• Flemish artist Jan Fabre's "Searching for Utopia" Nieuwpoort

    Elixir of life

    11 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    Water, water, everywhere: bustling trade ports, a network of canals and world famous bathing spots have all been invaluable in the development of Flanders. It has permeated almost every aspect of people's lives, making it one of the region's most treasured resources.Full story
  • For Luc Callebaut, selling cheese is both a passion and a calling

    Dealing in cheese

    4 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    Luc Callebaut was not born into the cheese industry. He does not come from a family of cheese producers or have experience working on a dairy farm. In fact, he became a cheesemonger almost by accident.Full story
  • Easy like Sunday morning

    4 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    Once a week, from eight in the morning until the late afternoon, the Kouter in Ghent is overflowing with flower and plant vendors. While most flower markets in Belgium are a combination of food and flowers or plants and clothing, Ghent's market focuses simply on all things green and growing. This flower market is the only one of its kind in all of Flanders and this exclusivity is for good reason: only the best are sold here. Full story
  • Camiel Van Breedam, In Flanders Fields Museum's 2009 artist-in-residence

    What remains in Ieper

    4 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    Camiel Van Breedam has always been fascinated by discarded objects. As a child he would root around in the workshop of his father, who was a plumber, finding pieces of zinc, wires or tubing. Growing up in the village of Boom, south of Antwerp, he saw the demolition of the region's shipyards, brickworks and glass factories, his "former playground" as he puts it. Later in life he would forage through the flea markets of Brussels in search of interesting finds. Full story
  • This year's Silver Award winner: Earth II - Reki by Hiroshi Suzuki

    Silver Fever in Ghent

    4 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    There are 5 Belgian designers among the 45 laureates, including the Ghent-based silversmith and jewellery designer Siegfried De Buck, whose Lavabo in infocentra manus meas was selected. But it's the London-based Japanese Hiroshi Suzuki who won the Schoonhoven Silver Award 2009, a prize named after the town in South Holland renowned for its traditional silver industry. "His impressive vase is archetypal and combines monumentalism with a refined and poetic feeling for detail and finish," the jury says about winner Hiroshi Suzuki. "He renders a transcription of a traditional silversmith technique, in which a perfected hammer stroke has gained a truly meditative character of its own by its performance and power of repetition. The hammered skin reflects the light in every direction and generates strength. This work of art convinces, the natural result of many years of personal development."  Full story
  • It’s in the details

    4 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    34-year-old Robin Vermeersch is the youngest member of a highly artistic family. "When you grow up in a family that is very artistic, you always see your father making paintings, your grandfather making sculptures, your brothers making drawings. Even my mother was a painter so I had contact with different kinds of art at a very early age." He went on to study painting at the Sint-Lucas Academy in Ghent and has since then evolved more towards sculpture and drawing. Ultimately, "becoming an artist was something normal," he affirms.Full story
  • Painting by numbers

    4 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    Every year, the research unit of the Flemish government produces a massive document called Flemish Regional Indicators (Vrind). In more than 400 pages, the Vrind presents a picture of the region in all its aspects: social, economic, cultural, demographic, educational, from the point of view of businesses, legislators, students, teachers and families. The document itself is available (in Dutch only) in PDF or printed form from the address below. In the meantime, we present a selection of interesting items from its vast store of information. Full story
  • Coasting along

    4 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    If you've ever walked through a Flemish town on a sunny weekend morning, you have seen the crowds of cyclists out on their weekly ritual - all ages, all levels of fitness, all wearing colourful Lycra uniforms, the hum of Dutch conversation set to the melody of gliding packs of racing bikes. It can be like waking up along the route of the Tour de France. And then of course there are the bike parking lots at the train stations; the bike shops in every town; the bike paths linking villages; and the huts for long-distance cyclists... Add to this two new initiatives, the Trap & Tram (Pedal & Tram) programme along the coast and the Villo! programme in Brussels, and the question that always comes to mind is: What is it with Flanders and cycling?Full story
  • Fashionista

    28 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    It's always difficult, smack in the middle of a warm summer, to look at the autumn collections and know which trends will take over the fashion world by then. But it's especially difficult when the predictions are as foreign and mysterious as the one trend that will prevail this winter: Goth.Full story
  • Borderlines

    28 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Last week we looked at Baarle-Hertog, which consists of a number of Belgian enclaves located across the border in the Netherlands. If it seemed that no other Flemish municipality could be more complicated, think again. This week we look at Voeren, a Flemish municipality that belongs to the province of Limburg. However, geographically it is completely isolated from the rest of Limburg. It's actually surrounded by the Netherlands and Wallonia. Full story