Gifts Unwrapped

From April 17, 2021 until 5 March 2023 in Het Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam

All over the world we give gifts! At a birthday party, a wedding, funeral or as a sacrifice. But what’s the secret to a good gift?

Receiving, but also giving, gifts is thrilling, sometimes exciting and often festive. But what do you do if you don’t like the gift, not big enough or even ugly? Can you say that, or is it inappropriate? The Dutch sometimes even ask for the receipt, but do they actually do that in Japan or Thailand, for example?

“Gifts Unwrapped” (Cadeau, Hoezo?) is an exuberant and interactive exhibition in the Tropenmuseum where you discover what a wedding dress, dolls and mangoes have in common. In the exhibition you will receive useful tips about giving and receiving worldwide. There are many differences, many similarities, and above all, there is a lot of variation! Get wrapped up in Cadeau, Hoezo?

To wrap or not to wrap?

In some cultures you don’t wrap gifts. Everyone should be able to see what you are giving. In other places in the world you do not unwrap the gift in front of the giver. Because what if you are not happy with it?

In Japan, a lot of attention is paid to gift wrapping. The more layers the better. The exhibition features the enormous, instagrammable installation of furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) that you can step into, so you become the gift yourself!

Especially for the exhibition, the Tropenmuseum developed a custom-made item together with Musubi, the Japanese producer of these wrapping cloths. This furoshiki is also for sale in the gift-minded museum shop of the Tropenmuseum and online at Dutch Museum Gift Shop.




Cadeau, Hoezo? From April 17, 2021 until 5 maart 2023 in Het Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam
Furoshiki on Wikipedia
Het Tropenmuseum on Facebook