FROM: Tim Walker, Wonderful things – an enchanting exhibition

Published: December 8, 2022 • Reading time: 4 minutes and 6 seconds • News

This autumn, Hall 1 of the Kunsthallen takes you into the imaginative dream world of English fashion photographer Tim Walker. In this exhibition you will be overwhelmed by absurdist and surrealist photography in different colorful spaces. On Tuesday afternoon, November 23, I was able to experience it.

Join Walker’s dcream world

When I take pictures, it seems that I am in a kind of dream state. When you travel through your own imagination, you want to photograph what you see there.’ These are the first two lines you read as an introduction when you enter Hall 1. Tim Walker summarizes his entire exhibition in one go.

That this photo exhibition is about fantasies and dreams come true will not escape your attention when the sliding door to Hall 1 opens automatically for you: letters in a special font hang from the ceiling, spelling out the title ‘Wonderful Things’. With moving lights in all the colors of the rainbow and cinematic music in the conservatory, it also felt like entering his dream world.

Then you are taken for an hour through Tim Walker’s world, where people and objects are no longer in proportion, where objects are stretched, oversized and taken so unreal and out of their original context that they seem photoshopped. Walker has created fantasy locations and invented creatures.

Exploring the taboo surrounding homoeroticism

The first room is very bright and open. Surreal fashion portraits hang on the white walls, often of celebrities such as Margot Robbie and Timothée Chalamet.

The second room is much darker, creating a more intimate atmosphere. It fits well with the series of pictures hanging there. The room is filled with nude portraits. This is not the only room that contains nude portraits. While this room mainly shows women, in the other room with nude portraits men play the main role. Tim Walker created that photo series to explore the taboo surrounding homoeroticism.

The room that follows is even darker and is a maze of huge stained glass prints, inspired by his visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. There Tim Walker went in search of works of art and objects that stimulate his imagination. For example, he found a golden snuffbox with a picture of a dragon on it. His mind wandered and he imagined the owner of the box taking his dragon for a walk at night. He then turned this fantasy into reality in the picture titled ‘Ling Ling and the Dragon’. The use of color (blue, pink and purple) in combination with the blurring of the image creates a wonderland-like atmosphere. The darkness of the room in which this photo hangs also contributes to this.

The pinkest room ever

At this point, you are barely halfway through the exhibit. You will also pass by the room with his photo series inspired by the work of illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, followed by his photo series inspired by Southeast Asia. You enter the pinkest room you’ve ever seen. There is a word of thanks, with a series of pictures, to all the fashion designers who have worked with Tim Walker. Another completely green room awaits you, with portraits of Tilda Swinton, one of his many muses. There is also a piece of decor from a garden setting to admire. Finally, there is a room where waste in the fashion industry is discussed through a photo shoot with recycled materials. Enough to experience for yourself, I think!

You leave the exhibition via the museum shop, where you can buy your favorite picture as a postcard or poster. Would you rather have a coffee or a drink and discuss the exhibition with your group? Then you are welcome in the Kunsthal café. Not done looking yet? Visit another exhibition in the Kunsthallen. Currently, all 7 halls are open!

You can tell that this exhibition is one you have to experience by experiencing it yourself, not by reading about it. And fortunately you can, for this one The exhibition can be seen until 23 January 2023.


General appreciation: 4 stars

Issued as of person: €8.25 entrance, thanks to a 50% student discount on presentation of a student card. Normal ticket price (18+) is €16.50. Entry is free for anyone under the age of 18 or on presentation of various museum cards or the Rotterdam passport.

Address: Kunsthal Rotterdam, Museumpark, Westzeedijk 341 Rotterdam

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00.

Availability: The art gallery is easy to reach by public transport. From Rotterdam Central Station, take tram 18 or 7 to Kievitslaan and Westplein respectively. The Eendrachtsplein and Leuvehaven metro stations are also within walking distance of the Kunsthal. If you take the metro from Station Blaak, you get off at metro station Dijkzigt. Are you coming by bike? Then you can leave it at the Kunsthallen’s front door.

Availability: There are disabled parking spaces and all exhibition areas and toilets are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs can also be rented. Please note: you must order this in advance. Service dogs are allowed.

Good to know: You can only use a payment card in the Kunsthalle!

Do you want to avoid queuing at popular times? You can also buy entrance tickets online. With a day ticket you can enter at any time.

Text and images: The King Lana

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