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ASEF Support to the ASEM Cultural Festival (#ASEMfest) 2018

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
18-30 Oct 2018 Preeti GAONKAR Special Projects ASEF Support to the ASEM Cultural Festival (#ASEMfest) Culture


Between 18 & 30 October 2018, the ASEM Cultural Festival: Europe Meets Asia. Asia Meets Europe presented 18 arts events at the well-regarded BOZAR I Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. Artists from 14 countries in Asia and Europe presented music concerts, dance performances & film screenings to over 2000 members of the public. 3 visual arts exhibitions attracted over 120,000 visitors in just over 2 weeks.

The ASEM Cultural Festival: Europe Meets Asia. Asia Meets Europe was an official side event of the 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM12; 18-19 October 2018, Brussels). ASEF supported the European Union (host of ASEM12) and BOZAR I Centre for Fine Arts in reviving a tradition of cultural programming at ASEM Leaders’ Meetings.

Heads of State and Government from Asia and Europe “welcomed the principle of having regular ASEM Cultural Festivals in connection with ASEM Summits and ASEM Foreign  Minister Meetings to strengthen inter-cultural dialogue among ASEM partners.” (Chair’s Statement, ASEM12)

For more information on ASEM Cultural Festival: Europe Meets Asia. Asia Meets Europe, visit:

In support of:

ASEM Stacked Full Colour RGB

Follow live festival updates at:  #ASEMfest 

Facebook: @AsiaEuropeFoundation

Twitter: @AsiaEuropeMtg 


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 ContemporaryInterview with Pichet Klunchun, Dancer & Choreographer

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


  • 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage
  • ASEM12-Brussels 2018
  • Bozar Centre for Fine Art Brussels
Funded by the European Union

Project Updates

  • 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


  • 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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