying. Negative energy disappears in places where eucalyptus leaves are burnt.

Kamuanga uses his work not only to stand up for the people in his home country but also to call attention to the downsides of technological advances in today’s consumer society.

Harm Edens - Jan Hoek

English only

Jan Hoek (1984), Supermodel Flavina Magazine Cover Wins Everyone's Heart, 2022, photo in resin with mixed media objects, 100 x 100 cm.

Jan Hoek

Jan Hoek is an artist who feels attracted to the beauty of outsiders around the world. To create his art, he therefore works intensively with people who are normally easily overlooked.

So in these works, he depicts South African transgender sex workers who want to become famous. One of them idolises Céline Dion. Model Flavinia can be seen in two works. She wants to become South Africa’s first transgender model. If you dream big enough, you can make just about anything work.

Diversity is an important theme in the work of Jan Hoek. He portrays people who pursue their dreams and show themselves in their full glory. In the world of Hoek, outsiders are the funky rulers of our planet.

Harm Edens - Krištof Kintera

English only

Krištof Kintera (1973) Nervous Tree (small II), 2013-14 electromechanical sculpture, 209 x 122 x 110 cm.

Krištof Kintera

When this electromechanical sculpture by Krištof Kintera starts to move, it looks stiff and clumsy. It might even make you laugh. However, this nervously twitching tree with the earth as its head is no laughing matter.

Nervous Tree makes us think about the future of the earth and how we treat the environment. Kintera chose to combine nature (the tree form and the globe) with technology (motion mechanism). He’s interested in the relationship between technology and nature. Can they really co-exist peacefully?

Although trees are still called the lungs of our planet, this notion seems to be getting more and more out of balance. That might explain why this tree is a bit nervous.

Harm Edens - Cristina Lucas

English only

Cristina Lucas (1973) The People That Is Missing, 2019 HD video

Cristina Lucas

The People That Is Missing was shot in former Spitsbergen (now Svalbard). Cristina Lucas specifically chose that location because it’s one of the most challenging places in the world in terms of the climate. Here, the causes and effects of climate change are clearly visible and confrontational as well.

The poem, which is read aloud in the voice-over, is based on quotes by influential yet contradictory thinkers, ranging from Prussian explorer Alexander von Humboldt to Donald Trump.

The artist uses her video to create a poetic portrait of the effects of climate change. In her work, Lucas encourages us to look differently at the interaction between humans and their environment and therefore also at how you relate to the world around you. Because ultimately the environment is us.

Harm Edens - Kevin Newark

Kevin Newark (1973) Bag #13 (Protoplasm series) Dibond on aluminium, 70 x 70 cm.

Kevin Newark

Discarded plastic bags, which Kevin Newark found in the canals of East London, form the basis of his Protoplasm series of photographs. He photographed the bags in the water, which makes them appear to come to life.

What do you see when you look at them?

The term ‘protoplasm’ has become outdated and isn’t used any more, but it’s still very current in the work of Kevin Newark. Protoplasm refers to the living contents of a cell. And although plastic doesn’t have any living cells, Kevin tries to bring a certain liveliness to plastic with his photos. Newark uses these photos to look ahead to the future. Where living organisms eventually pass away, these plastic ‘organisms’ will live on forever.

Harm Edens - Mevlana Lipp

Mevlana Lipp (1989) Tear, 2023 wood, velvet, sand, acrylic, ink, aluminium stretcher, 120 x 90 cm.

Mevlana Lipp

Mevlana Lipp’s works glow in the dark to create a sense of security, just like how a night light makes a child feel safe. At the same time, he seeks to depict the power of nature by referring to natural phenomena related to light, such as stars, the sun, fire, etc.

Mevlana Lipp’s reliefs celebrate nature at its wildest. This artist uses intense, almost otherworldly colours to accentuate the magical side of his subject. At the same time, this use of colour creates a sort of alienation where he refers to the way in which people are increasingly moving away from nature. The main aim of his paintings is to honour nature – along with a warning about the current threat to the environment, which Lipp feels is only fitting.

Harm Edens - Wout Berger

Wout Berger (1941) Ruigoord 3, 2003, pigment print, 120 x 150 cm.

Wout Berger

In 2003, Wout Berger shot a series of photographs around Ruigoord, an artists’ village on the edge of Amsterdam. As Amsterdam continued to expand, it would reclaim highly polluted land in the areas surrounding Ruigoord by covering it with sand.

It was exactly in this sand, where nobody had expected new life, that Berger took pictures of all kinds of plants and weeds. Using a view camera, Berger photographs reality with such purity and so idyllically that it becomes unreal.

The photos in this series by Wout Berger show a fascination with nature that is able to survive against all odds.

