Thinking about the value of beauty, the tulip mania.
In the 17th century Holland, there was an unusual phenomenon that looked like madness from the outside, but was trend from the inside, like the current Bitcoin frenzy. Even people who were in the Netherlands at the time might be puzzled by the recent Bitcoin competition. Why are people so passionate and obsessed with computer data fragments?
But in 17th century Holland, it was just a tulip bulbs, which had more value than money. Because of this mysterious phenomenon, it is said that it was the beginning of the first bubble economy in modern times. Perhaps it is the same that modern people do not understand the people of that time.
In the 1630s, tulips, a horticultural plant native to Turkey, imported from the Netherlands, were very popular. Plant lovers, who were initially fascinated by the beauty of tulips, began to stock up on tulip roots. Even when the flowers did not bloom, there was even a futures transaction in which a contract was bought and sold at a specific price at a certain point in the future. The peak of the tulip wave was February 1637. Tulips were sold for more than ten times the annual income of a skilled artisan. No matter how hard the ordinary people spent their lives plowing and working hard, they could not beat the people who traded tulip bulbs. They get rich quickly and start bragging about their luckiness. And these rumors spread like the roots of a tree. So, in the end, the bizarre thing happened, where everyone jumped into this gigantic arena.
Then, on February 3, 1637, the price of tulips suddenly plummeted. Rather than dropping the price, there were no buyers at all. Excessive price increases have discouraged plant bulb enthusiasts from buying them, and poor quality bulbs have depreciated. And experts from abroad began to analyze the phenomenon and question it. In a nutshell, like the empire's new clothes of Adersen's tale, one day, everyone suddenly found out everything.
So the term "tulip wave" is now often used as a metaphor for a huge economic bubble (when asset prices deviate from their intrinsic value): speculators are not interested in growing tulips or the beauty of the flowers, but rather the rise in prices. The bubble was created because it entered the market for a purpose.
True beauty has a unique, priceless value, and the price is determined the moment the public recognizes it. Objects with that value will increase their wealth in some form when demand or interest increases.
In the case of Tulips or bitcoins, public give value to the beauty or potentiality of the world that cannot be seen with the naked eye, and the public has defined the market in the form of buying and selling them.
Today, I planted 50 tulips that my neighbor gave me as a gift in my front yard. In present, we are planting tulips as flowers, not as money.
After I planted all the tulips, I completed a digital file of the tulip wave on my computer.
Beautiful tulips twinkle in the sunlight. Someone compliments the beauty and the others desire and surround the tulip. The eagered energy looks like a net, similar to see a tree root. And the tulip flows somewhere like being swept through the tightly woven root gaps. It seems that their terminal point is gray in the distance. When the beauty of tulips, which gives people a lot of joy, meets obsession and desire, I tried to capture and draw an image that instantly comes to mind.
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Myungja Anna Koh