Wolkenpoort | Yasser Ballemans i.s.m. Klein Amsterdam (2023) Archived


The cloudy skies above NDSM and the IJ invite you to dream and fantasize. Artist Yasser Ballemans developed the installation ‘Wolkenpoort’ together with pupils from primary school Klein Amsterdam. WolkenPoort is a monument that focuses on dreaming about the future. Flags are often used to commemorate something or to indicate who owns a place. They therefore (like monuments) often confirm existing power structures. But can flags also symbolize inspiration, change and movement?

Yasser Ballemans, commissioned by Stichting NDSM-werf, set to work with students from primary school Klein Amsterdam with these questions. Pupils from Klein Amsterdam (now group 8, their last year) presented different designs in a workshop, a number of them were on the ‘art committee’ that gave feedback on the final design, and the pupils indicated that it would be great if a new ‘ farewell ritual’ for the kids leaving the school would be connected to the WolkenPoort.

The WolkenPoort has become a ritualistic gate that honors the children of the last school year. A gate with a changing cloudy sky full of dreams about a moving future. The children drew or photographed a cloud that caught their eye, gave them an idea or simply liked it over the past year, and these can now be seen as a flag on the WolkenPoort (made at Grafische Werkplaats Amsterdam). Together they form a temporary cloudy sky. These flags represent inspiration, change and movement. Central is the wish to give the childrenthe idea and inspiration that they can continue to sail on their own compass and have ownership over it.

After six weeks at NDSM, WolkenPoort will move from the ferry landing of the NDSM wharf to the schoolyard of Klein Amsterdam at the end of June.


As a visual artist, Yasser Ballemans is interested in the role of art in rituals, such as parades, campfires, carnivals and commemorations. Ballemans investigates in many projects how meaningful art can be when made together.

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