Artists used things that end up in Amsterdam's canals to create a walkway that gives the illusion of walking through an underwater tunnel along the bottom of a canal with fish, air bubbles, reflections, an assortment of objects gliding and floating above you – bicycles, umbrellas, cogs, boat parts, liquor bottles, etc and yes,Vincent van Gogh's ear!
The artwork, named Amsterdam Oersoep meaning primordial soup, is a visual narrative that tells the story of how all of Earth’s life forms originated from water.
Can you spot Van Gogh's ear? I see a mouse on the left! Eeek !
The seven chandeliers and Art Deco mirrors are made of recycled bicycle parts. Each year Waternet, Amsterdam's Water Authority, fishes between 12,000 and 15,000 bicycles from the canals! The bikes were either discarded deliberately, or tossed in by drunks.
“The ceiling for example contains a tube of paint that flows into a rainbow referring to the colorful nature of Amsterdam, its tolerance for the LGBTQ community but it also contains the image of a tiger, liquor bottles, fish, rats and numerous art historical references to famous artists like Van Gogh and Rembrandt,” explains Hans van Bentem. “This work is a journey through the history of Amsterdam, its main arteries, the canals. A crowd stopper, freezing a moment in time thanks to its elaborate craftsmanship and rich materials, celebrating our everyday source of life: our holy water.”
All Things Dutch
Fourteen stained-glass sconces handcrafted in the shapes of an umbrella, French fries, a tulip, a wooden clog, the city's coat of arms, etc adorn the walls.
Hmmm, how is an umbrella Dutch? I am guessing it's one of the items often fished out from the canals.
My favourite piece is this giant fish fountain on the wall with an open mouth. Below the fish are the words Take Some Mokum With You. Mokum is a nickname for Amsterdam. If you stick your water bottle in the mouth, the red light turns blue, and your bottle will get filled with drinkable water though there is a running joke that the water is probably from the canals!!