Theme Giant bulb – The muse
This green/red bulb depicts the archetypal muse, the youthful woman in the outward appearance of the geisha, who cherishes four different elements. A tulip bulb, a tulip, a butterfly and a fan. All these elements are synonymous with beauty and so is the geisha herself. They represent elegance and seductiveness, but at the same time also vulnerability. The tulip bulb becomes a tulip and eventually decays again, just like the butterfly, some of them only live for 1 day. The impeller is materially very fragile. This makes the beauty even stronger, because it is for the moment. She may be gone tomorrow. Partly for this reason, tulips have such an appeal. They are beautiful in their bloom, but they are known to eventually wither. That knowledge makes the moment special.
Artist – Rik Smits
Rik Smits was the first to work with the tulip bulbs. In his own work the relationship between nature and culture dominates, stories about ration and the unconscious. Smits was caught by the story about the black tulip as articulated by the French painter Alexandr Dumas, but at the same time felt challenged to come up with new stories about tulips, especially from the current tension between Eastern and Western culture.