Harm Edens - Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Scarlett Hooft Graafland (1973) Lemonade Igloo, 2007-08 c-print analogue, 60 x 75 cm.

Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Scarlett Hooft Graafland doesn’t see herself as the artist behind her works – that role is left to nature. She just subtly emphasises its special aspects, such as by giving an igloo some colour.

This igloo was made by Nathan Qamaniq, an Inuit elder. The artist wanted to build a fizzy drink igloo because she had read that the older Inuit generation still knew how to make igloos out of ice but that younger people where more interested in fizzy drinks and social media. In this manner, she connects both generations and warns about the loss of traditions and the effects of globalisation.

The aspects of nature that Hooft Graafland alters for her photographs have no lasting unnatural effect. That’s something she finds very important. As her setting, she often seeks out untouched landscapes that are at risk of being compromised. This is her way of showing us what we still have and what we need to make last.

Harm Edens - Lara Schnitger

Lara Schnitger (1969) No More, 2020 textile collage on canvas, 71 x 56 cm.

Lara Schnitger

In itself, there’s nothing very unusual about a portrait of a woman, certainly not in the history of art. It’s when a woman is portrayed with textile on a tea towel that people start to raise their eyebrows. Lara Schnitger plays with the power of traditional handicrafts, such as weaving and sewing. These handicrafts are often associated with femininity, which the artist feels is not right.

The material in this work looks soft and inviting, but the woman depicted looks detached. This is emphasized by the text placed on the work: No More. These words may have more than one meaning.

Harm Edens - Indrė Urbonaitė

Indrė Urbonaitė (1986) Untitled 11 (from the State of Shame series), 2017 vinyl on Alu-Dibond, 210 x 75 cm.

Indrė Urbonaitė

In countries where ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is not necessarily the norm, the media often parade the suspect’s picture before and during the trial. In this work, Urbonaitė has isolated an image that she found of one such suspect. By removing its context, she hopes to make the person in question anonymous.

The artist uses her work to explore the relationship between crime suspects, photographers and public shaming. And so she hopes to be able to contribute to the equal and, especially, fair treatment of people during a criminal investigation.

Harm Edens - Susanna Inglada

Susanna Inglada (1983) Turn the Tables, 2021 charcoal, acrylic and pastel on coloured paper, 200 x 211 cm.

Susanna Inglada

Three women can be discerned in this fusion of figures: two of them are reading, and the other one is writing by means of two braids. In this work, Susanna Inglada optimistically shows that things are continuing to improve for the power of women. By merging the forms of the women, the artist emphasises that they have joined forces. Together they stand strong.

In the past decades, women have obtained more and more opportunities to acquire knowledge. At the same time, this also gives them increasing access to power. Ultimately, says Inglada, the relations between men and women will come into balance.

Harm Edens - Jaakko Kahilaniemi

Jaakko Kahilaniemi (1989) Nature Like Capital, 2018 pigment print, various dimensions.

Jaakko Kahilaniemi

In this series of photographs, Jaakko Kahilaniemi seeks to portray the complex and conflicting relationship between humans and nature. In his work, he shows images where human interference is clearly visible. That could be a deliberate forest fire, for instance, or a tree plantation. He then adds some visual secrets, as he calls them, to challenge the viewer to see these works in a broader context.

In what way are humans part of nature? What kind of impact do they have on it, and how can that be seen? Through such questions and by always looking at things from different perspectives, Kahilaniemi finds new ways to increase not only his own knowledge and understanding but ours too.

Harm Edens - Patrick Waterhouse

Patrick Waterhouse (1981), Front Portrait: Restricted with Steven Jangala Hargraves acrylic on archival pigments prints, 30,5 x 20,2 cm .

Patrick Waterhouse

Although the Warlpiri are culturally against being photographed, Patrick Waterhouse still managed to get them in front of his camera. However, the result is a censured version: his Restricted Images
series. Aboriginal artists have painted authentic designs on Waterhouse’s photographs so that the people portrayed are unrecognisable.

The native people of Australia have a long history of oppression in their country. Since 1788, with British colonisation, they’ve experienced the dispossession of their lands, violence and discrimination. After more than 200 years, the Aboriginals still suffer from poorer health, higher death rates and a worse economic situation than the non-native population. Waterhouse uses this series of photographs to call attention to the norms and values of these people.

Harm Edens - Saïd Kinos

Saïd Kinos (1988) Still, I Rise, 2022 acrylic on linen, 100 x 80 cm .

Saïd Kinos

In the painting Still, I Rise you can see fragments of newspapers, posters and articles about the whole world. The amount of information that we receive on a daily basis continues to grow. This profusion of visual stimuli sometimes makes it difficult to grasp the essence of it all. For example, can you find the title in this painting? This title refers to the poem of the same name by Maya Angelou (1928-2014), a former civil rights activist.

