Bert Hermans
'The Tornado'
Oil on canvas
80 x 60 cm

The painting shows a spiral construction (the Tornado) that is still under construction in the Fenixloods II in Rotterdam. A group of emigrants is depicted at the bottom left. At the end of this year/beginning of next year, the opening of the Emigrants' Museum is planned in that renovated warehouse.
This will be a museum to commemorate the millions of emigrants who left Europe and Rotterdam behind them in the nineteenth century. The transformation of the Fenix ??warehouse started in February 2020. The design is by Bureau Polderman and the Chinese MAD Architects.
The Tornado is the spectacular work of art that will soon rise from the roof of the FENIX. This double twisted staircase symbolizes departure and arrival from all over the world. It was designed by the Chinese architect Ma Yansong.
FENIX is the first European museum to be built by a Chinese architectural firm. The choice of MAD Architects is also a tribute/reference to Katendrecht, where Europe's first Chinatown emerged at the beginning of the 20th century.
In keeping with good Rotterdam custom, there are already several nicknames in circulation for the striking structure: 'De Drol van Pijbes' / 'De Droomdrol' (of Drol and Draad) / 'De Spiraal' / 'De Glijbaan' / 'De Wokkel'.
Bert regularly sees this Tornado under construction on his bike ride to the SS Rotterdam, where he works as a volunteer ship host one morning a week.