ASEM Cultural Festival


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ASEF at ASEMfest banner-02-01 

ASEM Cultural Festival 

Europe meets Asia, Asia Meets Europe
18-30 October 2018
Brussels, Belgium

As Heads of State and Government from 53 Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) partners gathered for the 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM12) in Brussels in October, the creativity and cultural diversity of Asia and Europe was also highlighted through a festival of dance, digital art, film, music, theatre and visual arts at the ASEM Cultural Festival.

On 18-19 October 2018, the European Union hosted ASEM12, which brought together ASEM leaders to discuss ideas for strengthening dialogue and co-operation between the two continents. An official side-event of ASEM12, the ASEM Cultural Festival titled 'Europe meets Asia, Asia meets Europe' was held from 18 to 30 October 2018.

Brussels' leading cultural institution, Centre for Fine Arts-Brussels (BOZAR), hosted the ASEM Cultural Festival. The two-week Festival offered a diverse range of programming from Asia and Europe including performances, exhibitions, and discussions. Highlights of the Festival included:

The festival was organised by Centre for Fine Arts-Brussels (BOZAR) with the support of the European Union and the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).

Follow these hashtags on FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn for highlights of the Festival: #ASEM12, #ASEMfest, #ASEF, #BOZAR

For other details about the Festival, please contact: Ms Preeti GAONKAR, Project Manager, Culture Department at 

 Media Resources 

See the video teaser here: ASEM Cultural Festival Video

See the photos from the Festival here: ASEM Cultural Festival Photos

 Press Release 

See the press release here: ASEM Cultural Festival Press Release 


How Europe Meets Asia: Interview with Mr Paul Dujardin, CEO & Artistic Director, BOZAR

Singing Masks: Interview with Honore d'O, Artist

Meet the Millennials: Interview with Lucas de Man, Director

Merging the Classical with the Contemporary: Interview with Pichet Klunchun, Dancer & Choreographer

Architecture Forum: Exploring the Influence of Cultural Heritage on Contemporary Architecture


 ASEF's contribution is with the financial support of the European Union.


  Project Updates  

The ASEM Cultural Festival closes on a high note

9 November 2018 

Held alongside the 12th Summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM12), the Festival presented an impressive programme with 18 events held over 13 days at the Centre for Fine Arts-Brussels (BOZAR). Featuring 15 dance, music and film events and 3 visual arts exhibitions, the various events at the Festival attracted over 2,100 audiences, while the exhibitions were visited by over 120,000 people.

The highlights of the Festival included brilliant concerts by baritone Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar (Mongolia), organist Svetlana Berezhnaya (Russia), young vocalist Katchry Jewel Golbin (Philippines), innovative depiction of the classic novel ‘El Quixote’ in traditional Indian theatre form Kathakali by Margi Kathakali (India), stunning classical dance interpretation in contemporary form in ‘I am a Demon’ by Pichet Klunchun (Thailand), voices of young millennials brought to the forefront of global discussions in ‘Meet the Millennials’ by Lucas de Man (Belgium-Netherlands) and stimulating exchange between young and established architects at the forum.

This vibrant showcase platform brought together artists from 14 countries, which was supported by the European Union (EU) and the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) along with the embassies of India, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Spain, the Chinese Mission to the EU, the Russian Federation’s Mission to the EU and the Korean Cultural Centre in Brussels.

View the video for highlights of the festival: ASEM Cultural Festival-Closing Highlights

  Project Updates  

Europe Meets Asia, Asia Meets Europe at the ASEM Cultural Festival in Brussels 

25 September 2018

Brussels’ leading cultural centre – BOZAR - is set to host the ASEM Cultural Festival, titled ‘Europe meets Asia, Asia meets Europe’ highlighting the creativity of Asian and European artists. A diverse programme on the themes of connectivity and heritage will illuminate BOZAR in myriad shades of artistic excellence.

Over a two-week period, audiences in Brussels got to experience an eclectic mix of music, dance and theatre performances along with visual and photography exhibitions, and film screenings. A specially commissioned digital and music performance under the artistic direction of renowned Belgian visual artist, Honoré d’O supported by Sun*Sun*Sun String Orchestra, Nadlada Thamtanakom & Liu Fang will open the festival on 18 October 2018. A lively conversation can be expected at the public forum featuring Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Wang Shu (China), and celebrated Flemish architect, Paul Robbrecht on 22 October 2018.

BOZAR opens the doors to a new venue, Salon Europa, for a special series of concerts. Award-winning baritone from Mongolia, Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar and Russia’s leading organist, Svetlana Berezhnaya are the highlights of this series. Cambodia’s dance of prayer ‘tayae’ and India’s classical theatre form ‘kathakali’ will offer a taste of traditional arts from Asia. Widely reputed Thai dancer and choreographer, Pichet Klunchun, will present ‘I am a Demon,’ a technically impeccable khon dance piece infused with contemporary and post-modern choreography. ‘Meet the Millennials’, a performance by Lucas De Man (the Netherlands) and Hyunsin Kim (Republic of Korea) explores new narratives of Asia’s millennial generation. The festival also showcases films from China, France, and Japan.

The full festival programme is available on BOZAR’s website:


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