Dutch-Belgian artist Job Smeets has teamed up with Hermès to design a magical vegetable garden window display for their Hong Kong store. This captivating display will be on view from August until November 2023. Studio Job and Hermès have created a dream-like oasis in the heart of the bustling metropolis, offering a breath of fresh air to the urban environment. Drawing inspiration from the eccentric world of award-winning vegetable growers and his own home vegetable garden in Belgium, Job Smeets weaves anthropomorphism into a strange and fantastical cityscape.
Hortus Maximus features animals taking on the role of elegant farmers, and vegetables growing to awe-inspiring proportions, as if they were plucked from a childhood dream. The majestic installation showcases vegetables of gigantic proportions, inventing a new form of nature-inspired maximalism. The project is a result of detailed drawings and 3D models created by Studio Job, renowned for its bronze sculptural work in pieces such as the Tree of Life in Faena, Miami, the horse bust sculpture at Chamber Gallery, NYC, and the Watering Can & Fruit Series.
The fusion of surreal high-end finishes and elevated lowland icons, such as watering cans and wheelbarrows, defines the artist's distinctive style. This marks the second collaboration between Job Smeets and Hermès, and it radiates a combination of icons and prize-worthy displays of Chinese gourds, leeks, and pumpkins in each window. "The project is filled with a sense of a fairy tale and how life was narrated to us as children," explains the artist. The result is an artful, playful, and mysterious set of scenes. The design of Hermès windows in Hong Kong is grounded in the mannerism style by enlarging proportions in a way that subjects become even more real and surreal, almost hyper-real. "Hortus Maximus is bold and astonishing, a photorealistic scene exploring the form of the vegetables and the texture and architecture of the plants created by nature," shares Job Smeets.
You can view these windows at the Hermès flagship store on Landmark Price, 10 Chater Road Central, Hong Kong, from August until November 2023.