This work of art could also make you think of Broadway with its rich history. What is less known is that, in the past, while black people were actually allowed to act on Broadway, they were not welcome in the audience.

The poem by Maya Angelou is about self-confidence and not letting others undermine it, especially not because of the colour of your skin. Here Saïd Kinos has given this a new, colourful twist.

Harm Edens - TINKEBELL

TINKEBELL (1979) Flora Tata Metallica #13, 2021 particulates on canvas, 40 x 60 cm.


TINKEBELL uses dried plants and sand to create prints on wood panels. Plants and sand are both natural materials, but in this case there’s something unnatural about them. These particular plants grow only in polluted areas, and the sand contains toxic fine particles from around Wijk aan Zee. That’s where the Tata Steel plant, one of the largest steel producers in Europe, is located.

With a magnet TINKEBELL filters the sand so that only the black polluting particulates remain. The artist had to deal with headaches, nose bleeds and dizziness while making these works of art, but she wants to show – whatever the cost – that these emissions are hazardous to people’s health.

TINKEBELL uses her work to argue for a cleaner living environment and, above all, clean production processes.

Harm Edens - Marcos Kueh

Marcos Kueh (1995) Woven Talisman #2 (The Social Influencer), 2023 polyester, 8 colours, 225 x 170 cm.

Marcos Kueh

Marcos Kueh uses his art to investigate Chinese-Malaysian culture and the effect of globalisation, in this case by exploring the concept of prosperity. There are three lucky Chinese gods, each representing a different kind of luck. The main figure in this work is Lù (禄), the god of reputation and nobility, which Kueh refers to with the written text, the Chinese characters and the different logos.

Because what does it actually mean to wish someone influence and prosperity in our current times? Kueh takes a critical look at this by depicting Lù as a social influencer. Influencers have become a natural part of life today, and they serve as role models for young people in particular. But that also has a downside. Many young people suffer from low self-esteem as a result, and they also feel greater pressure to spend money – sometimes more than they can afford.

Harm Edens - Bigert & Bergström

Bigert & Bergström, Reverse Osmosis Plant, 2013 UV-printed photo on vinyl, acrylic bullets, low-energy lightning, 140 x 88 x 100 cm.

Bigert & Bergström

These twelve spheres show pictures of the inside and outside of a water purification plant near Barcelona.

The plant removes salt from seawater to meet the need for drinking water, which has been in short supply there for years now because of the increasing drought.

The photos were applied to the spheres using a traditional technique taken from globe-making. This means that the photos were turned inside out. Just like globes of the world, these spheres are also meant to be educational: the entire purification processes can be seen from left to right.

In every piece of work made by Bigert & Bergström, their goal is to link technology with social and environmental issues. In this case they show the human, technological contribution to nature in order to illustrate the results of climate change.

Harm Edens - Jamal Nxedlana

Jamal Nxedlana (1985) Prototype 2, 2023 inkjet print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag® Baryta, 120 x 80 cm.

Jamal Nxedlana

What you probably immediately notice when you look at this work is that something has been woven into this person’s hair. They're clothes labels. These refer to the huge piles of discarded clothes that are shipped to Africa from Western countries. They’re often sent as ‘donations’, but in actuality most of them can no longer be used or are resold.

If you look closely, the labels show where the textiles were produced. Nxedlana thus illustrates the path that these products take, which are often made for the Western market, discarded after use and then end up in South Africa. The labels symbolise post-colonialism, which is tangible in the artist’s home country.

Harm Edens - Natascha Libbert

Natascha Libbert (1973) Lily’s water, 2020 archival print.

A tranquil nature picture with nice colours: that’s how you could initially see this work. However, Natascha Libbert’s art often has a dark edge. This picture was taken in Cyprus, where Libbert happened upon a couple of abandoned mines. The beautiful hues conceal the fact that Lily’s water is a highly toxic pond left by copper mining.

In her work, Libbert is continuously in search of places where human activity has left deep scars in the landscape. The aim of her inviting photos is to make us really open our eyes.

Harm Edens - Léonard Pongo

Léonard Pongo (1988) Diptych Double, 2019 giclée print on Hahnemühle Matt FineArt Ultra Smooth, 60 x 40 cm (x2).

Léonard Pongo

The faithful portrayal of nature is quite a task – and Léonard Pongo knows it.

So he doesn’t even try. On the other hand, he attempts, through his photos, to make you feel like you're in the midst of nature. By showing nature in all its diversity – sometimes in detail, sometimes blurry – Pongo takes you on a journey through the eyes of the artist.

Diptych Double comes from the Primordial Earth series, where Pongo portrays nature in Congo. Within the traditions of the Kasai region, a province in the central southern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, humankind is dependent on nature – not the other way round. Pongo tries to create environmental awareness with this idea.