The central entrance of the restaurant, opposite the reception desk, leads through a small, unpainted wooden construction with a slightly unhinged door and wobbly floorboards. This is ‘Lloyd Life’, an installation made by Japanese artist Chikako Watanabe in 2009.
Watanabe was the first artist in residence at Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy. She produced her installation for the exhibition ‘Holland Mania’, celebrating 400 years of trade and cultural relations between Japan and the Netherlands, at the Lakenhal / Scheltema in Leiden.
Isla de Flores
‘Lloyd Life’ is a translation of Watanabe’s research into Lloyd Hotel. It has the same size as a ‘family room’ in the former Lloyd Hotel of the 1920s. Large families stayed here before setting off to South America. In later years, the rooms served as prison cells.
There is a bench so one can take a seat. The striped canvas seating makes it feel like you’re snugly sheltered in a beach hut from where you can have a peek at the other visitors. The installation includes screened images of guests, visitors and staff. These Watanabe blended with pictures of her own work for ‘Holland Mania’ and the ‘Open Source Amsterdam’ manifestation in Amsterdam 2009. A film and slide show give an idea of what the Uruguayan island ‘Isla de Flores’ looks like. This was the point of entry for the emigrants who sailed on one of the Royal Dutch Lloyd ships to South-America. The now derelict buildings originally looked much like Lloyd Hotel.
In this way the special entrance that is ‘Lloyd Life’ connects the past to the present.