The Poor Man's Gold - Joost van Bleiswijk

00:03:26 Zuiderzeemuseum
Gain an insight into the origin and history of these treasure-chests made for the Zuiderzee Museum by design artist Joost van Bleiswijk. They are inspired by the historical connection of the City of Enkhuizen and the Museum’s premises with the Dutch East India Trading Company (VOC).
Joost van Bleiswijk

Joost van Bleiswijk is a dutch designer and graduated from the Design Academy in 2001. Craftsmanship and traditional techniques are important aspects in his work.

Read more about the artist

Inspired by the VOC’s adventurous overseas voyages, most of which started from the City of Enkhuizen, design artist Joost van Bleiswijk made four treasure chests which he filled with chinaware. The solid chests, the hinges of which Van Bleiswijk developed himself, just like the finely crafted veneer finish, are symbols of the daring commercial enterprise of the Dutch traders. The showpieces inside the chests represent what the risky business led to: it did not only bring precious chinaware and spices to Europe, but with it came also the colonies and a far less favourable aspect: oppression and slavery. Note the Delft blue decorations, which Van Bleiswijk first painted on and then partly scraped off, as a metaphor of the not entirely spotless VOC reputation and history.

Video credits

  • Filmmaker: Big Shots Group
Buy tickets online