The Millenaar family grew up in a partly Dutch culture in Indonesia, but when they arrived in the Netherlands it took them some time to adapt to their new home. The cultural differences and the climate meant a major readjustment. Less than a year after their arrival the eldest son of the family met with a fatal accident. This tragic event provoked strong emotions connected with the move. After the outbreak of World War II, Millenaar’s sons served under the Dutch flag. When the Indonesian struggle for independence from the Netherlands began in the postwar years, their life between two worlds was put to the test.
The exhibition presents an intimate portrait focused on life between different cultures. Wim Millenaar was very careful to record his personal history in order to be able to share his period in the former Dutch East Indies with his family in the Netherlands – from everyday life in the Dutch colony and the celebration of St Nicholas there down to Millenaar’s life working for Conimex in the Netherlands. Practically all the negatives of the thousands of photographs that he took over a period of more than forty years are of excellent quality. They read like a diary of a bygone era.