So Absurd: Make Portraits, Learn Collaging With Dutch Duo

A portrait taken by Marga van den Meydenberg, at left, and a collage made by Niels Kalk.

BANGKOK — Melting strawberry ice cream is poured on a bald head. An 83-year-old woman is crowned with cardboard bowls. Nearby, a guy flips his fluffy hair as black, spaghetti-shaped candy splashes out of his mouth.

For the next two weeks, Bangkokians can get their unique, cool or just plain weird personalities immortalized in surreal portraits at a Dutch artist’s pop-up studio.

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On Thursday, publishing house-turned-art space Yelo House kicked off its first international exhibition. All or Nothing is a duo exhibition featuring two Berlin-based Dutch artists – photographer Marga van den Meydenberg and collage artist Niels Kalk.


Meydenberg began her project in 2015 by renting empty spaces around Berlin to shoot portraits of strangers. With the right gear, she says she can “freeze the wow moments” using objects and a knack for timing – there are no filters here.

“Every human is unique, and therefore a piece of art,” Meydenberg said, adding that sometimes she “saw nice faces on Berlin streets” and pulled them in to take their portraits in her temporary studios.

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Marga van den Meydenberg on Thursday poses before her works on display at Yelo House

Walk-ins are welcome when Meydenberg opens her studio 2pm to 6pm every day except Tuesday on the mezzanine of Yelo House. They can pay any amount they want and receive one digital photo of the portrait sent by email. One condition though: The portrait is Meydenberg’s choice.

Next to her portraits are the displayed works of Kalk, her boyfriend. The illustrator-character designer brought a series of collages that improvisedly put together his humor, love of animals and cut-outs from books.

The works, Kalk said, are mostly inspired by comics from his childhood such as Gaston, Asterix and Obelix. He also draws inspiration from old magazines his father read.

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Kalk will host a workshop on collaging on Jan. 26. The workshop will be conducted in English. Fees are 1,000 baht for adults and 800 baht for children.


All or Nothing runs until Jan. 27 at Yelo House. The creative space can be reached by foot from BTS Ratchathewi or National Stadium.


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Marga van den Meydenberg and Niels Kalk