“Since arriving I've just been inspired by a whole new stream of thought and my old ideas have kind of lost their excitement. I've been noticing "pattern" everywhere. The Tropenmuseum was amazing! I see it as a trend in fashion and interiors, where fabrics are getting new colours and patterns from the past. It's amazing that these patterns have been around for so long and yet they can become a trend again and interact with man in 2011. This gap/residency has really given me much needed time to relook at my art and my work up until now and question it. All in all the experience has been amazing.”
The themes implied in the works of Kurt Pio are related to and influenced by the colonial past of South Africa, The Netherlands, Great Britain and France. Particularly the blend of European and African design culture, materials and craftsmanship in furniture and architectural styles form a source of inspiration for him. Through a contemporary lens Pio critically investigates the ‘new’ South Africa with its colonial past and connections.
During his residency Pio created several new works inspired as much by the Amsterdam streetscape and design as by the artefacts and works of art displayed at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. At the end of his residency Pio created an exhibition with his new work in which he combined and meshed ethnic, tribal, historical and contemporary patterns.