A spotlight on artist Suzette Huwae

She paints Strong Women, but could easily be classed as one herself. Dressed up, as if she’s about to go to a party, Moluccan artist Suzette Huwae donned her high heels (Kurt Geiger) and leather jacket, painted her nails pink, and looked the part. With the Bee Gees singing ‘Night Fever’ in the background and an unidentifiable Swedish alcoholic drink nearby to get into the mood – she was ready. Ready to continue with her second live painting session on InstaLive last Wednesday 21st April.

Chance to win one of her paintings
You can still watch Suzette’s first session, or be with her next week, as she will be live every Wednesday from 20:00 – 21:00 CEST, until Sunday 13th June 2021. During these live shows you can listen to music pocked by DJ Virgil Diego or her own Spotify music list - ‘old school music’ to get you into the mood. Other than watching her paint, she will also do a live Q&A with her online audience via chat and there will be a special guest with whom she’ll have an informal talk.

Her first painting will be of DJ and producer Chelina Manuhutu, her second model will be Female Street Football Legend, speaker and consultant Rocky Hehakaija, a third model is still to be revealed. Her models are not with her in the studio, but Suzette will be painting from a picture. She will be selling two of these paintings, but instead of selling them to the highest bidder, she has decided to raffle them off. Click on this link to go to the Raffle page. 

Bahasa Basudara

The proceeds of these paintings will go to Bahasa Basudara CIC  an organisation close to her heart, as their main aim is to improve the language skills of Moluccans across Indonesia, with the help of tutors across the world. “I have been to the Moluccas in 2006 and have given drawing lessons in Allang. It was quite shocking to see the basic levels of teaching. So it is a necessity. That is why I want to support Bahasa Basudara,” she added. The draw will take place at 8:00 pm on Sunday 13th June 2021.    

Glamour with an Edge

Suzette has been painting Strong Women for some time now. Strong women are drawn in colourful paint, oozing raw energy. Her style is called Popart, or as she calls it “Glamour with an Edge.” Despite her love for beauty, there has always been a certain edge to her work. Something unpredictable yet very expressive and raw, which is why she is always looking for contrast. Big bold strokes as well as delicate and finer strokes. She uses a combination of tools acrylic, aerosols, glitter, and other tools.

Not surprisingly she sees her own grandmother as a typical power woman. “Look at what she had to sacrifice in her life, to be uprooted with your family and be forced to settle in an unknown and cold country, with a completely different culture and language. To be able to adapt and to continue with her life in a foreign country, that to me takes a lot of courage,” she said.

She continued: “I wanted to make a statement, which would be a testament to these colourful, multicultural and above all strong and powerful women. I wanted them to show me their beauty, discard their imperfections, and embrace their shortcomings regardless of their imperfections. I wanted this all to be reflected in my work and that it would have an impact on everyone. This bringing together of culture and beauty.”

Raw but eye-opening
In 1997 Suzette graduated cum laude from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (HKU) Utrecht– Academy of Arts. She has a teaching degree, but has no intention to teach drawing or painting. She much rather does the painting herself. She had a bit of an identity crisis when she was studying and admitted that she was struggling.

Her final exam project Molukse Straffen (Moluccan Punishments) was controversial. On the one hand, she had her lecturers praising her work for its dynamic and originality, but on the other hand, she had to deal with Moluccans who weren’t ready for such a raw, eye-opening, and taboo-breaking subject.

A Moluccan in London
After a stint in Amsterdam where she worked on interesting television projects, she decided to make a break for it and moved to London. A cosmopolitan city where she could completely immerse herself in its melting pot of different cultures. London was trendy and a place where people worked hard, but played even harder. She loved it there! Here she slowly found herself again, she felt free (the sky was the limit) and discovered that it was the right place for an artist like her.   

Ikat Exhibition
This year some of Suzette’s new and older work will be displayed in a virtual exhibition set up by Museum Maluku (MuMa), in The Hague. Her paintings are part of a bigger project called IKAT (Woven), and together with 20 other artists, who are either Moluccan or have a connection with Maluku. Suzette will be showcasing her work simultaneously with photographer Ton Toemen (National Geographic).


Her work can be seen online from Friday 14th May until Sunday 13th June 2021. You can either pay €4 to see her exposition or become a friend of Museum Maluku (€25) and have access to all the expositions, which will be available until Sunday 31st October 2021.