Benjamin Li

In Search of Perfect Orange

Number 39 with rice

Benjamin has also created a series of photographs of dish 39. He visited Chinese and Chinese-Indonesian restaurants in the Netherlands to photograph dish number 39, which appeared on the various menus. Chinese-Indonesian restaurants are slowly disappearing. For Benjamin, however, they represent a beautiful coming together of the Netherlands, China and Indonesia. He was already working on the idea for these images when Holland's Got Talent jury member Gordon made a joke by asking contestant Xiao Wang: "Which number are you going to sing? Number 39 with rice?"

Through numerous pictures, Benjamin has conveyed the concept of a balance of power in the same room by using two bars, one low and one high. The Dutch flag touches the ground, while the other flags with the dishes hang high.

“Some might see this as an insult,” he says. But Benjamin uses this concept to show what Gordon implied in his comment to the Chinese contestant has now been turned on its head. Furthermore, by photographing ‘number 39’, Benjamin has tried to ensure that part of a particular cultural heritage (Chinese-Indonesian cuisine) will not be lost. He says, "I've got Gordon to thank for that."

In terms of his identity, Bernard feels both Chinese and Dutch and he plays with these two cultures. 

Li vlaggen

Benjamin with the different flags.

Before Benjamin went to art school…

he completed a degree in psychology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. This means that Benjamin is both a qualified psychologist and an established artist.

Volkskrant Visual Art Prize

Benjamin was nominated for this prize in 2018.

What's on the plate of this video?

You might think it's a fish, but it's a Chinese junk. That's a Chinese sailing ship. These ships are often pictured on Chinese menus. 

Li Chinees schip

What do you hear?

Footsteps? Is it a certain kind of music? Or do you think it's people eating? Perhaps food is being put on the table.

How many people can you count?

Look at the hands and you might be able to figure it out. Are they men or women? And do you have an idea of how old they are?

Your favourite order

What's your favourite food when you're sitting on the couch and decide to order a takeaway? A small sushi with cold fish or steaming Thai curries full of spices? Or perhaps a large pizza dripping with melted cheese?

Kijk eens anders

Close your eyes. Describe what you saw.

This is the location where you are now. Occasionally, this location will differ from your actual position. This has no impact on your tour. However, 'All art in this room' is linked to this location. If desired, select 'Walk around', where you will find all rooms.

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