“Made in Korea” festival in Brussels

Made in Korea mastheadThe “Made in Korea” festival in Brussels is a big-budget four month perspective of Korea’s arts. Centred around the Centre for Fine Arts, this is a unique opportunity to see some of Korea’s ancient treasures and also some more contemporary visual and performing arts. Definitely worth a trip to Brussels.

First, a summary of some of the one-off performances and events this year

There’s more to come in January and February next year.

Next, the exhibitions which run for the full length of the festival:

Kim Sooja: Lotus, Zone of Zero 2008

Where? Galerie Ravenstein | Ravensteingalerij
When? Daily 10 October 2008 – 18 January 2009, 10am – 6pm

kimsooja: Lotus - Zone of Zero 2008
Lotus: Zone of Zero 2008, © kimsooja

The site specific installation Lotus: Zone of Zero, 2008, is composed of approximately two thousand lanterns, in the shape of lotus flowers, expanding outward upon a circular structural space, against a background of Tibetan, Gregorian and Islamic chants, and was specifically conceived for the Rotunda of the Raverstein Gallery. This installation is an invitation to a journey of discovery in which the artist provides space and time where the audience observes the differences and similarities of cultural, religious, and political awareness, and which, above and beyond its aesthetic qualities, is a call for peace, love and understanding amongst human beings.

The Smile of Buddha: 1600 Years of Buddhist Art in Korea

Where? Centre for Fine Arts
When? 10 October 2008 – 18 January 2009. Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am – 6pm. Closed Mondays

Pensive bodhisattva
Pensive bodhisattva

Within the framework of the Korea Festival in the autumn of 2008, the Centre for Fine Arts will be showing the finest masterpieces of Buddhist art from the history of Korea. For more than 1,600 years Buddhism has played an important role in Korean society. When it arrived in Korea, Buddhism was strongly influenced by native religions; the teachings of Buddha also formed the country’s most important bond with neighbouring China and Japan. Countless works of art and everyday objects bear witness to the influence of Buddhism. Buddhist motifs and images have been widespread since the 5th century. Among the treasures on display will be a number of “national treasures” from the National Museum in Seoul, including the gilded bronze Maitreya figure from the early 7th century, and a selection of the grandest paintings of the Goryeo period.

  • The exhibition will present several national treasures of Korean art.
  • The items on display are coming directly from the National Museum in Seoul and other National Museums.
  • Korean Buddhism was influenced by native shamanism.
  • Korea’s most important dynasties and kingdoms were intimately associated with Buddhist art.
  • Alongside the historical exhibition there will be an installation by Nam June Paik (1932-2006), a pioneer of video art.
  • In partnership with Espace Louis Vuitton, a selection of contemporary Korean artists will be shown in Paris.

Young-jae Lee: 111 Bowls

Young-Jae Lee: 111 Bowls
Young-Jae Lee: 111 Bowls
Where? Centre for Fine Arts
When? 10 October 2008 – 18 Jan 2009. Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 6pm. Closed Mondays.

By bringing together a number of simple ceramic plates, Young-Jae Lee creates an extraordinary installation: each plate seems to have its individual character, but their combination gives rise to a restful dialogue.

S(e)oul Scape: Towards a new urbanity in Korea

Where? Centre for Fine Arts
When? 31 October 2008 – 4 Jan 2009. Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 6pm. Closed Mondays.

S Residence, Seoguipo, Jejudo
“S Residence, Seoguipo, Jejudo, korea, 2007, Kim Young-joon.” (photo by Kim Jea-kyeong)

Seoul is one of the most densely populated cities on the planet. Over the last fifty years, this expanding metropolis has swallowed up almost the entire population of the South Korean peninsula. In an urban landscape dominated by banal constructions, the S(e)oul Scape exhibition goes in search of architecture. The exhibition presents work by six Korean architectural practices that, between them, are regarded as being the driving force behind the revival of contemporary architecture in South Korea. All six operate from the Dongchon district of Seoul. Chung Guyon, Joh Sung-Yong, and Yi Jong-Ho turned primarily to local traditions for renewal. Kim Young-Joon, Min Hyun-Sik, and Seung H-Sang built up experience abroad before starting up their own practice: Seung H-Sang studied at the Vienna University of Technology, while Min Hyun-Sik and Kim Young-Joon both studied at the Architectural Association in London; Young-Joon later spent some time working at the OMA in Rotterdam.

Nam June Paik: The hundred and eight Torments of Mankind

Nam June Paik: The 108 Torments of Mankind
The 108 Torments of Mankind © Nam June Paik

Where? Centre for Fine Arts
When? 10 October 2008 – 7 December 2008

Ever since the Sixties Nam June Paik has been a pioneer. At first, this was within Fluxus; later, his visual approach concentrated on the new media of the time – television – which he used as a veritable sculpted material. His innovative approach gave birth to video art, now widely used by artists all over the world. In parallel with the work of this pioneer, the spotlight will also be turned on a multimedia installation by two up-and-coming figures of today’s Korean artistic scene.

Bae Bien-U: Sacred Wood

Bae Bien-U, Sonamu
Bae Bien-U, Sonamu (Pine Tree), 135x260cm

Where? Centre for Fine Arts
When? 10 October 2008 – 18 January 2009, Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm (closed Mondays)

Communion with Nature is the leitmotiv of Bien-U Bae’s photographic work. This reflects the desire of the Korean people to live in harmony with their environment. The world through a poetical lens.


(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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