Daniel Verheyden (fourth from the right), who co-curated the exhibition, presents the work of Benoît + Bo to Han Tae-jun (third from the right), President of the Ghent University Global Campus - Korea (GUGC-K), and His Excellency François Bontemps (second from the right), Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the Republic of South Korea.

Six Brussels artists in Seoul, South Korea

At the end of October 2021, the work of six Brussels artists was featured in an exhibition organised by Brussels International during the Belgium Festival in Seoul.

From 21 to 31 October 2021, Brussels International hosted a group show featuring work by six Brussels artists at the KOTE cultural centre in the lively Insa-dong neighbourhood (Seoul) to mark the 120th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Belgium and South Korea and on the occasion of the first ever Belgium Festival in Seoul.

In 2018, the Brussels-Capital Region signed a cooperation agreement with the Seoul Metropolitan Government, which is why it was so important to attend this Belgian festival in Seoul.

In spite of the very strict social measures and a last-minute change (the exhibition had to be moved to another venue the evening before the opening), the group show with work by Philippe Geluck, Denis Meyers, Carole Solvay, Hans Op de Beeck, Bert De Keyser and Benoît+Bo was a resounding success. More than 2,000 people turned up during the opening weekend, in spite of the gathering curbs, which limited the number of people to 180 visitors per hour.

Exhibition poster featuring Le Cat pointing in one direction, holding the Belgian flag in his other hand.
Philippe Geluck’s Le Cat directing visitors to the exhibition.
Work suspended from the ceiling of one of the exhibition galleries.
Carole Solvay’s works, light as the feathers she uses to create them…
The artist’s work on a wall in a street.
Calligraphy by Denis Meyers in the alley leading to the KOTE cultural centre.
Fresco on a tiled wall.
Fresco by Bert De Keyser.
The artist stands in front of the exhibition poster.
The artist Bert De Keyser poses in front of the exhibition poster.

Visitors also had the opportunity to sample Belgian beers, chocolates from Pierre Marcolini, waffles, and street food by Korean-born, two Michelin star chef Sang Hoon Degeimbre. It goes without saying that the culinary programme also drew a huge crowd.

The chef and two young women standing behind the counter of the street food stand.
Sang Hoon Degeimbre, the chef of L’Air du Temps, adds the finishing touch to his street food dishes.
Stand presenting the beers of the Brussels Beer Project.
Visitors could sample Brussels beers.

The exhibition attracted many visitors in its second week too, following write-ups in Korean media and a news item by English-language TV network Arirang.

A warm welcome

The works of our artists were particularly well-received by Korean art lovers.

Philippe Geluck’s Le Cat became the main visual of the Belgian festival. Denis Meyers decorated the alley leading to the KOTE cultural centre with one of his calligraphic works. Carole Solvay’s ethereal works drew the attention of passers-by in the shopping street. Hans Op de Beeck’s magnificent video was acquired by the Ghent University Global Campus – Korea (GUGC-K) and will be installed on campus. Bert De Keyser’s scale models, meanwhile, caught the eye of the representatives of the Seoul Metropolitan Government and various sponsors, leading to renewed interest in the exhibition that he is preparing on historic Gwanghwamun Square in 2022. Finally, the works of Benoît+Bo draw on so many Korean cultural references that the pair is setting up a website where people can buy their work.