Rotterdam-based artist Benjamin Li (1985) and the LAM museum at the Keukenhof Estate will create an enormous floral mosaic on 14 and 15 April 2022. It will be a landmark event as a museum and an artist have never before entered the local mosaic-making competition. The team has a big job ahead as individual petals from regional flowers will have to be attached to a panel by hand, one by one.
Sietske van Zanten, director of the LAM, is excited: “The challenge this project presents fits well with both Benjamin Li’s and our own mission. We want to explore the boundaries of art and ask the question: when does a local tradition transform into an artwork? And does the experience change if a person knows the mosaic they are looking at has been designed by an artist?”
The finished artwork will be on display in the LAM museum garden in Lisse from 16 to 19 April 2022. Entry will be free and open to everyone.
Benjamin Li and the LAM accepted the challenge of working with the largest available panel for their mosaic. An impressive foam sheet (three by two metres) will be completely covered in separate petals. More than 50 volunteers will be stitching flower petals on 14 and 15 April.
A Bulb Region tradition
This is the first time an art museum will take part in BloemenMozaïek, the Bulb Region’s annual floral mosaic event. Visitors from all over the world will be treated to beautiful flower art. On 16 April, a panel of professional judges will decide which mosaic can be crowned the best of the year.
Bulbs in the spotlight
The bulbs themselves are of primary importance to the bulb growers. Flower petals are a by-product. To make sure they grow their best bulbs, the farmers trim the hyacinths and other spring flowers in April.
About Benjamin Li
Benjamin Li is an artist based in Rotterdam with a Chinese background. He often cycles his folding bike past Chinese-Indonesian restaurants which are morphing into sushi bars and fast-food eateries. Li enjoys documenting Chinese dishes and bringing them together to form a single complex artwork. He was an artist-in-residence at the ceramics initiative Sundaymorning@ekwc, where he created a series of ceramic fortune cookies, and has been nominated for the Volkskrant Visual Arts Prize.
The floral mosaic by Benjamin Li and the LAM is inspired by Li’s series of culinary dishes from Chinese-Indonesian restaurants.
Although the Keukenhof Estate is home to the LAM, which is just metres from the world-famous spring park and hugged either side by flower bulb fields, the museum has little to do with tulips or any other spring flower for that matter.
Everything in the museum’s international art collection is related to food. Van Zanten: “It’s fantastic that, through the BloemenMozaïek event, we can link our food art collection to this wonderful artisan tradition.”
Tastes like more
For the LAM museum, creating the floral mosaic with Benjamin Li marks the start of a new tradition. Van Zanten explains: “We are already excited about doing this again next year with another renowned artist. We are reaching out to artists within and beyond our collection for new applicants.”
Benjamin Li and the LAM’s floral mosaic will be on display in front of the museum on the Keukenhof Estate in Lisse from 16 to 19 April 2022.
No tickets are required to admire the mosaic. Want to get a taste of what the museum has to offer? Tickets for timeslots are available at lamlisse.nl/en/tickets.