Art Projects

The Syltfoundation develops and supports interdisciplinary art projects with artists from all over the world. Many projects are initiated as a collaboration of local artists and those, who are invited to Johannesburg and Sylt as part of the foundation's residency programme.

GONG LAUT is a cultural event initiated and organised by the Indonesian MANIK BUMI Foundation and various partners in Germany. In October 2018 an international group of artists will get together on Bali for a workshop to put together a programme, both working across disciplines and involving local communities and groups.

The aim is to break down stereotypes and patterns of perception which stand in the way of the dialogue around global problems and the search for common solutions. The project will concentrate on marine and environmental topics. The island of Bali, shaped as it is by tourism, stands as a paradigm for purely economic thinking, in which nature and culture, tradition and social ties must take a back seat. The project seeks to mobilise the forces of cohesion, make possible new kinds of perception and unleash the social potential of the arts.

Indra Wussow participates as a writer and curator of the following five artists:


Chris Soal

SOUTH AFRICA. Chris Soal is an emerging artist living and practicing in Johannesburg. Chris Soal’s artistic practice, is concerned initially with materiality. Specifically thus far, the materiality of objects which are available en masse and utilised daily by millions of people globally and then disposed of. These objects (toothpicks and bottle tops for example) are not only easily attainable, but are so common that they have become invisible to our eyes. They are manufactured for a single utilitarian purpose and are then discarded, once having served their purpose. They hold no value beyond that moment. These objects are manufactured to become debris. They exist on the margins of human existence, and they are indicators of a capitalist system that has a hierarchy of value, in relation to objects, materials, and even people. The choice to use these marginal materials was not immediate however, as the artist himself was entrapped by these very systems of value which he seeks to critique, and initially dismissed toothpicks and bottle tops as “unworthy” material for an artwork.

Chris Soal, A delight in knowing and being known (2018)


Di Lu Galay

MYANMAR. Born 1986, Di Lu Galay is among the most influential authors/translators of the recent generation of poets in Myanmar. As of 2013 he organized the “Midnight Poetry Festival” through facebook, a sensational event for the younger generation of authors. The recordings of the festival were later published as a book. 2014 followed an anthology with the title “Jiva Faut Pan Mhu”. Di Lu Galays poems discuss the enormous upheaval and social questions in his home country. His messages are conveyed unconventionally through the “message-to-message”-method, with which in each case new messages are encouraged and – with minimal means – make the complexity and multidimensional nature of world views accessible. Resulting in a sort of neo-surreal chain reaction which simultaneously scrutinizes the origin of human values. In 2017 his volume “The Murderer’s Handwriting” with poems in Burmese, English and French was published. Together with fellow authors he implemented a web-based project on maritime topics.


Guy Helminger

LUXEMBOURG. Guy Helminger writes poetry, narratives, novels, radio dramas and theatre pieces. The author from Luxembourg has received many awards. He lives in Cologne and travels the world with his eyes wide open. In 2006 he was writer-in-residence in Hyderabad (India), 2007 he resided in Teheran as part of the project “westöstlicherdiwan”, 2008-2009 he was author-in-residence in Sanaa (Yemen) and 2015 in South Africa. Together with his colleague Navid Kermani, Guy Helminger presents the “Literature Salon International” in the Cologne city gardens since 2006. He presented the program CULTURE from 2010-2012 and currently presents the program DNA for Luxembourg television, as well as numerous literature events in Cologne and Luxembourg. Since 2015 Guy Helminger is a member of the jury of the Heinrich-Böll-Prize of the city of Cologne. In his literary work, Helminger deals with inter alia the existence of the individual in seemingly unalterable macro structures, the general human longing for a better life, questions of failures, and rigid structures and taboos.


Jaco van Schalkwyk

SOUTH AFRICA. Born 1981 in Benoni, South Africa, Jaco van Schalkwyk grew up at the headquarters of the Latter Rain Mission International. This experience formed the starting point from which his world views and understanding of society developed and became the foundation of his artwork. Numerous exhibitions in South Africa and in countries all over the world showed Jaco’s paintings. His art hangs at the Reserve Bank of South Africa, Barclay’s Bank, RMB, the University of Pretoria, the University of Johannesburg and Ellermann College. Since 2002 the Barnard Gallery in Cape Town has hosted three successful exhibitions: “Just a matter of time”, “I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things”, and “Eden”. In 2015 Jaco van Schalkwyk was elected to represent South Africa at the 6th International Biennale in China. His works were a part of the South African Group exhibition “20 – Art in Time of Democracy”.

Categories Participants

© Jaco van Schalkwyk

© Jaco van Schalkwyk 


Tania Haberland

MAURITIUS. Tania Haberland is a poet and singer, artist and teacher. From a Mauritian-German family, she was born in South Africa and lived in the United States, England, Germany, Italy and Saudi Arabia. For her first book Hyphen, she received the Ingrid Jonker Prize. For Tania Haberland art, literature, education and therapy should work in interplay and weave into the social space. Her art represents multidisciplinary interaction between writing, music and movement. Currently Tania Haberland is working on a project based in Mauritius, Milan and Cape Town that aims to link artistic creation with a ‘Technology of Tenderness’. The heart of her work revolves around gender issues, sexuality, freedom and the destruction of the unity between humans and nature. She views the ocean as a muse that stimulates our senses and that as a constitutive element of our globe offers the insight that humans are only a small part of a greater entity.