Chinese Happy Heads in Brussels, an exhibition by international artist duo Benoit+Bo, is being presented in several cities in China after successful showings in the China Cultural Center and the Contemporary Art Center in Brussels.
Benoit is French and Bo is Chinese. Through a series of photographs, the duo invites us to share a moment in the daily life of several Brussels citizens who have donned “Happy Heads”, masks from folkloric and traditional Chinese culture, modernised by the two artists. The masks display bright and vivid colours and their expressions reflect welcoming and smiling faces.
Mr Tan SHU, director of the China Cultural Center, believes that Benoit+Bo are inviting Chinese folk culture into the daily life of the inhabitants of Brussels. “The smiling and cheerful Chinese Happy Heads are precisely what we need in these troubled times,” he said. “We need to remember to keep smiling in life, to keep hoping and, most importantly, to keep sharing…. sharing hope and joy.”
The two artists wish to thank all the participants in the project in Brussels. In particular, they are grateful to its citizens for their open-minded attitude, their generosity and their respect for different cultures. Chinese Happy Heads in Brussels was realized through a perfect collaboration between the artistic concept and the spontaneous participation of its subjects.
Benoit+Bo are a true international collaboration, the fruit of two cultures, two sensitivities and two pasts. Using their combined heritage, knowledge and world views, they create hybrid, contemporary visions, a mix of Asia and Europe.
Their stage is the world: meeting in Tianjin, living in Paris, opening a studio in Shanghai and relocating to Brussels. Benoit+Bo have previously exhibited in museums and galleries in Belgium, France, China, Spain, South Korea, Italy and Australia.
This series of photos will be exhibited in the Guimet Museum in Paris in February 2018 and at the International Carnival and Mask Museum in Binche, Belgium in March 2018.
Choi Juhyun Shows a series of drawings representing divinities typical of Korean shamanism : the Montain God, the Waterdragon God, the Children’s God, the Chicken pox Goddess.
Divinities reflect the world of those who worship them. They vary according to the area and time period. Choi Juhyun explains, we honor celestial entities as well as human ones: ancestors, children having dead prematuraly and even a high civil servant’s wife.
Divinities are both sacred and prosaïc. The human quest for holness is supported by material offerings which are in fact part of unscrupulous trade designed to attrack divine favours.
Choi Juhyun drawings constitue a meeting point betwen Gods and men. Gods are visible at last, the same way as the shaman invites them through her words and ceremonial transe.
To some extent the exhibition is changed into a small personal temple.