Early in the morning of July 6th, loaded with luggage, handy tools for making what we understand to be an “authentic” documentary and three brand new lamps, we set the GPS to Herentals. And on the way it rained. And it was still planned to visit the sculpture park, located ten kilometers from the art center in Herentals, on the same day. Would we make it? It’s good that we quickly remembered to take out the talisman of this trip – Rada Yakova’s Pink Cloud, which quickly cleared the way in front of us and made the afternoon clear and sunny. We knew that the clouds and rain were only for our benefit. The soft sun would not burn the frames, and the well-washed sculptures would be even more impressive, combined with the fresh aroma of the wet grass.
The atmosphere in the art center is something that can hardly be described or captured on camera. We hoped that in the days of lockdown we could at least partially convey the emotion, but we wish every art connoisseur to feel this special energy of the place for himself. The former factory and the slightly run-down area are enlivened by art, which attracts many tourists. Few of them know anything about Bulgaria, but this is a chance for them, in this small working-class Belgian town, located in the middle of grain fields, to steal a bit of our culture and history. Art attracts. It kind of transcends boundaries and makes everyone much more up close and personal. When we look at the paintings on the walls of the center, we know in our minds that we are 2000 kilometers from the homeland of this canvas or this art object, and at the same time we feel it in our hearts that distances lose meaning and give way to pure perceptions. It is a collection, located on 5,000 square meters of exhibition space, with over 1,000 works of Bulgarian artists, each with its own story and the right to be seen by the whole world.
There is no need to repeat who Hugo Voeten is. There is enough biographical information about him both on the web and at his Art center in Belgium. The only thing that matters to us is that he is a person almost unknown in his own country, driven by the love of adventure, nature and art, caught in the whirlpool of Bulgarian creative talent. Thanks to him, today we have a well-preserved piece of the history of art, born in Bulgaria over the past 30 years, which, like many other compatriots, has gone beyond the borders of the country to discover new worlds. A small part of the history of Bulgarian contemporary art, however, remains hidden in his private family collection, to which we do not have access and in which we are sure there are many more masterpieces. Unfortunately, there is no public catalog for it.
This journey, both on the canvas and on the granite stone, provoked in our country the desire to open a platform for dialogue on the topic of “Collecting art – under the motto Je m’en fous” – what are the practices, what are the dangers, what are the opportunities before the collectors themselves. This dialogue is taking place quietly for now, through the traveling exhibition, which keeps touring small and independent art spaces in Europe. But we want to be louder, reach more people, and encourage more people to dream along with original works and not be afraid to start their own collection today.
Become part of the adventure by getting involved in the “Why in the world Bulgarian Art” project in the following ways:
* Invite the traveling exhibition to your town or village.
The exhibition consists of 9 vinyl with text and photos, video interviews for 3 to 9 monitors or TVs, an art installation #PinkCloudBlast. We rely on you for the technical provision of the exhibition and the accommodation of the team for the opening and closing times. In this project we strive to preserve the spirit of Hugo Voeten and his desire to ennoble the environment. This is why the locations can be alternative places for art, provided there is electricity and possibly an internet connection. If you would like to invite the traveling exhibition near you, you can contact us now at: collection [at] 5new.org with subject “Why in the world Bulgarian Art in [place name]”
*Support the project financially or materially.
- Financial support in the form of donations can be made by following this QR code.
All funds go to the traveling exhibitions and seminars planned for the year on the topic “Collecting art”, with the aim of popularizing the history of Bulgarian contemporary art in our country and around the world. Currently, 5new Artists has collaborators in Eastern and Western Europe and in the USA.
- We accept technical and material support with proposals for partnerships and sponsorships in the areas of: logistics and transport, long-term tangible assets (microphones, cameras and other hardware and software), accommodation, catering, shooting and processing of footage, streaming. Our partners are always well presented to the public and the media. Your visual presence on the online platform is guaranteed. In addition, you also get coverage on the official 5new social networks and on the personal networks of the co-founders’ contacts. Find out more trough our chat in Messenger or Whats App.
- Participation in our seminars on “Collecting art – under the motto Je m’en fous”, if you are also a collector and an avid art lover and want us to tell your story to the world, write to us at: artpodcast [at] 5new.org or follow our social channel and #ArtMatchMakers Podcast for more stories.