Five paper boats (2010) Florentijn Hofman

Rick Messemaker
About the artwork

Hundreds of boats once sailed along the quay in Schiemond, but this activity has decreased over the years since the port of Rotterdam was expanded to Maasvlakte I and II. The quay was renovated into a boulevard, so that the adjacent wide water again seemed an excellent place to moor. To commemorate the lack of boats on the Maas and the old port history, the former sub-municipality of Delfshaven approached the CBK Rotterdam, which in turn asked the Rotterdam artist Florentijn Hofman.
Hofman has often made major and brutal interventions in public space. He designed five paper folding boats that are man-sized in colorful steel. They are placed on the dock as if a child fantasized by that water and that fantasy materialized as if through something magical. The Five paper boats were made in the former Wilton shipyard (1854 - 1929), which later became the Verolme shipyard. Only their shape is reminiscent of the well-known folding boats. The material is the same steel that real ships are made of. The Five paper boats are standing on the trestle at Bartel Wiltonkade. They are ready for the open sea, as in the past hundreds of boats were ready to be launched, when this place was still the port of Rotterdam. The five colorful boats are the final part of a facelift of the 'Boulevard Schiemond', as the quay is now also called.

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About the artist

Florentijn Hofman (Delfzijl, 1977) studied at the Kampen art academy. The artist is known for his striking large artworks, in which humor, sensation and maximum impact play a role. Florentijn Hofman became known worldwide for his Rubber duck, a greatly enlarged inflatable yellow rubber duck that has floated in various waters in Europe, Asia and Australia. It is another well-known work Festive pig in Arnhem.

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