February 16, 2015

A space module in a shopping mall

Filed under: Architecture,Art by Orangemaster @ 12:24 pm


Dutch artist Rob Voerman has set up a silver space module artwork called ‘Into the Grid’ in the oldest shopping mall of the Netherlands and Europe, Presikhaaf in Arnhem, which is 50 years old this year. Presikhaaf was once a prize-winning bit of architecture, but is now semi-vacant.

Last week saw the big opening of Into the Grid with Bas Bron, member of Dutch electro group De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig and a whole bunch of children with silver coloured cardboard boxes as robot outfits.

The interactive artwork was commissioned by curator and founder Claudia Schouten of Motel Spatie A.I.R., which holds lectures about ‘engaged autonomy’ and urbanism.

(Links:,, Photo

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May 14, 2014

Arnhem will lay you down flat

Filed under: Fashion by Orangemaster @ 3:42 pm


Arnhem has just launched a new city marketing campaign that revolves around its role as a fashion city, entitled ‘Arnhem krijgt jou plat’, which translates to an amusing risqué joke.

‘Getting someone flat’, if you were to translate it literally in Dutch implies ‘laying someone’, as in ‘getting them laid’, and now you can see where I’m going with this. On the one hand, shopping in Arnhem for fashion will tire you out, sort of ‘shop till you drop’ thing, but on the other, if Arnhem can ‘get you vertical’, then their city marketing has done its job well.

The idea is that you can study fashion in Arnhem at ArtEZ, there’s the fashion quarter in Klarendal featuring many shops by up and coming designers, there’s the Fashion Festival Arnhem in the summer, and more. World famous Dutch designers Viktor & Rolf both met and studied in Arnhem.

(Link:, Photo by Amsterdam copywriter Remco Janssen)

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May 4, 2014

Proposal Base is a public art factory and exhibition space

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 2:06 pm

proposalbase-flickrIf you are an artist or somebody with artistic aspirations but lack the means to make your art a reality, a new initiative just north of Arnhem promises to make your ideas come true.

Proposal Base lets you pitch ideas for public artworks to be both built and exhibited at its location in the wooded hills near Arnhem. If a proposal generates enough funding and doesn’t break a small set of rules (it may not pollute, be racist and so on), it will get built.

There seems to be two catches. One is that the area will only be reserved for this purpose for a few more years and the other is that visitors aren’t allowed except during events.

Currently the site shows a list of sample proposals. A Street View-like Flickr page shows a map of locations where you can imagine your artwork. The folks behind the project describe themselves as a 3D printer for art projects.

(Illustration: screenshot of the Flickr page; link: Trendbeheer)

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November 28, 2013

Guy refused internship for being ‘dark-coloured’

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:50 am

Saying sorry profusely and ‘distancing oneself from the incident’ is purely being done not to get sued. And suing does not happen that often, but this time the guy from Arnhem who was refused an internship for being black went straight to the police and filed a complaint.

An electronics company in Arnhem refused a candidate based on his skin colour and sadly, the internal e-mail in which this was done was sent to the candidate by mistake.

“I had a look, it’s nothing. First of all he’s dark-coloured (nigger). And he has little experience with computers etc. on his resume.”

The nigger part is in the e-mail as such, and ‘it’s nothing’ means ‘it won’t work out’. The employee that sent the mail by mistake never would have apologised had they not been caught. So basically, they really are racist and the candidate has a point.

A run of racist and discriminatory remarks have plagued the Netherlands as of late, and co-blogger Branko has been writing them up on another blog, calling it ‘The coming out of the racists’.

And after the racist remarks towards a Chinese student that hit television recently, here’s a column by a Canadian of Chinese descent married to a Dutchman of Chinese decent and their takes on it.

(, Image: Wiering Software’s video game Zwarte Piet)

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September 24, 2013

Festive aardvark celebrates the city of Arnhem

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 12:40 pm

Rotterdam’s Florentijn Hofman does it again in a big way, this time in a festive manner with the ‘Feestaardvarken’ (‘Party aardvark’) made mostly of metal and concrete.

The Feestaardvarken is a 30-metre-long concrete sculpture which looks like an abstract aardvark with a golden party hat. The work was made specifically for this site and commissioned by Burgers’ Zoo and is a present for the 100th year anniversary of the zoo to the city of Arnhem.

‘Party aardvark’ is a play on words of ‘feestvarken’ (‘party pig’ in Dutch), while aardvark is an Afrikaans word also used in English meaning ‘earth pig’.

(Link and photo:

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April 10, 2013

Art forger from Arnhem waiting it out in Thailand

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 2:48 pm

In 2003 an art forger from Arnhem ran off to Thailand with the 3 million euro he illegally made forging modern art, and all he has to do is wait until the statute of limitations runs out in 2018. Of course, he’s probably under the threat of being caught if ever he came back to the Netherlands (or the EU, I suppose), but he couldn’t care less.

