Koen Vanmechelen is inspired by chickens. The Belgian conceptual artist and founder of the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project, a “worldwide artistic breeding” initiative, was the first artist commissioned for the Looi Museum of Contemporary Art (LOMAK) in Tessenderlo, Belgium.
With exhibit space of only about 20 by 20 by 40 inches, the museum was created by the Kiwanis Club of Tessenderlo Alchemia, Belgium, as a novel way to commemorate its 20th anniversary and enrich its community. Vanmechelen says he was intrigued by the scale of the museum.
“I instantly liked the idea of creating a work for a downsized museum where people have to make an effort to see the result,” Vanmechelen explains. “I am convinced that what you can tell in ‘big,’ you should also be able to make clear in ‘small.’”
Vanmechelen’s artwork was seen by an initial gathering of about 250 people when the museum opened this past May. Hundreds of others have put telescope to eye (the museum is located high on the wall of the town hall) to soak it in during the months since.
You can learn more about Vanmechelen, the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project and the inspiration for the work he submitted for the LOMAK at his website. You also can read more about the Belgian Kiwanians and their efforts to create “the world’s smallest museum for contemporary art” by reading or downloading the December issue of Kiwanis magazine. — Dick Isenhour