Stone floats to Shanghai

Wim T. Schippers, Ans Now what's Up, 1999, Loan of Rijksgebouwdienst, photographer: Fred Ernst
Wim T. Schippers, Ans Now what's Up, 1999, Loan of Rijksgebouwdienst, photographer: Fred Ernst

Stone floats from Rotterdam to Shanghai
World Expo 2010 (1 May – 31 October 2010)

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is entering ‘Het Is Me Wat’ by Wim T. Schippers for the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. From this weekend the work of art, a huge floating stone, will astonish international visitors there. 

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is showing Wim T. Schippers’s (Groningen, 1942) floating stone at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The work will be exhibited in the Dutch pavilion there from 1 May until 31 October. The Netherlands is promoting Dutch creativity, sustainability and innovation in Shanghai.

Het is me wat
Wim T. Schippers’s work ‘Het Is Me Wat’ (‘And Now what’s Up’) plays with the concept of gravity. Working with students from Delft University of Technology, he created a stone that floats above a plinth. This stone is able to defy gravity by using three electro-magnets that exert force on magnets built into the plinth. The magnetic fields keep the stone floating in the air. The words 'Het', 'Is', 'Me' and 'Wat', are engraved on the four sides of the plinth.

A thousand kilos
The stone, almost two square metres, looks like an immensely heavy rock, but the huge floating object weighs only fifteen kilos. It is made of polyurethane foam over a light metal frame and contains three rare earth magnets. However, the square plinth made of Belgian blue stone, which contains the magnets and control systems, does weigh more than 1000 kilos.

Invisible forces
Schippers designed the work for the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, where it was unveiled on 16 December 1999. This work, which belongs to the Dutch Government Buildings Agency, has been on long-term loan to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen since 2005. Every day adults and children are astounded by the invisible forces they encounter as they enter the foyer. 

Wim T. Schippers
Wim T. Schippers is a well known Dutch radio and television personality, author and artist. His art has elements of Fluxus, Pop Art and conceptual art. As a dramatist he uses humour and the absurd; as a writer he often creates new words. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has various works by Wim T. Schippers including 'Tulips' (1965) and 'The Eggs' (1966).