The forger made a fortune – imagine what kind of luxury 3 million euro gets you in Thailand – making Alberto Giacometti statues, which were sold by two German art dealers. They got caught in 2009 and have been sentenced to 7 and 9 years of prison, respectively.

The Dutchman is living the good life in Thailand, calling his predicament ‘being imprisoned in paradise’.

Grab a beverage of choice and take a few minutes to read more about famous Dutch forger Han van Meegeren who was an excellent artist in his own right, but turned to the more lucrative business of forging paintings for rich Dutchmen who wanted to fool Nazis by selling them forgeries. And yes, it does remind me and some of you of the British television series ‘Allo ‘Allo whose plot often revolves around forgeries of the paintings ‘The Cracked Vase with the Big Daisies’ by Van Gogh and ‘The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies’ by Van Klomp.

(Link:, Photo of Giacometti statues by jensm, some rights reserved)

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February 28, 2013

Chinese chef caged, beaten and exploited as a slave

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 4:35 pm

A 52-year-old female Chinese restaurant owner and four other suspects are being prosecuted on human trafficking charges for having exploited a Chinese chef forced to work in restaurants in Amsterdam and Arnhem.

“The victim was intimidated and had to work under miserable conditions. He was not allowed to visit a doctor and had to sleep in a cage in an Amsterdam restaurant under video surveillance.” He also worked for long hours for almost no pay, and his bank account was plundered.

Many human trafficking victims in the Netherlands are women brought to work in the sex industry, but a broader type of exploitation is apparently on the rise.

(Link:, Photo of dumplings by filipe.garcia, some rights reserved)

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February 8, 2013

‘Don’t Google the names of the other candidates’

Filed under: Online by Orangemaster @ 10:38 am

Decision-maker Clemens Cornielje has told candidates for the mayorship of Arnhem ‘not to Google the names of the other possible candidates’ during the application period. Cornielje believes that searching on the Internet using the names of candidates as search words will leave traces behind and comprise the confidential nature of the process.

Hello? First thing the candidates did was in fact google the lot apparently. Cornielje claims to be the only one with the right information, which is why googling is a bad idea [insert Dutch finger wagging image here].

Point of clarification: Dutch mayors are not elected, they are appointed by bright lights like this guy. While some politicians and citizens find appointing mayors backwards, most people don’t care and so it stays the undemocratic process that it is because when they did try elections a few times, it went sour.

First of all, telling people not to do something (Mr Cornielje, do you have children?) is a surefire way to get them to do it. Secondly, appealing to people’s moral sense when it comes to the Internet is the worst thing you could ever do. If we listened to people who preach morality to others, but often don’t follow it themselves, then porn, downloading music and the likes would all be magically gone. And unicorns with rainbow capes would run wild and free, throwing sweets that don’t damage teeth to cute, well-behaved children.

It’s embarrassing that ignorant people have the right to make important decisions. Good luck, Arnhem.


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March 6, 2012

Hospital in Arnhem has separate ER for children

Filed under: Dutch first,General,Health by Orangemaster @ 11:27 am

The Rijnstate hospital in Arnhem, Gelderland now has a separate ER (Emergency Room) for children, following demands from paediatricians that children would be better served by not coming into contact with wounded adults.

Only in children’s hospitals do they have ERs for children obviously, and paediatricians probably felt the pressure of finding a better way to reassure their small patients admidst big world chaos.

A quick Google search in English leads me to believe that this seems like a good idea and quite common in other countries. There is also a growing number of ERs for the elderly as well, something I can imagine this country either should have or could really use.

Why is this news in the Netherlands? I’m sure budgets play a role, but again it seems this country is lagging behind world trends. I say ‘seems’ — someone enlighten us: have doctors been pleading for years to get this set up and finally someone listened?



November 9, 2011

The well-off like free and cheap weddings, too

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 1:07 pm

First, Beuningen boasted about its free quickie marriage between 8:45 and 9 am, now the city of Arnhem down the road is whinging about ‘rich’ people abusing their freebie wedding time slot. Ironically, newspaper De Telegraaf doesn’t write ‘rich’ (self-censorship, anyone?), but ‘highly educated’, as some sort of clever euphemism for people with actual jobs versus the state subsidised couch sitting set.

In Arnhem the waiting list for a free ‘I do’ is more than six months. Offering free weddings was to let the ‘less fortunate’ marry with or without a ceremony, common fare around the country, but come on, if you’re offering it for free in a country that thrives on free stuff, you have to expect your altruistic ideas to fail.

The Monday morning speedy wedding is popular with the ‘richer’ folks, although it’s very dressed down. To marry at another time costs 99 euro and the full monty service with separate room and guests costs 399. Just expecting people with more money to spend more is cute, but not realistic, crisis and all.

There’s really no story here except that some journalist apparently cannot wrap their brain around the fact that people with actual money have choices. They should either bone up on the finance section or move to a communist country.

(Link:, Photo by Anthony Kelly, some rights reserved)

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