Things to do in Belgium this week: shopping in Antwerp, an art walk in Brussels, an exhibition in Meise, and more. See you there!
Shopping: Bliss pop up store at Princess
From 1 to 30 April Antwerp
Bliss is a Belgium-based online concept store offering a lovely, handpicked selection of interior objects with a clear focus on Scandinavian design, organic fabrics and geometric patterns. It’s a great mix of the big brands and smaller, handcrafted projects, and this week the web shop is coming to life offline, as a pop up store at Antwerp’s Princess. Do bring your kids along, there’ll be a special play corner for your little ones!
Film premiere: A Walk with Dorothée Dupuis and Jessica Gysel Around the Chinese Pavilion and the Japanese Tower in Brussels at La Loge
Wednesday, 1 April, 19-20h00 Brussels
A little while ago we had a chat with Alberto Garcia Del Castillo about his very first book. But now he’s moved on to the world of film, teaming up with Marnie Slater, among others, to create “A Walk with Dorothée Dupuis and Jessica Gysel Around the Chinese Pavilion and the Japanese Tower in Brussels” under the label of his online exhibition project Buenos Tiempos, Int. It introduces the viewer to two young editors who work for female magazines Petunia and Girls Like Us, while taking a stroll through Brussels’ Park Laeken and will be shown for the first time this Wednesday at art space La Loge.
Music: Vinyl market at Beursschouwburg
Thursday, 2 April, 17h00-23h00 Brussels
This one is for record nerds: This Thursday music buffs once again have the opportunity to get their hands on some nice pieces when the 8th edition of Beursschouwburg’s well-stocked vinyl market comes about. You can rummage through boxes full of records provided not only by some of the city’s best vinyl shops but also by passionate private collectors. Taking part are for instance Thibault THF, who’s also one of the creative minds behind the great Open the Box parties, Bart Sibiel, one half of Onda Sonora and music writer at The Word Magazine, and Escalade Records, who just launched a pop up shop at Brussels’ För.
Opening: Destination Unknown at Chambre Nationale & Collectiv National
Thursday, 2 April, 18h00 Antwerp
Newly founded independent art collective Ruis unites eight different young artists from the disciplines of photography and graphic design. The bunch invites you to their first group show this Thursday, which goes by the title “Destination Unknown” and brings together visual creations inspired by foreign places, exotic locations and a certain wanderlust. With works by Miles Fischler, Valentina Stellino, Sander Adriaens, and others.
Opening: Tom Liekens at Plant Palace Meise
Thursday, 2 April, 18h00-22h30 Meise
Antwerp-based painter Tom Liekens is admittedly one of our favorite contemporary Belgian-born artists. His detailed, large-scale paintings recurringly deal with nature, especially in its artificial form as we find it in zoos, museums, fairytales or films. The mysterious, intriguing and at times somber works shown in this exhibition, which not only include paintings but also monumental collages, are inspired by the scenery of illuminated greenhouses at nighttime as well as the figure of Charles Darwin. Accordingly, there couldn’t be a better place to show his work than the so-called Plant Palace in Meise’s Botanic gardens, which provides a spectacular and fitting setting for Lieken’s art.
Opening: Life as Art as Attitude at De La Charge
Thursday, 2 April, 18h00 Brussels
De La Charge, a Brussels-based art initiative offering studios and exhibition spaces to emerging artists, invites you to another interesting opening night this Thursday. The expo under the name “Life as art as attitude” presents the works of young artist Stéphane Déplan whose quirky practice touches upon his manic obsession of collecting things, includes everything from video to photography and tattooing, and heavily draws upon the everyday. According to the event description there’ll also be a buffet featuring lukewarm beer, dinosaur sausage and popcorn, “for those who don’t care about art“.
Opening: African Odysseys at Brass
Thursday, 2 April, 18h00 Brussels
Forest’s cultural center Brass is putting on an extensive and compelling group show which lets you discover the vastness of contemporary art from Southeast Africa. “African Odysseys” encompasses artworks from 17 different artists stemming from 11 different countries while crossing all genres from video art and performances to sculpture and painting. By exploring themes such as history, the human body and urban space, the exhibited artists give the viewer a glimpse of their everyday lives. By the way: most of them are shown for the very first time on European ground. Featuring Maimuna Adam from Mozambique, Rehema Chachage from Tanzania, Wanja Kimani from Kenya and many others.
Music: PIAS Night at Palais 12
Saturday, 4 April Brussels
Every year music label PIAS invites music fans to a festival in Brussels showcasing various acts from its multifaceted roster. After five years at Tour & Taxis, it’s now all going down at the big-sized Palais 12. The diverse line-up includes Belgian as well as international acts from BRNS and Oaktree to The Spectors and Modeselektor and fills up the whole night until the early morning hours.
Night out: Paradis at Club La Vilaine
Saturday, 4 April, 22h00 Brussels
Club La Vilaine, located in the former premises of Mr Wong, is Brussels’ newest addition to the club scene, and a valuable one. It proves so again with its line-up for the Paradis night this Thursday, when Vicuna resident Aguila and Sixsixsixties, who made a name for himself with the infamous Holger parties and as a member of 22tracks, take over the decks, inviting you to a journey through italo, afro, house and disco. Entrance is free!
Opening: Ren Hang at Stieglitz 19
Saturday, 4 April, 15h00 Antwerp
We’ve been mesmerized by Ren Hang’s images ever since we discovered him last year, and were equally blown away by his appearance at Paris Photo, which we reviewed here. This Sunday you can not only have a look at his fantastic work at Antwerp’s Stieglitz19 Gallery, but also meet the Chinese artist himself who will be present at the opening. Despite arrests and exhibition bans in his home country he continues to practice his for Chinese standards radical art there. The young up-and-comer is mainly known for his unconventional and fresh depictions of naked bodies, creating images of strange human sculptures while playing with forms and visual norms.
Open air festival: ABSTRKT at S&R Rozebroeken
Sunday, 5 April, 12-22h00 Ghent
Let’s hope the sun comes out this weekend, when Belgian party concept ABSTRKT invites you to a massive open air edition in a very special location: S&R Rozebroeken, the largest sports center in the Benelux featuring not only an Olympic pool but also numerous slides, wave pools, greenery and more. ABSTRKT, winner of Best Breakthrough Party at last year’s Redbull Elektropedia Awards, will take over this unlikely setting with two stages, a great line-up, exhibitions and various foodtrucks. Sounds promising!